The USAT Liberty Wreck is probably the world's best shore wreck dive. It's certainly one of the easiest wrecks to access as it lies just 30m off Tulamben beach in north east Bali, around 3 hours drive from Kuta beach and the airport. Even snorkellers can swim out and enjoy the wreck. Divers don't even have to carry their own tanks down to the shore as local village women make a living carrying divers' tanks on their heads.
Currents are weak making this a dive for all levels of diver. The black sand background can sometimes make the visibility seem dark. Vis ranges from 5-30m.
The USAT Liberty was a World War II Cargo ship that was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on 11 January 1942 in the Lombok Strait. Her captain, with the help of two US destroyers, managed to coax her back to Bali but could not reach port at Singaraja as she was taking on too much water so he ran her aground and she stayed on Tulamben beach until 1963 when Gunung Agung volcano erupted and the lava flow pushed her back out to sea.
She now lies in 28m of water with the shallowest part of the wreck just 3m below the surface. She is laying on a sand slope on her side, parallel to the beach.
The 120m long wreck very broken up so no penetration is possible. Anything of value has long ago been salvaged by the locals but the guns can still be seen, as can the toilets and boilers. The structure is completely covered in coral and encrusting sponge and is incredibly pretty. Huge schools of fish swarm the wreck and almost block out the light from above. The wreck is also occasionally visited by bigger fish such as barracuda and even sunfish.
The black sand slope between the wreck and the shore is a great place to spend some time decompressing while hunting for smaller critters. There are patches of garden eels swaying out of their holes plus numerous nudibranch, shrimp and goby species.
The wreck also makes a superb night dive with cocooned parrotfish, free swimming moray eels and lots of lionfish, including oscilate dwarf lionfish.
The Liberty Wreck requires several dives to see it properly and many divers visit Tulamben for a few days and end up staying much longer.