SS Yongala

Orientation & Geography

Australia, Queensland

The passenger ship SS Yongala sank off Cape Bowling Green, Queensland, Australia on 23 March 1911. En route from Melbourne to Cairns she steamed into a cyclone and sank south of Townsville. Traces of the ship were found days later as cargo and pieces of wreckage washed ashore at the Cape and at Cleveland Bay, and suggested that the bottom of the ship had been ripped by a hidden rock. All one hundred and twenty-two people on board perished in what is considered one of the most tragic incidents in Australian maritime history. It was only in 1958 that the wreck of the Yongala was discovered lying in waters south of Townsville, and it has since become renowned as an internationally regarded diving and tourist destination.