Alva Beach, Ayr - Dive the SS Yongala Shipwreck Alva Beach, Ayr - Dive the SS Yongala Shipwreck Alva Beach, Ayr - Dive the SS Yongala Shipwreck Alva Beach, Ayr - Dive the SS Yongala Shipwreck Alva Beach, Ayr - Dive the SS Yongala Shipwreck

Alva Beach, Ayr - Dive the SS Yongala Shipwreck

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Find out more Diving the SS Yongala Shipwreck

Yongala Wreck day dive trips provide the amazing opportunity to dive what is arguably the world’s best wreck dive.  The SS Yongala is consistently rated not only for its wreck dive experience, but the amazing abundance and diversity of marine life inhabiting this remote section of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Dive in Australia’s Steve Brady knows the SS Yongala well.  He has done over 30 dives on the wreck and loved it so much, he helped to market the famous destination to national and international divers and dive operators. 

The easiest access to the SS Yongala lies a short, 30-minute boat ride from the coastal township of Alva Beach, a small community in North Queensland.  Alva Beach is a 15 minute drive from Ayr (a slightly larger centre), which is about a 1 hours drive South from Townsville, which is the closest regional centre with domestic airport (for fly in / fly out divers).  You can also dive the SS Yongala from Townsville with a day boat trip operating set days each week as well as a 3 day 3 night liveaboard dive trip that includes two dives on the wreck. The location of the SS Yongala is a lot further to reach from Townsville which if you have your own transport driving to Alva Beach has become the more popular option.

This unassuming piece of coastline would be relatively un-noteworthy, if it weren’t for the presence of the Yongala.  Instead, this dot on the map has been added to the bucket list of hundreds of divers from around the world.  Such is the majesty and beauty of the SS Yongala, that David Attenborough added it to his list when covering the Great Barrier Reef.  This dive site has to be seen to be believed. 

Dive conditions on the SS Yongala can vary widely from day to day, season to season.  Currents can go from mild to wild and with dive depths varying from 15 – 29m, this day dive trip can only be booked by certified divers who have done at least 6 dives, some of which need to have been completed in the last 6 months.  Proof will be required (log books). Inexperienced divers (who have not dived in the last 6 months) must take a refresher course prior to a Yongala Wreck Dive Day Trip.  This is for your own safety.  NB: If you have a history of sea sickness, then we strongly suggest taking your preventative medication prior to check in. 

Booking a Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trip

Dive in Australia is pleased to provide an easy booking service for Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trips and you can save money with no booking or credit card fees.  We know this site.  We offer first-hand experience and advice.  Products are listed on this site for your convenience, or contact us today on 1800 323 703.


Yongala Wreck – Dive Guide – The Facts at a Glance

  • 105 year old shipwreck – 110 metres in length
  • Depth: Highest point of wreck 15m - maximum bottom depth 29m
  • Currents: Can be modest to very strong currents, at different times of the day
  • Dive Experience: Wreck diving and diving with the giants of the deep.  You can’t penetrate the wreck, but this dive site is known globally for its amazing diversity of marine life. Everything from giant rays and sharks, to turtles, cods, groupers and more.
  • Marine Life: Both Pelagic and Macro life. Giant Queensland Gropers, Schools of Giant Trevally, Sea Snakes, Oceanic Sharks, Turtles, Moray Eels, Bull Rays and Manta Rays just to name a few.
  • Diver Level: Must have completed a minimum of 6 dives and dived within the last 6 months.  Open Water Divers can complete a PADI Deep Dive and Wreck Dive Specialty, which will go towards your PADI Advanced Course. (Additional Charges Apply)
  • Dive Guides: Experienced divers with their own dive buddies can dive the wreck unguided. A dive guide is available for divers wishing a guide (no additional charge)
  • Dive Briefings: The operators provide very detailed dive site briefing on the wreck, highlighting depths, do’s & don’ts, marine life and safety stops
  • Photo/Video:  If you don’t have your own underwater camera they are available for hire (limited supply)
  • Dive Gear: You can hire out all dive equipment but having a good set of full blade fins and decent mask is recommended
  • Accommodation – although this is a day dive trip, Ayr is some distance from any major centre, so most divers do like to stay the night before (and sometimes after) the day dive trip.  Dive Lodge available with Dorm style & one Queen Bed/Room. Caravan Park also located at Alva Beach.

When is the best time to visit? Diving the SS Yongala Wreck is fantastic all year round! Water temperatures vary from 22 to 29 degrees (Celsius) and wet and lycra suits are provided.

Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trips – When Do They Go?

Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trips depart Alva Beach most days (362 days per year) weather and numbers permitting (4 passenger minimum).  Exact departure times vary, pending weather. Check in is at the Alva Beach dive shop.

Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trips versus Liveaboard Trips

Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trips provide you with 2 dives on the Yongala and this special Great Barrier Reef site.  If your itinerary and budget allow it, then you might want to consider booking a liveaboard trip, to maximize your dive time and experience on the SS Yongala.

There’s many benefits to a liveaboard trip, including but not limited to: more dives, night dives, accommodation and meals included.  Please note that there are very limited liveaboard trips operating to include the SS Yongala.  There are departures available from Cairns and Townsville. For more information, contact Dive in Australia directly.

Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trip Details

As above, the Yongala is about a 1 hour 15 minute drive south of Townsville.  The day dive trips start with a 7.30am check-in at the dive shop, so most customers prefer to arrive the evening before and take advantage of the on-site accommodation.  Accommodation is available in shared dormitory style or in a Queen Room. Packages can include 1 or 2 night accommodation and 1 day dive trip (2 dives), or 2 nights accommodation (pre and post dive trip) and 2 day dive trip (4 dives).

After completing your 7.30am check-in, the dive briefing occurs around 8.10am followed by a 4WD transfer to the beach for the launch.  Travel time to and from the Yongala Wreck dive site is around 30 minutes. 

A Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trip includes 2 dives, with no restrictions on dive time (other than air supply).  There is a 1 hour surface interval and snacks and drinks are provided.  You return to Alva Beach and the dive centre around 2pm, where a BBQ lunch is prepared and supplied.  The Yongala Wreck Day Dive Trip ends at 2pm.

Open Water Divers can book a Yongala Wreck Day Dive BUT they will need to complete deep dive training on the first dive (if not already completed) and this will be charged extra.  Divers with less than 20 dives will be accompanied by a PADI dive instructor. 

Advanced Divers may be able to dive with dive buddies, after completing an orientation dive.  We recommend if you are considering buying your own dive gear consider a good set of full blade fins and decent mask.  As indicated above diving the SS Yongala can be a very challenging dive due to strong currents at times so full blade fins work best.