Diving in Bali
The Liberty Wreck
Just 30 metres from shore lies the broken 120 metre long wreckage of this World War II cargo ship. The Liberty was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine out in the Lombok Strait, 11 January 1942, but was able to limp back to shore. Unable to quite make port, its captain steered the ship onto the beach at Tulamben.
Here the boat remained until 1963, when laval flow from Bali's last great volcanic eruption from nearby Mount Gunung Agung pushed the vessel back into the water. The wreck now lies parallel to shore on its side, with its deck facing furthest from shore.
The most famous of Bali scuba diving spots and the most popular of the Tulamben dive sites, the wreck is now completely covered in healthy coral growth, and the numerous structural holes provide endless opportunities for exploration. Soft corals dominate here, with crinoids, featherstars and hydroids.
Large fish species that frequent the wreck include sunfish, great barracuda, Napoleon fish and scribbled filefish. Reef fish here common to Bali diving are peacock grouper and coral trout, regal angelfish and surgeonfish. Heading back towards shore on your dive you'll see a colony of spotted garden eels, heads swaying as if in a breeze, and goatfish nuzzling through the sandy rubble.
Night diving on the Liberty Wreck is particularly memorable and popular, being so close to shore. There are spectacular colourful beams of marigold cup corals, and hundreds of shrimp greet you at every corner. Common lionfish stalk their prey as well as the rare and nocturnal oscellate dwarf lionfish. Cocooned and sleeping parrotfish are quite common, and you may even see the rather strange sight of free-swimming crinoids, in search of a new hold.
Liberty Wreck Reef Basics: Wreck with abundant corals and fish
Depth: 3 - 28m
Visibility: 10 - 20m
Surface conditions: Can be rough
Water temperature: 22 - 26°C
Experience level: Intermediate
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round, but can be difficult December to March
Distance: ~80 km northeast of Kuta (3 hours)
Access: Bali dive resorts
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