The luxury steamer SS Yongala struck a cyclone off the coast of Townsville in 1911, and sank to the sandy bottom in 30 metres of water. All 124 passengers and crew perished. Mysteriously, the wreck lay undiscovered for decades. It was located as an 'unidentified wreck' during WWII, and later 'rediscovered' in 1958. Over the past century, the wrecked vessel has become an established artificial reef, providing a structurally complex habitat for a diverse range of marine life. Staring up through the crystal clear water, surrounded by schools of Trevally and Cobia, Giant Gropers and lazy Sea Turtles, the SS Yongala is today recognized as one of the world's best wreck dives.
Great Detached Reef
Northern Small Detached Reef
Southern Small Detached Reef
Agincourt Ribbon Reefs
St Crispin Reef
The reef sand island of Michaelmas Cay is is home to up to 20,000 migratory seabirds, making it one of the most important nesting sights in the Southern Hemisphere. The magnificent coral gardens surrounding Michaelmas Cay are teeming with an incredible diversity of marine life.
Upolo Cay is a naturally formed sand island, just 16 nautical miles from Cairns. Nearby Oyster Reef provides divers and snorkellers with an abundance of marine life, in clear, shallow waters.
Flynn Reef is a popular diving site, with usually mild currents. There are excellent wall dives, swim-throughs, and overhangs. Many species of hard and soft coral, combined with an abundance of marine life make Flynn Reef one of the top spots for a dive.
Milln Reef offers excellent wall dives and swim throughs. You can expect to see turtles, white tip reef sharks, and schools of sweetlip at the different areas of the reef. Depth varies up to 30 metres, but current are generally mild, and it is suitable for novice to intermediate divers. Milln Reef is also a great site for a night dive, when you can find sleeping turtles and fish.
Pellowe Reef is a small isolated reef, close to the edge of the Continental Shelf. The reef drops away in places to over 30 metres, and due to its proximity to the deep water, this is a good site for viewing large pelagic fish. Currents can be a little strong at times, but generally this reef is suitable for novice to intermediate level divers.
North West Reef
Thelford Reef is actually made up of a number of coral bommies, home to many soft and hard corals like staghorn and plate coral and an abundance of marine life. Attractions include giant clams, butterfly fish, damsels and angelfish. There are opportunities for exciting wall dives and numerous swim throughs. Currents are generally moderate, and this reef is suitable for novice to intermediate divers.
Reg ward Reef
Fore and Aft Reef
John Brewer Reef
Black Reef East
Manta Ray Bay