The Dunraven wreck lies at Sha’ab Mahmud about 2 hours journey by boat from Travco Jetty. It was a merchant ship Dunraven with mixed propulsion (steam and sail) built in Newcastle in 1873. It hit the reef in 1876 and subsequently caught fire and sunk to where it now lies at a depth between 15 – 30 metres.
Many stories surround the reasons behind the sinking and there is much speculation about what she was carrying. Some talk of gold and others of a connection with Lawrence of Arabia. What we do know for sure is this is a great wreck for divers.
Resting upside-down right next to the reef it has, over time, become a natural reef. Look out for nudibranchs, shrimps and even the elusive long-nosed hawk fish near the propeller. For those that are qualified you can penetrate the hull of the ship and swim over or under the giant boilers — if you listen carefully you might still hear the engines running!.
As you exit you could find yourself surrounded by thousands of glass fish. Also check out the lion fish and moray eels looking for a quick and easy meal.
Once you have exited you will be rewarded with a fabulous, pristine reef consisting of mainly hard corals. It’s home to huge schools of yellow goatfish, fusiliers and juvenile snapper. If your eyes are good enough you may spot one or two of the heavily camouflaged stonefish and scorpion fish that live on the reef.