Best Wreck Diving – S.S. Yongala, Great Barrier Reef

The S.S. Yongala is frequently rated as the best wreck dive on the planet and perfect for adventure travel. It is located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, a mere 12 nautical miles from Alva Beach in Queensland, Australia. A short 30 minute boat ride will get you to this impressive dive location, which varies in depth from 14 to 28 meters.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/PaulToogood

The S.S. Yongala, a steel and timber passenger steamship, was one of Australia’s greatest maritime mysteries. With no survivors, it was also the country’s worst maritime disaster. She sank during a cyclone in 1911 and lay undiscovered on the ocean floor at a depth of 30 meters for more than half a century.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/Nasa

She was discovered and identified as the S.S. Yongala in 1958 and is now an incredible dive site. This historical landmark is completely protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act; divers are prohibited from entering the wreck as air bubbles trapped inside the vessel would accelerate corrosion.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/AndyMangold

The coral-encrusted wreck has now become a 109 meter long artificial reef, home to an amazing variety of prolific marine life. It is home to both pelagic and reef species from the Coral Sea. There’s a colorful variety of hard and soft corals, hydroids and sea fans. This wreck also attracts large marine life such as barracuda and sharks, including tiger sharks and the rare bull shark.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/Gregory”Greg”Smith

Divers seeking adventure travel can also expect to see sea snakes, turtles, eagle rays, manta rays, giant groupers and a vast array of fish. In the second half of the year, from June to November, it is also possible to see humpback whales and minke whales. The great whale shark is sometimes seen between October and January.

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Image Courtesy: wikimediacommons/JanDerk

Depending on the tide, the visibility ranges from 10 to 15 meters. The strong currents mean that this site is best reserved for experienced divers. So, if you plan to go on a diving adventure soon, this can be your ideal destination.

Top Image Courtesy: flickr.com/TeddyFotiou

Emma Flemming

As well as being a contributing writer for LuxeInACity, Emma is a teacher, freelance writer and has her own blog. She has four university degrees and qualifications in English, Psychology and Education. Over the years Emma has enjoyed travelling to and experiencing luxury in several countries. Apart from travelling and writing, her interests lie in art, yoga and trying out new dining hotspots. Emma lives in South Africa and when she is not writing, can be found scuba-diving in the Indian Ocean.