Yongala Express

  • 12 - Pax
  • 3 - Hours
  • 2 - Dives

Yongala Dive operates daily except for Tuesdays

Take the fastest trip to the historic S.S. Yongala wreck, voted as one of the Top 10 Dives in the World.  Yongala Dive will take you to the wreck in 30 minutes.  The artifacts, marine life and variety of corals that cover the wreck are spectacular. It’s a dive experience you will remember for the rest of your life!

Ayr is situated in Northern Queensland between Brisbane and Cairns, with Airlie Beach just 2 hours south and Townsville 1 hour to the north.

Minimum requirements 
The minimum requirement for this dive is Open Water certification with 6 logged dives and deep dive training. Open Water divers must complete Deep Orientation dive (underwater skills) with a PADI Dive Instructor during the 1st dive at the wreck (extra cost applies). This may be counted towards the PADI Advanced course at extra costs (textbook required) The more experienced divers can choose to dive with a buddy or take a guided tour at no extra cost.

Novice divers (those with less than 20 dives) should ensure they have refreshed their skills within the last six months and will be provided with a dive guide (if adventure or advanced certified) or may be required to take a Deep Orientation dive (extra cost applies).

Minimum age – 16 years of age.

Yongala Express 11m rigid inflatable boat with 2 x 250 HP outboard engines.

From Alva Beach, it will transport you on an exhilarating 30-minute ride to the wreck, with speeds of around 25 knots. Its overhead canopy helps protect you from the sun, spray and wind. With only 12 passengers and up to four crew we ensure small groups.

Pickups and accommodation
Daily at around 3:30 pm at Ayr Bus Stop when requested. Accommodation is $40 per night for dorm-style bunks or there is a selection of cabins, and camping facilities available.

Check-in at Yongala Dive shop – 36 Braby Street, Alva Beach, at 07:30 am (30mins earlier on 2 trip scheduled days): shop opening hours are 07:30 am – 5:00 pm daily.

Booking Confirmation
To confirm departure details and weather conditions please call the crew (we will advise contact details upon booking) between 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm on the day prior to your trip. Times may vary due to tides/sea conditions.

Cancellation/Refund Policy
A full refund will be provided if a trip is cancelled due to unsuitable weather conditions if you are unable to reschedule your trip. No refunds will be provided for cancellations by passengers within 48 hours of departure (see additional info below) unless we are able to fill your space (at management discretion).
Between September and January, any cancellation within 7 days is non-refundable unless the seat on the boat can be filled by another.


7:30 am Check in at Dive Shop – Forms/Payment, Set up dive gear

8:10 am Dive Briefing

8:30 am Depart for the beach and S.S. Yongala – Make 2 dives with a 1-hour surface interval

2:00 pm Return back to Yongala Dive Shop
Lunch at the Beach Cafe, fill in logbooks, complete knowledge reviews and adventure dive paperwork
Photo Slideshow (option to purchase photo DVDs), browse through Yongala Dive merchandise

3:00 pm Drop-offs back to Ayr

The above schedule is a guide only and times may change depending on weather and tides. It is important to call the Dive Shop between 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm the day prior to your trip to confirm departure details

Yongala Express - Rates + Bookings

2 dives + full gear inc. computer $310.00
2 dives + tanks & weights only $270.00
Deep Orientation Dive $25.00
Dorm bed per person per night* (inc breakfast) $45.00
Ensuite Cabin (2 people) per night $150.00
Date of Travel
  • Prices valid until 31st December 2024
  • Accommodation and dive packages are available
  • When booking please advise:
    Certification level
    Number of dives
    Date of last dive
    BCD size if hiring equipment
    Dietary requirements


  • Fresh fruit, cake, cordial and water will be provided during our one-hour surface interval when we often catch turtles sun-baking on the surface
  • BBQ lunch (sausage sizzle) upon return to the dive shop
  • Free pick-up/return from Ayr (3:30 pm only)
  • Free guide on each dive


  • Equipment hire
  • Nitrox fills ($15 per fill)
  • Mooring Fees (Government Taxes – $22 per person)
  • Deep dive orientation ($25)
  • Advanced course (3 days, inc 4 wreck dives $899)
  • 7:30 am pick up $25 (must be prearranged)