Entered service in October 1894 on the Southampton-Tenerife-Cape Town-Durban Intermediate service.
On 8th March, 1900 she was transferred to Union-Castle following the merger and was initially used as a Boer War troopship.
On 27th July 1909, whilst sailing in heavy seas off Hood's Point, South Africa, she spotted the lights of a large vessel. She communicated by lamp but only the last two letters of the Morse Code response were understood; the letters being AH. About the same time the Waratah was lost without a trace.
On 13th September 1910 she was deployed on the London-Suez-East Africa route as competition for the Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie.
In 1913 she was replaced by the Dunvegan Castle and subsequently sold to Royal Mail S.P.. Company for their new Canada-West Indies-British Guiana passenger/cargo service and renamed Caraquet.
On 25th June 1923 she was wrecked near Hamilton, Bermuda.