Australia’s first fully submersible hybrid tourist submarine

yellow tourist submarine sitting on ocean surface

Guests will be able to bag front row seats to witness a side of Mooloolaba’s underwater world that’s never been seen before.

For the very first time in Australia, tourists will be able to dive to depths of up to 30m below the ocean’s surface onboard a fully submersible hybrid submarine.

The fully sustainable, battery operated, zero emission producing SUBCAT-30 can both dive underwater and travel on the water’s surface like a catamaran, making it the only operating submarine of its kind in the world.

Once onboard, guests undertaking the Submarine Dive Experience will be able to peer through one of 14 circular windows offering visibility of up to 30m underwater. An onboard guide will provide commentary about the submarine and the local marine life you’ll hopefully be able to spot in their natural habitat.

Read: Would you holiday in a 24-seat tourist submarine?

If you don’t feel ready for a deep dive, choose the Yellow Submarine Cruise where the submarine stays at surface level while it explores the cerulean waters just outside Mooloolaba’s main beach at sunset.

Down Under Submarine director Andrey Alexeenko said the first dive tour will take visitors up to 18m below the surface in the waters off Mooloolaba, 1.5 nautical miles out from Point Cartwright.

“As well as the marine life you can spot out the window, travelling in the nearly 20m long submarine is an experience in itself,” Mr Alexeenko explained.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind submarine, which has a special hull above the water so passengers can get that experience of both submersion and refloating.

“That’s the difference, and it really gives you that adrenaline rush when you see you’re starting to submerge.”

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The SUBCAT-30, along with being painted a very apt shade of yellow, has an interior design similar to that of a plane cabin. If you want to sit back and relax, video monitors provide real-time footage of the ocean around you from four cameras located on the sub’s exterior.

The submarine also has an external deck, and on the Yellow Submarine Cruise travellers will be able to walk between the submarine’s exterior and interior cabin.

Underwater, the SUBCAT-30 travels at around 2km/h and is extraordinarily manoeuvrable to ensure it never comes into contact with coral reefs or marine life.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said that while the Sunshine Coast was already known as one of the great marine destinations of Australia, the launch of Down Under Submarines would add a totally new and exciting sea experience.

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“An experience of this kind has never been seen before in Australia,” Mr Stoeckel said.

“As our region opens up to the rest of Australia – and indeed the world – it is more important than ever that we have fresh new product that helps set us apart as a destination, and Down Under Submarines is a really unique selling point for our region.

“We are known for our pristine coastline, and Down Under Submarines will make our marine environment even more accessible, allowing visitors to explore the region from a different perspective.”

The Submarine Dive Experience will have a dive time of around 30 minutes plus 20 minutes surface travel, while the ‘Yellow Submarine Cruise’ will go for an hour at sunset just outside Mooloolaba’s main beach or along sheltered canals, depending on the weather conditions.

The Submarine Dive Experience costs $253 for adults and the Yellow Submarine Cruise $55 for adults.

For more information, visit

Would you try out a trip on this submarine? Would you like to dive or try the sunset cruise? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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