Explore Queensland's historic underwater heritage
Entering a protected zone
Shipwrecks are highly vulnerable and can be easily damaged through direct and indirect contact. It is illegal to interfere, damage or remove artefacts from a historic shipwreck.
The Australian National Shipwreck Database provides information about which sites are in protected zones. There are 9 protected zones in Queensland that are located in protected zones. To dive these sites you must obtain a Permit to enter the protected zone.
Since the 18th century, more than 1400 ships are believed to have been wrecked along the Queensland coastline. Every one of these wrecks is an irreplaceable archaeological site which can tell us much about the lives of past generations of Queenslanders and others who visited our shores.
Some of these wrecks have become popular dive sites. Visitors are welcome to enjoy Queensland’s maritime heritage but are reminded that it is illegal to interfere with these fragile sites.
In Australia all shipwrecks and their associated relics that are older than 75 years are protected by law.
These dive guides have been developed for divers to discover the stories about our local underwater maritime heritage and be informed about the history, locations, conditions, visibility, biology and responsibilities as divers on shipwreck sites.