HMAS Hobart was a 133 m-long Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer built by Defoe Shipbuilding Company, Michigan, USA, and launched in 1964. The ship was purchased by Australia for US$45 million and commissioned at Boston on 18 December 1965. HMAS Hobart completed three tours of duty off Vietnam in 1967, 1968 and 1970. After 35 years of Royal Australian Navy service, HMAS Hobart was decommissioned on 12 May 2000.
In June 2000 the decommissioned vessel was gifted to South Australia by the Federal Department of Defence, to become an artificial reef and world class dive site. Prior to the scuttling preparatory work was needed to ensure safe diving and minimal impact on the environment.
On 3 November 2002 ex-HMAS Hobart was towed from Port Adelaide to Yankalilla Bay and scuttled by controlled flooding on 5 November. Explosives were used to cut holes in the exterior of the hull so that the lower parts of the vessel quickly filled with water. As a result the ship sank in less than three minutes and successfully settled upright on the bottom.
The ex-HMAS Hobart was declared as an historic shipwreck under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981 and a 550-metre radius Protected Zone was declared on 17 December 2002.
Entry into the protected zone by any type of vessel, or conducting any underwater activities such as SCUBA diving, is illegal without a permit.