If you talk about diving in Bali with any seasoned diver, the first thing they’ll always mention is the USAT Liberty shipwreck. Indeed, this dive site in Bali is one of the most famous there is in the whole of Indonesia. Divers come from all around the world to explore this incredible dive site in Tulamben. Located half an hour away from our Dive Center in Amed, we take divers every day to explore this beautiful wreck. And let us tell you that no one has ever gotten disappointed after diving on the USAT Liberty wreck!
History of the USAT Liberty
The USAT Liberty was a 120 meter long United States Army cargo ship that left the coast of Australia in January 1942 to transport railways parts and rubber to the Philippines. As it was passing in between the islands of Lombok and Bali, it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on January the 11th. The hull was leaking but there was an attempt to tow her to Singaraja, the Balinese capital at the time, in order to get her repaired. However, the USAT Liberty was sinking rapidly and had to be beached halfway through, in the small fishing village of Tulamben. The cargo was emptied and left to be dismantled by the local population.
For the next 20 years, she was left there, being slowly eaten away by the inhabitants as the raw material it was made of was quite precious to build houses and other things. But in 1963, the nearby volcano, Mount Agung, erupted. The tremors associated with the eruption caused the USAT Liberty to slide into the water. It now lies on the black sandy bottom of the Tanjung Muntik bay of Tulamben, at a depth in between 7 and 35 meters, and became an extremely popular dive site.
An underwater wildlife like nowhere else
After 55 years in the sea, you can easily imagine that the wildlife took over what was left of the ship, turning it into a perfect base for coral to grow and fish to hide or nest. In addition, the multiple eruptions of Mount Agung over the ages have caused all the beaches in the area to be made of black volcanic sand. And the colour contrast is simply mind-blowing. Corals and tropical fish stand out in an incredible way, making the colours almost fluorescent.
When diving on the USAT Liberty, you can expect to encounter a massive amount of spectacular marine species such as mantis shrimps, various types of sea anemone and their anemone fish, pufferfish, porcupinefish, multiple types of nudibranchs, surgeonfish, sweetlips, damselfish, giant trevallies, barracudas, the list can go on and on. Lucky divers might even get the chance to see humphead parrotfish, turtles and reef sharks! The USAT Liberty is also famous for its field of garden eels that we take you to see at the end of the dive.
What dives can you do on the USAT Liberty?
Depending on your diving capacities and the type of things you want to see, the USAT Liberty wreck can be explored in different ways. This dive site of Tulamben is perfect for muck dives aficionados, it is a wonderful place to have a night dive, dive photographers will be blown away and it is obviously the queen of wreck diving. Deep divers and shallow divers alike can enjoy the USAT Liberty shipwreck, considering its unique disposition.
Can I go diving on the USAT Liberty wreck?
Since its shallower point starts at 7 meters, any diver can take a shot at exploring the USAT Liberty wreck. We organise Discover Scuba Dives on the USAT Liberty every day! But more experienced divers will also be more than satisfied considering that the prow of the USAT Liberty is at a depth of 35 meters. And all the divers in between will, of course, have access to all the best parts of the USAT Liberty. Fun divers of all diving capacities are more than welcome to come diving the USAT Liberty with Abyss Dive Center Bali.
Wreck lovers welcome
Not enough wreck diving for you? Then have a look at our Dive Packages! We offer seasoned divers the opportunity to dive 3 shipwrecks in one day in the Amed-Tulamben area. You’ll start off with the Boga shipwreck, before heading to the USAT Liberty and you’ll finish with the Japanese wreck off the beach of Banyuning. A great way to explore the shipwreck landscape of the Amed-Tulamben area.