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Yongala Dive

Dive the Yongala Wreck
  • Intermediate dive site
  • Located 14-28 metres deep
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Yongala Dive Tours

Yongala Dive Info

Dive the S.S. Yongala, one of the world's top wreck dives, with Yongala Dive. This famous wreck is located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, just 12 nautical miles away from Yongola Dive base at Alva Beach, which is just 1 hour south of Townsville and 2 hours north of Airlie Beach.

The S.S. Yongala sank in a cyclone on the 23rd March 1911 and remained undiscovered for almost 50 years, not being positively identified until 1958. The wreck now lies on its starboard side in 14-28 metres of water and at 109m long is the largest and most intact, historic shipwreck in Australian waters.

This enchanted wreck has become home to an incredible array of marine life. Giant gropers hang beneath the stern, schools of giant trevally and cobia congregate around the wreck while sea snakes glide harmlessly past divers on their way to the surface. Spot turtles lazily feeding, gracefully sweeping rays and thousands of other creatures on the now coral-encrusted structure.

Your day trip to the S.S. Yongala wreck begins on arrival at Yongola Dive premises at Alva Beach. Whilst setting up your dive gear feel free to help yourself to tea, coffee and biscuits and mingle with your dive buddies. Following this take a ‘unique’4WD trip to the beach where the Yongala Express will  launch for the trip to the S.S. Yongala.

A short boat ride of approximately 30 minutes takes you to the wreck. There are no restrictions on dive times so enjoy and have fun!

Fresh fruit, cake, cordial and water will be provided during our one hour surface interval, then it’s back into the water for a final dive before heading back to Alva Beach where you can shower, change and enjoy a wonderful Aussie BBQ.

What diving experience is required?
An open water certification and 6 logged dives with deep dive training is our minimum requirement for this dive. The Yongala is an intermediate dive site and it is recommended that divers should be comfortable in conditions which can sometimes be challenging.

Novice divers (those with less than 20 dives) should ensure they have refreshed their skills within the last six months and will be provided with a dive guide (if adventure or advanced certified) or required to upgrade to the PADI ‘Deep’ Adventure dive (if open water) to advance their skills to the required level and to ensure a safe and memorable experience.

The more experienced divers can choose to dive with a buddy or take a guided tour at no extra cost.

What are the conditions like?
Due to the location of the wreck the dive boat will be moored in open water and surface conditions can sometimes be choppy and moderate currents may be experienced. If you suffer from seasickness please take appropriate medication before departure.


  • Qualified, experienced friendly guides
  • Snacks/ drinks on vessel
  • BBQ lunch (at Dive Centre)
  • Short 30 minute boat ride
  • 2 dives on the wreck
  • Yongala history talk

Check in at Yongala Dive
1 Trip per day - 07.30am
2 Trip per day - 07.00am and 11.30am (2nd trip only available once first trip full)

7:30am – Check in at Dive Shop
Paperwork, Payments, dive gear

8:10am – Dive Briefing
Troopy Boat Tractor

8:30am – 4WD to beach for launch
Fast 30 min ride to Yongala (launch sometimes via tractor)
Marble Ray with diver, SS Yongala

9:45 am – S.S.Yongala Wreck
2 dives – no restrictions on dive times – enjoy !!
I hour surface interval – yummy snacks, fruit, cordial/water (hot drinks/soups in winter)

2:00pm  Return to Dive Centre for BBQ lunch
Showers, logbooks, dive training paperwork, Photo Slideshow (purchase photo’s, t-shirts, merchandise)

3:00pm – All over – transfers to Ayr (for 3:25 pm bus)
NB: Schedule is a guide only, times may change due to weather, tides, number of trips per day. Schedule commences 30 mins earlier on 2 trip days.

Ayr is situated in Northern Queensland between Brisbane and Cairns, with Airlie Beach just 2 hours south and Townsville 1 hour to the north.

Check-in - Passengers MUST call the Dive Shop between 4 – 5pm the day prior to their trip to confirm departure time/details

Certification Cards -  MUST be shown prior to diving, Please contact us PRIOR TO ARRIVAL if you do not have these to hand (a $10 fee may be charged to perform dive checks on the day of the dive due to time constraints)
No refunds will be made if we are unable to find your certification and you do not have your dive card

Paperwork -  ALL Divers must complete a Liability and waiver Form, divers undertaking dive training must also complete a Medical Statement. Medical conditions which may prevent you from diving (inc. prescription medication) or any ‘YES’ answers on this statement MUST be discussed with our staff prior to booking, no refunds will be given on the day if you are unable to dive.

Pick-up’s from Ayr  - Free pick-up’s are available from Ayr Bus Stop at 12:55 and 3:25pm
Pick-up’s on the morning of your dive will incur a $10 fee.
These MUST be booked 24 hours in advance, we are 16 km’s from Ayr and do not meet every bus
If the boat is delayed for any reason we cannot guarantee you will meet your bus connection in Ayr