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SS Yongala Shipwreck

Have you heard about the SS Yongala? The Steam Ship Yongala sunk off the coast of Queensland, straight onto the Great Barrier Reef during a cyclone in 1911, and wasn’t found until 50 years later! Working on the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, I heard some great things about the Yongala Shipwreck dive. Matt and I were both super keen to check out this mystery.

SS Yongala Queensland Australia Sea Snake

How do I get to the Yongala Shipwreck?

SS Yongala is off the coast of Townsville, 4 hours south of Cairns. Once you’re in Townsville, it’s a long boat ride to the shipwreck over very bumpy water. A lot of people stay in Townsville and make a weekend out of it, but here’s the best tip of them all – go to Ayr. Ayr, although a little further south of Townsville, is a shorter ride out to the shipwreck – 30 minutes to be exact!

SS Yongala Queensland Australia Wrasse
SS Yongala Queensland Australia Nurse Shark
SS Yongala Queensland Australia Swimming Sea Snake

Let’s dive the Yongala Shipwreck!

The weather and ocean around the dive site can be a bit treacherous, so it was important to Matt and I that we chose a day that was PERFECT. Low wind… good visibility… we waited so long for the perfect day to come around, that we almost missed out! We ended up going on a day where the current was ripping and the visibility wasn’t great.. but do you know what? The dive was still pretty awesome.

After the boat ride out, you use a guide line to descend to the back of the shipwreck. The dive consists of navigating the shipwreck, discovering all the nooks and crannies. There’s different things to see at all different times of the year, so there’s no bad time to see it!

SS Yongala Queensland Australia Black Nudibranch
SS Yongala Queensland Australia Bull Ray
SS Yongala Queensland Australia Hiding Sea Snake

Who should you dive with?

So if you’re wondering which dive company to dive the SS Yongala Shipwreck with, and who to stay with, check out Yongala Dive. They’re a good operator with a caravan park as a home base! It’s $500 for a 2 dive day which includes snacks, and $100 a night for a 2 person cabin!

SS Yongala Queensland Australia Anemone Fish
SS Yongala Queensland Australia White Nudibranch
SS Yongala Queensland Australia Coral

What to do after your time in Ayr

If you’re heading back to Cairns, you can do a cheeky stop in Townsville for lunch and a beer! That’s what we did! Townsville is a beautiful harbour town with some lovely places to stop for some grub.

Townsville Queensland Australia Harbour
Townsville Queensland Australia Bar Beers

Are you trying to find some of the worlds best bucket list shipwreck dives? Check out one of my favourites here!

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