The SS Yongala is the largest, most-intact shipwreck in Australia. Located within the protected waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the ship’s main structure remains largely intact, lilting starboard just 14-metres deep at the top and 28-metres deep on the sand. The result is an artificial reef teeming with marine life. As with all wildlife excursions, you never know what you’re going to get, but you will see a lot of fish. More fish in one place than any of us – hardcore divers included – have ever seen. An open-water aquarium, diving the SS Yongala is rightly regarded as one of the world’s greatest underwater adventures.
Length of Trip : A full day, two tank dive.
Click here for the latest dive packages, including gear rental. Dive and Accommodation packages are also available.
Best time to go : Diving takes place year-round. September to January is busiest.
Wheelchair friendly : No
Family friendly : Minimum age is 14, with an Open Water Dive Certificate.
Where to eat :
Breakfast is provided with accommodation. Lunch and snacks are provided on your day trip on-board during the surface interval. The shop is located 16 kms from a supermarket so it is recommend you bring food with you for dinner and snacks etc.
Official Site :
Where to Stay :
Accommodation is available on-site with Yongala Dive. Fully self-contained, clean and set in tropical gardens close to the beach, the lodge holds a maximum of 12 people. Dorm style rooms – 6 bed and 4 bed (with double bunk) A private queen room is also available. Dive/Accommodation packages are available.
Getting There :
Ayr is located 100kms, about a 1.5 hrs drive, south of Townsville and 200kms north of Airlie, about a 2.25 hrs drive.
Note from Robin :
It's worth brushing up on the history of the SS Yongala, also known as Townsville's Titanic. On March 14, 1911, the luxury passenger steam ship was en-route from Melbourne to Cairns when it hit a Category 5 cyclone and vanished with 122 people on board. The ship had almost one hundred successful voyages under its belt, and as it departed Mackay, it failed to see last-minute flag warnings that it was headed into a monster storm. After the storm, wreckage began washing up along the coast, the ship was declared lost. It was not until 1958 that the Yongala was officially discovered by salvage divers, along with the skeletons of passengers washed into the bow.