The S.S.Yongala sank in a cyclone over 100 years ago on the 23rd March 1911 just 12 nautical miles off the coast of Cape Bowling Green in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. 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……and one of the best dive sites in the world !
Why is this Australia’s most famous wreck dive ?
- Mystery – research indicates the Yongala was steaming, no life rafts were found which indicates the loss was sudden and of course tragic……but we will never know exactly what happened
- History – 122 passengers were lost at sea, a 7 day search found no trace of the vessel and she lay undiscovered for almost 50 years, not being positively identified until 1958 (although the Navy identified a possible ‘wreck’ in a minesweeping mission)
- Wildlife – known as one of the world’s best dive sites due to the prolific variety and size of marine life…..everything is BIG. Giant gropers, giant marble rays and giant trevally as big as people alone would be amazing but swimming amongst schools of barracuda, eagle rays, turtles, sea snakes, bull sharks etc. on a coral encrusted wreck combine to make this a ‘bucket list’ dive that cant be missed by any serious divers. You will see more fish in one dive here than on the reef, Its a dive experience you will never forget !!
Mystery, History and Wildlife………discover it for yourself …………
View the “days diving with Yongala Dive’ video in the sidebar and find out more about the ‘Yongala Dive experience‘
Monty Hall (BBC Presenter) – “the best marine wildlife dive on the planet’
Valerie Taylor (Aussie icon) – “if i had one dive left in my life it would be the Yongala wreck’
Reef and Yongala facts
- The Great Barrier Reef is the most bio-diverse ecosystem on the planet with over 1500 species of fish and 350 different types of coral
- The Yongala wreck is now an artificial reef with more varieties of coral than most natural reef systems, it is also host to a huge diversity of pelagic and reef species found in the Coral Sea
Points of Interest
S.S.Yongala Wreck, 100 Years on the Sea bed: 23 March 2011
In 2011 the S.S Yongala Wreck had laid on the sea bed for 100 years, this event was commemorated by services both out at the wreck site and in Memorials on land. Yongala Dive laid a wreath on the site and held its own small service with a number of lucky divers in attendance.
Poem and Prayer “Loss of the Yongala, March 23-24, 1911” written by W J MacCarthy, of North QLD Herald, on April 29th 1911.