Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Karangasem Regency
USAT Liberty Ship Wreck
The Liberty wreck is Bali’s most famous dive site. Built circa WWI this cargo ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine off Lombok. Despite attempts to tow the ship to north Bali it was taking on too much water and so was semi-beached at Tulamben. Over the years anything reusable was removed. In 1963, with the earth tremors from the last eruption of Mount Agung, the wreck slid further down the slope where it still lies (as close to the beach as it can be and still be underwater!). The Liberty lies approximately 30m offshore almost parallel to the beach on the sand slope, and is suitable for all levels of qualification and experience. The wreck lies in depths from 9-30m. The shallowest part of the wreck, where it touches the sand slope, is at 5-10m. Depth along the middle of the wreck averages 16-20m. The lower edge of the wreck is 20-28m (at high tide). The wreck is 120m long, it is quite broken up but you can still see the guns, toilets, boilers, anchor chain, etc. It is a lovely dive site, possibly the world’s easiest wreck dive. You can also snorkel on the wreck - the highest point of the stern is about 4m below the surface. Visibility is usually 18-25m, lower when it has been raining. There is rarely a current present, at most it will be mild. During the 3 days before the full moon, there are usually waves. The air temperature is 25-32 degrees, the water 26-28 degrees. The wreck is very popular with photographers as it is totally encrusted in anemone, gorgonians and corals. The black sand provides an excellent colour contrast for the incredible variety of marine life, which includes a huge school of big-eyed trevally and over 400 other species of fish. You will see just about everything in any Indo-Pacific Reef Guide book if you dive here. The variety is amazing. Night diving on the wreck is fantastic, especially during full moon. You may see Spanish dancers, flashlight fish, and phosphorescence.
This site is an old lava flow from Mount Agung, at the east side end of the Tulamben bay. The dive starts off on a steep sand slope with nudibranches, flounders, goby/shrimp sets. At 12m are sponges with many varieties of shrimp, leaf scorpion fish and crinoids, often with attendant ghost pipefish. Continuing round to the east, the slope develops into a reef with very impressive topography, becoming a vertical wall from 15m and descending to below 60m. Visibility is usually 15-20m (due to the amount of plankton in the water). The wall has profuse sponges, corals, black coral bushes, gorgonian fans - at 30m there is a sea fan that reaches 2m in width. You may see white tip and black tip reef sharks, napoleon wrasse, big bumphead parrotfish, some big filefish (including scrawled) and moray eel. Late afternoon is the time to see the wide variety of lionfish. From southern Bali (Kuta, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Denpasar) drive east via Gianyar town, Semarapura and Amlapura. From Amlapura head north to Culik. Tulamben is about 20 minutes from Culik. Resorts are situated on either side of the road in Tulamben. Those on the right run down to the beach. The drive takes about 3 hours.