Diving Bali | The Liberty wreck, Tulamben and Seraya Bay | Indonesia

While the entire island of Bali is ringed by exciting dive sites, the east coast has some of her most impressive diving. The most famous site is the Liberty Wreck in Tulamben Bay while other bays nearby have exciting muck dives.

There is nothing about this dive that is less than wonderful – even if it's rainy, even when the surf makes entry difficult, the Liberty is part of diver folklore. The broken hull of this American WWII supply ship lies 30m from shore. Torpedoed in 1941 by a Japanese submarine, she lay beached for 20 years before Mount Agung erupted and pushed her down the sloping seabed. She is now one of the best artificial reefs you will ever see.

A short drive south of Tulamben, Seraya bay has similar geography with the beach edged by rounded cobbles leading to black sand slopes. These drop to 15 metres or so before heading into deeper waters. Amongst the small corals and sponges are some fabulous critters, from seahorses to pipefish, harlequin shrimp to frogfish. There is an interesting artificial reef structure with reef fish sheltering inside. Tulamben Bay has similar marine life, it just gets bypassed in the rush to see the wreck.

The Liberty Wreck
Tulamben diving photo gallery Scuba diving features
Marine Life Harlequin shrimp
Schooling jacks
Top dive site The Tulamben Wreck
Seasons All year
Visibility 10 – 40 metres
Water temperature 25 – 29º C
Deco chambers Bali
Flights to Bali then a 2-3 hour road transfer
Accommodation There are options all along the east coast: The Watergarden and Alila Manggis in Candidasa; Anda Amed Resort in Amed and back on the south coast, the Elysian in Seminyak.
Dive operators Extremely numerous but we mostly use AquaMarine Diving - Bali.
Liveaboards Divebooker.com

While the calibre of diving around Bali is a given, the wreck can get crowded when the day-tripper contingent arrives. All the same, Tulamben Bay and ones nearby, are some of the best dives on Bali. Perhaps the only downside is that hotels closest to the wreck are less appealing than staying in other villages which means travelling by car each day to get there. Bear in mind that Bali is a big island with dive sites in several locations. Cross island journeys are the perfect opportunity to see the island and it's culture.

Visibility can be variable, and currents can be strong at different times of the month yet the rewards at Tulamben and Seraya are high. We've been diving on the wreck since the late 80's and have never been disappointed. The dive involves wandering up the pebble strewn beach before entering from shore. Fin towards the hull, pass the resident oriental sweetlips, and the wreck materialises from the blue. The superstructure is thick with corals and fans; there can be jacks swirling above and, rarely, the magnificent mola-mola. Critter hunt dives in both bays can be outstanding. Further away from Tulamben but along the coast there are dives at Amed, near the town of Padangbai and even more near Nusa Penida in the Lombok Channel.

We love Bali, as anyone who has ever met us knows well. We first visited when the island had little more than a handful of guesthouses, a lot of hippies and just one dive centre. Since then, the island has blossomed, grown and developed into a thriving and modern destination yet the Balinese people never lose their sense of place and their incredible integrity.
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving Southeast Asia.

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