The SS Yongala sank in 1911 creating one of Australia’s most intriguing maritime mysteries. This enchanted wreck has become home to an incredible array of marine. 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. The Yongala wreck has now become an artificial reef with more varieties of coral growing on it than most natural reef systems. It is also host to a huge diversity of pelagic and reef species found in the Coral Sea. You will see more fish in one dive on the wreck than ten on the reef. It’s certainly a dive experience you will never forget!
Yongala Divers Lodge www.yongaladive.com.au/yongala-divers-lodge
This lodge is set in a tropical garden and is spacious with a separate dining area, kitchen, lounge with TV/DVD and sun room. Bedrooms include two dorm style rooms sleeping 4 or 6 (with aircon) and a separate (private) Queen Room with its own tv and aircon.
Yongala Dive www.yongaladivers.com.au
Yongala Dive is a PADI IRRA Resort and the only dive centre based in Ayr. The Dive Shop is located at the beach and has been fully renovated and has an on-site Diver’s Lodge. The friendly staff include PADI Instructors and MSDT’s, First Aid and Oxygen Instructors, Skippers and Dive Masters experienced in dive charters along the East Coast of Queensland, especially the SS Yongala wreck.
From May to September is generally the best time as January to April is the wet/cyclone season with high humidity and lots of rain. But on the other hand this time can offer some great diving with large schools of bait fish around and therefore lots of feeding.
The easiest and shortest way to get to the SS Yongala is from Ayr. Ayr is situated in Northern Queensland between Brisbane and Cairns, with Airlie Beach just 2 hours south and Townsville 1 hour to the north. Leaving from Alva Beach near Ayr the SS Yongala can be reached within 30 minutes with purpose built vessels.