7 Night Yongala Adventure Exploration

Visit one of the largest, intact shipwrecks in the world, the Yongala Wreck

7 Night Yongala Adventure 2025

DIVE LEVEL:  We recommend this Great Barrier Reef liveaboard dive trip for Advanced Open Water and a highly competent diver. Minimum 100 dives logged with a high level of fitness, and experience in strong currents and remote reef dives.

DEPARTS CAIRNS: Thurs 30 January 12:00    RETURNS CAIRNS: Thurs 6 February 07:30

DEPARTS CAIRNS: Thurs 6 February 12:00    RETURNS CAIRNS: Thurs 13 February 07:30

DIVES: Up to 27 (including one night dive)

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Liveaboard Overview

Join Spirit of Freedom for an expedition to explore the offshore Coral Sea Reefs & Australia’s largest shipwreck, SS Yongala. Departing from Cairns, this expedition will have a full day of diving on the SS Yongala, which is arguably one of the best shipwrecks in the world. Making our way back north to Cairns, the next few days will be spent in the Coral Sea East of Cairns. These reefs are seldom visited by any boats, and many of the hundreds of reefs in the region, are yet to be fully explored. While offering incredible diving, these expeditions are of an exploratory nature and are suitable only for experienced divers.

The SS Yongala is Australia’s most iconic shipwreck which sank in 1911. The dive site is renowned for its incredible diversity and abundance of marine life. From the local giant Queensland grouper to nudibranchs, sea snakes, amazing colourful corals and much more, everything can be found on this wreck.

We will be operating two separate trips and will travel over 650 nautical miles in total to explore the SS Yongala as well as the rarely-visited Flinders Reefs and stunning Holmes Reef. You will experience an amazing diversity of underwater landscapes including deep oceanic walls laced with massive gorgonians and soft corals; pristine coral gardens; and isolated pinnacles, caves and canyons. Please note, that there will be no diving on the first day as that will be a travel day down to the Townsville area.

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Cabins & Rates

Dive liveaboard trip prices are per person in AUD$ and include:

  • Chef-prepared meals & snacks, wine and soft drinks are included with the evening meal.
  • Tanks, air fills, Nautilus Lifeline and weight belt. Full equipment rental is available.
  • Daily cabin service.
  • Cairns hotel transfers.
  • GST and all reef levies and fees.

Located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck, the Ocean View Deluxe Cabin boats a 10.5m² area with 3 large windows overlooking the starboard side of the vessel. 

A comfy double bed will ensure you are well rest for a full day of diving. The room features bedside tables, wardrobe and 26″ flat screen TV.

The cabin is fully air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom.

Double or Sole occupancy only.

Ocean View Deluxe Cabin

Our Ocean View cabin is located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck.

As the name suggests, you will enjoy stunning views from this air conditioned 7.2m² cabin, which contains a double bed, private bathroom, a wardrobe and 26” flat screen TV.

Double or Sole Occupancy only. 

Ocean View Standard Cabin

The largest of all cabins onboard the vessel, The Stateroom cabin is located in a private area on the lower deck, close to the dive deck and dining saloon.

Fully air-conditioned, this spacious 12m² cabin contains a queen size bed, a private bathroom, extra shelving, wardrobe, bedside tables and 26″ flat screen TV.

Double or Sole Occupancy only: no twin share option available.

The Stateroom

Spirit of Freedom has seven standard double or twin share cabins. Five of these cabins contain a double bed with a single bed over the top, bunk style. One cabin contains just a double bed and one cabin has two single beds.

These cabins are all located on the lower deck, with easy access to the main deck and have an average area of 10m² square metres in area. 

Fully air-conditioned, the cabins have an ensuite bathroom and also contain a wardrobe, personal reading light and a bedside table. 

 Please advise your preference for double or twin share when placing your booking. Sole occupancy also available. 

Standard Double or Twin Share

Located midships on the lower deck, the quad share cabin containing four single beds, bunk style and is a great options for groups or families as you explore the Great Barrier Reef on your epic dive adventure. 

This 9m² cabin has easy access to the main deck and includes a private ensuite bathroom and personal reading lights for each bed. 

The cabin is fully air-conditioned and also contains a wardrobe, as well as storage under the bottom two bunks. 

