Off the east coast of Bali is the small town of Tulamben, just a few meters offshore and you’ll find the USAT Liberty Wreck, in my opinion one of Bali’s top dive sites. This must be one of the world’s most conveniently located wreck dives, certainly that I dived anyway, it’s a shore dive and requires minimum effort – there’s even local porters to carry your equipment from the parking bay to the cobbled beach if you require. Under most circumstances I don’t consider myself a lazy person but divers are part of the local economy here and a little helping hand goes a long way so it’s always nice to include them in your day of diving. Once you arrive, depending on where you’ve parked up, it’s around a 20-30 meter walk to the shore line, Tulamben Beach is rocky and consists largely of black sand, there are nicer places to spend your time on land in Bali but with views over the to volcano Mount Agung behind it’s still picturesque. Once you’ve got your gear down to the shoreline (there’s also a restaurant area where it’s also possible to kit up), you can decide on an entry point.
Essentially the wreck lies directly in front of Puri Madha Resort, walk 60 degrees out and you’ll find the wreck, failing that ask someone to point you in the right direction. Start your dive and depending on the conditions you should start to get view of it by around 4-6 meters, there’s a channel in the sand at the shallow section, no doubt carved by the current and then port side of the structure. The wreck itself was an US Army transport ship that was torpedoed by the Japanese in 1942, originally beached here in 1963 Agung erupted forcing the wreck back into the water. Whilst the wreck itself has deteriorated dramatically over the years, it’s also attracted an abundance of marine life and is now largely blanketed in soft corals. Gorgonians, colorful tunicates and branching corals characterise the structure whilst schooling jacks can be seen, blue spotted rays and the occasional passing shark is not uncommon. There are a number of points of access, nothing too adventurous and easy for even the newly experienced diver to navigate, on a sunny day you get beautiful rays of light passing through the structure.
One of the best parts about diving the Liberty Wreck is the fact that you can dive it as much as you like, at times which suit you. My favorite times are early morning or late afternoon after a lot of the dive operators have left and it’s a lot quieter. You experience this dive and many of the other sites around Bali from the Scuba Seraya Resort.