December 30, 2006 - December 31, 2006 - January 3, 2007 - January 4, 2007 - January 5, 2007

January 1, 2007: Queensland, Australia

A New Years in Australia 2007 dive
"SS Yongala (Townsville)"

Diving the Yongala.
Diving off the northeast coast of Australia:
  • Directions from Tampa: Um. Well, talk to a travel agent. It's in another hemisphere, no matter how you look at it ...
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Overcast.

  • Personal Notes: The Yongala was a 109 meter steamer that sunk in March of 1911 off of Townsville/Cape Bowling Green. It has become what some would call the ideal artificial reef. Currently, only one liveaboard dive vessel visits the site; day trips are available but usually involve a long (multi-hour) boat ride out and back.

    It was a very rocky day that started at around 5:45am. We moored on the stern mooring line (no anchoring is allowed near the wreck). Getting down to the wreck wasn't too hard, but the unexpected current made getting to the bow of the wreck difficult. Two giant cod usually hang out just off of the Yongala's bow. Getting back to the mooring line was significantly easier and simply involved drifting in the fast current.

    The second dive was somewhat easier to handle as the conditions were no longer a surprise.

    The wreck itself is somewhat recognizable as it lies on its starboard side. One side is obviously hull; the other has the solid shapes of the superstructure. However, there is reef growth everywhere.

    The wreck appears to be home to several turtles, and even a sea snake or two.

    We did those two dives on the Yongala and then headed back to the dock.


SS Yongala (Townsville)
A turtle munching away on the Yongala.
A better angle of the first turtle.
Another turtle on the Yongala.
And yet another.
Jack swam around the wreck looking for smaller fish to eat.
The turtles live there but of course have to surface for air once in a while.
That's Paul attempting to get a good shot of this turtle.

Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
351 SS Yongala (Townsville) 73 feet 35 min. 79 F
352 SS Yongala (Townsville) 84 feet 41 min. 79 F
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