SS Yongala Wreck Dive Site

Scuba diving blog » Dive sites » Australia » SS Yongala Wreck

I dived there!
Have you been diving here? Rate it!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(12 votes, 4.17/5)
Loading...
Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
5/5
Sea life
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
WOW! Once in a lifetime experience!
Current
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Strong current
Visiblity
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Good visibility: 10->20m
Level Advanced Divers
Dive depth Deep diving, 25-40m

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 sank with no recorded survivors. 100 years after its sinking, the ship is now home to a variety of marine life, which includes rays, sharks, eels and many other fishes!

Dive site

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.

Marine Life

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.

Access

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.

Most people are here for Wreck Diving.

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.

SS Yongala Wreck The SS Yongala is one of the best dive sites in the world and in Australia. It is actually considere... Julien 5

Fishes you may spot while diving SS Yongala Wreck

  • Bannerfish Bannerfish
  • Barracuda Barracuda
  • Batfish Batfish
  • Bull Shark Bull Shark
  • Eagle Ray Eagle Ray
  • Fusilier Fusilier
  • Giant Trevally Giant Trevally
  • Grouper Grouper
  • Guitar Shark Guitar Shark
  • Leopard Shark Leopard Shark
  • Manta Ray Manta Ray
  • Moray Eel Moray Eel
  • Napoleon Wrasse Napoleon Wrasse
  • Sea Snake Sea Snake
  • Tiger Shark Tiger Shark
  • Trevally Trevally
  • Turtle Turtle

... and more fishes & sea life, Bull Ray, Jack, Nurse Shark, Wobbegong Shark

Photos

Showing page 1 of 6

Diving Reviews for this region

Townsville

Explore the Yongala Wreck, one of the best dive sites in Australia! Access to the Great Barrier Reef.

Townsville Diving Review

Cairns

Excellent Place for scuba diving courses and to get your Padi Open Water. Main gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Liveaboard starting point.

Cairns Diving Review

Great Barrier Reef

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!

Great Barrier Reef Diving Review

Ningaloo Reef

Excellent scuba diving with the chance to spot Whale Sharks or Manta Rays during the right season.

Ningaloo Reef Diving Review

Port Douglas

Perfect gateway to the Great Barrier Reef with possibility of snorkelling tours and diving day trips. Many Liveaboard cruises start from Port Douglas.

Port Douglas Diving Review

Australia

Australia is the most amazing Scuba Diving Destination in the World! It is very popular for the Great Barrier Reef, Great White Shark cage diving and the Ningaloo Reef where you can swim with Whale Sharks.

Australia Diving Review

Whitsunday Islands

Good Diving on the local reef dive sites and easy access to excellent diving on the Great Barrier Reef!

Whitsunday Islands Diving Review

Liveaboard Reviews in Australia

MV Ocean Quest

The MV Ocean Quest is one of a series of … Continue reading

MV Ocean Quest Liveaboard Review

MV Odyssey

MV Odyssey is the titular flagship of Od … Continue reading

MV Odyssey Liveaboard Review

MV Scubapro II

So vast that it may be seen from space, … Continue reading

MV Scubapro II Liveaboard Review

MV Scubapro III

MV Scubapro III is owned and operated by … Continue reading

MV Scubapro III Liveaboard Review

Spoilsport

Spoilsport liveaboard is a custom-built … Continue reading

Spoilsport Liveaboard Review

Spirit of Freedom

Spirit of Freedom liveaboard is one of A … Continue reading

Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Review

Scubapro

Scubapro liveaboard is a 25 meter long d … Continue reading

Scubapro Liveaboard Review

Dive spots reviews in Australia

Dive rating:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sea life:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The Ex HMAS Brisbane Wreck is a world class dive site and one of the best diving spots in Australia. It is located close...
Dive rating:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sea life:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The HMAS Swan is a stunning wreck dive near Dunsborough in Western Australia. The HMAS Swan is a former 113 m long and 2...
Dive rating:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sea life:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Cod Hole dive site is located on The Great Barrier Reef in the North of Queensland, Australia. It is one of the of the b...
Dive rating:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sea life:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Navy Pier Dive site is one of the best shore dives in the World! It is located in Exmouth, near the Ningaloo Reef. It is...
Dive rating:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sea life:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The HMAS Perth is one of the best Wreck dives in Australia. It is located in Western Australia near the town of Albany. ...
Dive rating:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Sea life:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
HMAS Brisbane Scuttling The Ex HMAS Adelaide is the most recent Wreck dive in Australia! It was sunk in April 2011 ne...

Diving centers in Australia

No dive centers found

10 dive logs in “SS Yongala Wreck

  1. Simply the best dive I have ever done! Did a study abroad program in Townsville at JCU and was so fortunate enough to get 6 dives on the amazing wreck. The history about the wreck, the whales singing through the blue, the massive animal life with eaglerays, bullrays, banded/olive kraits, heaps of turtles, guitar sharks, bull shark, shoals of barracudas and trevallies – everything just added up and made it the most amazing thing ever. Seriously, if you get the opportunity to do the dive, you should!

    • Quickly the most effective dive I have ever before completed! Have inked a report abroad method inside Townsville at JCU and absolutely was so that fortunate to have six delves around the incredible clutter. These background in regards to the wreck, the whales whistling during the orange, a large animal life together with eaglerays, bullrays, banded/olive kraits, stacks inside turtles, keyboard whales, bull shark, shoals of most barracudas and trevallies – everything only brought up so caused it to be the most wonderful point actually. Seriously, should you have the possiblity to do that the dive, you need to!

  2. I have dived in PNG, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Vanuatu, Maldives, Cairns, Heron Island & more. The Yongala is the WORST dive I have ever done. Do not waste your time & money.

  3. We dove the Yongala wreck 3 years ago and it was the best AND the worst dive I ever had !
    The best because we saw almost all the kind of fishes that you describe, we even saw a whaleshark on our way back to the surface.
    The worst because as you explain it’s a difficult dive with a lot of current and only one operator offers to dive there. And as always when it comes to busyness it’s a mess : they only look for filling up there boat and you end up with more than 50% of OWD with less than 10 dives. As a consequence the dives only last 25min ’cause all the beginners empty there tanks in 20min, and even if you’re a couple of AOW with 50 dives they don’t leave you continue the dive by yourself, it’s a wreck damn it how can we get lost ?!!
    So YES dive the Yongala, but DON’T dive it with YONGALA DIVE !

  4. Pingback: Top 10 best diving sites in the World | extrastuffs

  5. Pingback: Diving The Ss Yongala | become a diving instructor

  6. the SS Yongala seems like a great site to dive but I would echo some of the other comments above about avoiding the operator Dive Yongala based out of Ayr. I spent 10 hrs flying and few more hours driving to get to Ayr and when I landed up at the operators venue on my scheduled dive date, they told me they cancelled – ostensibly cause of weather – it was fine day – I looked at all the bulletin reports etc. I was later told by businesses in the area that they often do this when they can’t fill the boat. No phone call, no email – just land up on the day to be told it’s cancelled – after I planned and booked months in advance. This happened not once but twice. After which I gave up on trying to dive the Yongala. Next time I will try the operators in Townsville

Have you been travelling or scuba diving here? Rate it!
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(12 votes, 4.17/5)
Loading...

Have you dived in SS Yongala Wreck dive spot?

Have you been diving or snorkelling in SS Yongala Wreck? Consider sharing your experience with the diving community by leaving a comment below!

Some inspiration for your dive log comment: conditions of the dive (visibility, current)? Did you have a good time? What fishes or other interesting things did you see? Your email address will not be published.