The SS Yongala is one of the best dive sites in the world and in Australia. It is actually considered by many people as THE best wreck dive in the world! It is located closest to Townsville in Queensland.
The Yongala Shipwreck is a 110m former steel passenger and freight steamer. It sank in 1911 during a tropical cyclone with its 124 passengers. The Shipwreck was found only in 1958 and is now a main tourist attraction in Australia.
The SS Yongala wreck lies on a 33 meter deep sandy bottom with the top of the wreck at around 15 meters deep. The visibility is not so good and ranges from 10 to 15 meters depending on the tide. There is often a strong current and this dive site is reserved for experienced divers only. It has even happened in the past that after arriving at the location, the conditions are too dangerous, which forbids any divers.
Even after 100 years in the water the Yongala is still in very good condition and you can still see the masts or even the toilets! The Wreck is now protected and penetration inside the actual shipwreck is forbidden to avoid any corrosion due to the air bubbles.
The marine Life around the SS Yongala is just amazing. You can spot giant groupers the size of a small car, eagles rays and Manta Rays gliding by, many sea turtles, sea snakes, huge schools of Barracudas, Giant trevallies hunting around and various species of Sharks including the rare Bull Shark and Tiger Shark!
During the right season from June to November, it is sometimes possible to spot also around the wreck Minke Whales or humpback Whales! The gentle Giant Whale Shak is a possible encounter from October to January.
You will enjoy superb hard and soft coral as well as gorgonians sea fans dancing in the current.
This dive site is really an excellent place for underwater photography, so don’t forget your camera.
The main gateway to dive the SS Yongala is Townsville. It takes about 3 hours (89 km) by fast boat from Townsville to reach the shipwreck. It is also possible to dive the Yongala from Ayr (1 hr drive south of Townsville) for a much shorter trip (30 min boat ride rather than 3 hours). The shorter trip means that it can be accessed more and is less likely to cancel due to weather conditions. Move under water with ease using silicone swim fins.
Several liveaboards start from Townsville and visit the SS Yongala on their way to the Great Barrier Reef.
You can dive SS Yongala Wreck all year long. Access: from the Shore. See the map of SS Yongala Wreck on the right for the exact location.
Fishes you may spot while diving SS Yongala Wreck
... and more fishes & sea life, Bull Ray, Jack, Nurse Shark, Wobbegong Shark
Flying Ray Manta in Bali!Photo by Jihye Lee
School BarracudasPhoto by Jihye Lee
TurtlePhoto by Yann Hubert
Eagle RayPhoto by Matthieu Billaud
Moray Eel HidingPhoto by Jihye Lee
Wonderful Eagle RayPhoto by Matthieu Billaud
School Thousands Blue Gold Fusilier FishPhoto by Jihye Lee
Moray Eel IndonesiaPhoto by Jihye Lee
Manta Ray ClosebyPhoto by Matthieu Billaud
Moray EelPhoto by Jihye Lee
Diving Reviews for this region
Excellent Diving and liveaboard destination. Amazing spot for Big fishes, Sharks, superb coral and underwater photography. Most popular place in the World to learn scuba diving in Cairns. One of the best dive sites in the World with the Yongala Wreck!