Quad Share Cabin

Yongala Adventure Diver Safety

  • Suitable for competent divers with a good level of physical fitness.
  • Diver experience recommendation: Advanced Open Water and a highly competent diver. Minimum 100 Recorded Dives with Experience in Strong Currents and remote reef dives.
  • Buddy teams are responsible for planning and conducting their own dives as we do not offer a full guided dive service.
  • Diver Health: If you have a medical condition or are currently taking prescription medication, you will need a medical clearance. Please contact us for guidance.

Itinerary

Cairns City hotel transfers begin at 11 am, for a 12 pm departure. 

Briefings, dinner and overnight travel to Wheelers Reef. No diving on this day.

Diving Wheelers Reef, Townsville. Opportunity to do up to 4 dives then overnight travel to the SS Yongala.

Diving the SS Yongala. Opportunity to do up to 5 dives, followed by overnight travel to Flinders Reef.

Diving Flinders Reef. Opportunity to do 5 dives including 1 night dive. Remain anchored at Flinders Reef overnight.

Diving Flinders Reef. Opportunity to do up to 5 dives, followed by overnight travel to Herald Cays.

Diving Herald Cays. Opportunity to do 4 dives including 1 night dive, followed by overnight travel to Holmes Reef.

Diving Holmes Reef. Opportunity to do 4 dives, followed by overnight travel to Cairns

Arrive Cairns early morning. Breakfast on board and disembark 7.30am. 

Trip Map

GBR - Marine Life

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As our guest, you are free to enjoy your own diving style, within the boundaries of safe and responsible diving. As such we set no limits on time, depth or style of diving outside of normal safe diving practices. You and your buddy are in charge, planning your own dive and diving your own plan. Buddy teams may follow one of our inexperienced groups, led by a Safety Diver, and come and go as you please.

Every dive begins with a detailed dive briefing. The dive staff are on deck providing surface support including a safety lookout. When available, dive staff may be in-water offering support with photography and critter spotting. Spirit of Freedom does not offer a full guided dive service. Our Safety Divers are assigned to those divers who are at risk or to assist students.

Spirit of Freedom can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests and operates with a minimum of 12 crew members.

Yes, Travel Insurance is strongly recommended. You can get a free quote for liveaboard dive insurance here.

In the event the trip is cancelled due to inclement weather, deeming it unsafe to travel, the company does not offer refunds for cancellations for reasons beyond the company’s control (Force Majeure). Comprehensive Travel Insurance covering trip cancellation due to poor weather is strongly recommended in this case, particularly during the Australian summer months (November to May) when cyclones and high winds can affect our trips.

We strongly recommend travel insurance to cover you against any unforeseen eventuality, as our policies do not allow for refunds on cancellations within 60 days.

Also, should you experience any flight delays or cancellations, lost luggage, etc which may result in you missing the vessel departure, Travel Insurance should cover these issues.

We strongly recommend all passengers (divers and snorkellers) have evacuation and medical cover for scuba diving. Please be aware that scuba diving and in-water activities are not covered by all Travel Insurance Companies, and it is advisable to check with your insurance agent regarding your cover for scuba diving. It is important to note that in a medical emergency the costs involved for an evacuation, vessel relocation or medical expenses are the responsibility of that diver.

Spirit of Freedom provides divers with a mask, snorkel, boots, fins, tanks, weights, and weight belts. We also supply safety equipment including surface marker buoys, whistles, and Nautilus LifeLine Marine GPS. Cyalume sticks and torches will also be provided for night diving.

For more detail on what equipment is available aboard Spirit of Freedom, visit our equipment rental page.

Diving the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea is great year-round! During Cairns’ winter (May to August) the water is a little cooler and offers great visibility and beautiful clear days, but sometimes can bring stronger winds. During this season it’s a great opportunity to swim with minke whales.

From September through December the water warms up a little, and generally, conditions are clear with light winds. Many coral reef species breed at this time.

January through April is considered our wetter season, with amazing feeding and marine action following the breeding season. Refer to our Great Barrier Reed Diving Seasons and Weather page for more information.

Booking direct with Spirit of Freedom means you should always pay the lowest price on our trips. If you find any Spirit of Freedom trip advertised under the same terms and conditions (brand, date, number of people, availability, inclusions) and at a lower price online, we’ll credit you the difference between the price paid and the lower price found. All special offers and promotional campaigns are marked as such. Simply email us with details. See terms for full details. 

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