Liberty Wreck

The Wreck of the USAT Liberty rests on its starboard (right) side, just 40 meters from the pebble beach in Tulamben Bay. The ship lies with the bow pointing north on the edge of a very steep, sloping sand bottom.

The Liberty is far from intact, yet much of it is very recognizable. The stern is the shallowest at around 5 meters and easily recognised with its intact rudder. Forward of the stern some of the cargo holds have deck beams still supporting the hull and a little further forward the boilers are easily located.

The bow itself is intact, along with the forward gun, but the cargo hold just back from the bow is a twisted mass of metal plates. Maximum depth on the wreck itself is around 30 meters, though the bottom drops well beyond this depth.

The Drop Off

One of the Village Temples sits high on a headland at the southeast end of Tulamben Bay. The headland is composed of volcanic rock from an old eruption of Mount Agung.

The ‘Drop Off’ is a series of underwater lava flows that fan-out from this headland. The reef descends to over 70 meters in a very short distance from the shore.

This area is often used as an alternative to diving the Liberty wreck, yet it is far from a second rate dive. Its diversity of marine life is staggering, from miniscule frogfish to monstrous sunfish. From translucent shrimps to giant trevally – the Drop Off is a very rich reef with an easy beach entry for divers.

The Coral Garden

Lying between the Liberty Wreck and the Drop-Off, is a long stretch of shallow reef that follows the shoreline for around 150 meters. The Coral garden is a rich reef, popular with underwater photographers.

It is renown for almost guaranteed sightings of critters that are rare elsewhere; Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, Ribbon Eels, Leaf Scorpion Fish and at night – Spanish Dancer Nudibranchs. It is also a great place to see schools of trevally, snapper and sweetlip or perhaps a cruising Black-Tip Shark.

All this literally on the doorsteps of many of Tulamben’s beach side hotels and dive centres. Depths range from 3-15 meters. This site is also known as Paradise Reef.

Seraya Secrets

In the next bay south-east of Tulamben, is a dive site that from the surface gives little hint of the richness that lies below. Seraya Secrets is what has become known as a ‘muck’ dive – that is a dive site without major coral formations, but lots of sand and small structures. A site where unusual animals are abundant and easily located.

Lying directly in-front of Scuba Seraya Resort, Seraya Secrets has two distinct habitats. Just in from the black-sand beach the bottom drops steadily to a depth of around 3-9 meters. “Top Secrets” is this shallower reef-top. Comprised of smaller rocks with patches of black sand, occasional sponges and tiny hard corals. This is the place to find Frogfish, Eels, Scorpionfish, Lionfish, Sea Moths & Harlequin Shrimps.”Deep Secrets” is on the sloping bottom from 10 meters down to 35 meters.

Small outcrops support micro-habitats where Sea Horses, Cuttlefish, Mimic Octopus, Striped Catfish, Nudibranchs, multi-coloured Crinoids, and larger Frogfish are found. All this, in visibility around 10-15 meters and who said “muck”!

Kubu Reef

Kubu Reef is located just 5 minutes from Alba Dive Tulamben, in Kubu Village. A sealed road leads from the centre of the village down to the shore. At its end is a basic dive preparation area and directly offshore are two dive sites, both accessible from the shore.

Looking straight offshore, one is to the left, the other slightly to the right. Both sites require a 50 meter swim out to deeper water, though the swim is over picturesque shallow reefs.

The ‘left’ reef has a large area of delicate branching corals starting at the edge of the deeper water. Beyond depths of 15 meters are large barrel sponges and one huge gorgonia fan.

The ‘right’ reef has large coral covered rocks and bommies in the shallows and deeper is a ridge with very rich soft coral growth. Both areas have fantastic fish and invertebrate life, with regular shark, barracuda and larger fish sightings.