Diving Bali Wrecks

Diving Bali Wreck offers an incredible chance to discover Bali's amazing biodiversity and live a very special diving experience. Learn about the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, the Boga Wreck in Kubu, and the Japanese Wreck in Amed. The Jepun Wreck in Padang Bai and Anchor Wreck in Menjangan island are also nice wrecks to dive in Bali. In this blog, we invite you to find out what is waiting for you while diving Bali Wrecks.

Diving Bali Wreck offers an incredible chance to discover Bali’s amazing biodiversity and live a very special diving experience. Learn about the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, the Boga Wreck in Kubu, and the Japanese Wreck in Amed. The Jepun Wreck in Padang Bai and Anchor Wreck in Menjangan island are also nice wrecks to dive in Bali. In this blog, we invite you to find out what is waiting for you while diving Bali Wrecks.

Diving Tulamben: the USAT Liberty Wreck, a world-class wreck steeped in history 

Tulamben is a small village on the north-east coast of Bali. It is one of Bali’s most popular diving destinations. Its popularity comes from the famous USAT  Liberty wreck, a United State Army Transport ship, torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942. At that time they managed to beach the boat in Tulamben. In 1963 the Mount Agung volcano erupted. As a result, the lava pushed the ship back in the ocean where it found its resting place, 70 meters from the beach. The Liberty wreck is a world-class dive site, commonly known as the Bali Wreck. Therefore, during the high season, a significant number of divers can be seen around the wreck. Nevertheless, this will not take the beauty of this site and you will have the time of your life diving the Bali USAT Liberty wreck.

USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali
USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali

Tulamben beaches: volcanic stones and black sand, an underwater wonderland of marine life with fantastic macro options 

Tulamben beach consists of black volcanic stones that become fine sand in the shallower area of the reef. Surprising at first, this black bottom offers a wonderful contrast to the colorful marine life, corals, gorgonians, and critters. Tulamben beaches alternate black sand, filled with small creatures to delight divers looking for “macro”, and flows of old lavas colonized by thousands of corals and underwater species. Tulamben dive sites are an underwater wonderland of marine life. Consequently, underwater photographers have a blast in Tulamben and love this top dive site, the Bali wreck!

Jukung at the Drop off in Tulamben Beach
Jukung at the Drop Off in Tulamben

Other dive sites like Coral Garden, Drop-off, and Seraya, just to name a few,  are mostly macro dive sites, but not only. Here you can see moray eels, ribbon eels, two-spotted lionfish, rock groupers at cleaning stations, pygmy seahorse, nudibranch, ghost pipefish, frogfish and sometimes even harlequin shrimps. We also regularly spot turtles and reef sharks like the blacktips or whitetips here.

If most of the dive sites are accessible straight from the shore, we can arrange a traditional boat if needed. Some other sites like Emerald, Alamanda and Batu Kelebit are further away from the beach, and therefore exclusively boat dive sites. 

Rare Arlequin Shrimp in Tulamben, Bali.
Rare Arlequin Shrimp in Tulamben, Bali.

Tulamben: easy dive sites accessible for all levels, including beginner divers and snorkelers 

The USAT Liberty Wreck is convenient for snorkelers too. It starts at 4 meters depths and the deepest part goes to 28 meters. Due to its shallow depth, the Liberty wreck is an amazing opportunity for beginners and snorkelers to explore an underwater wreck. Usually, we enjoy clear water with a mild or no current, which makes it a perfect site to try and learn diving. The Liberty Wreck is 205 meters long,  full of life and color. It is even sometimes difficult to imagine that it was a boat. It has become an artificial reef allowing life to develop in a different environment.

Map of the USAT Liberty Wreck from Apneista
Map of the USAT Liberty Wreck from Apneista

The Liberty wreck is also a great spot for night diving or an early-morning dive

The USAT Liberty Wreck offers an exciting and impressive night dive: Humphead parrotfish come to sleep there at night,  while other species like moray eels and groupers go out hunting. Often together, shrimps, crabs, nudibranchs show themselves in the light of our torches. The Liberty Wreck comes alive at night, allowing us to discover it with new eyes. 

Night dive on the USAT Liberty Shipwreck

Diving the Bali Liberty Wreck at Sunrise is also a beautiful moment to live. When the sun’s rays start to shine through the water, schools of Humphead parrotfish detach themselves from the wreck, like a mosaic, leaving the wreck after having spent the night there. It is a truly fantastic experience to dive on the Liberty Wreck in the sweet light of the dawn, with no one else around.

Tulamben Ship Bali Wreck
Humphead parrotfish on the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, Bali

Diving Kubu: the Boga Wreck, a deep wreck on two levels – great for fun exploration 

Kubu is located just 10 minutes by car from Tulamben.  The Boga wreck in Kubu is a Dutch boat. It was sunk voluntarily in 2012 for diving purposes. The idea was to create an artificial reef for marine life in the sandy slopes of Kubu. Following the growing success of Tulamben with its Liberty Wreck, Kubu villagers wanted to create a new diving destination to attract tourists in this area of Bali still largely underdeveloped.

The shipwreck of Boga is originally a former Indonesian Communication Patrol Vessel. It was built in Holland in 1952. This 150 tonnes cargo ship has two levels and is almost 40 meters long. 

Amphorae on the bow of the Boga Wreck in Kubu
Amphorae on the bow of the Boga Wreck in Kubu

Boga Wreck: a very fun dive site for advanced and skilled divers

Note that diving the Bali Boga Wreck is only for advanced divers as the Boga wreck starts at 16 meters and goes down to 38 meters. Therefore, this is a great place to do an Advanced Open Water Course and Advanced specialties like DEEP and WRECK. For instance, check out the propeller at 38 meters down during your Deep Speciality Course with us. Or learn how to safely dive and penetrate wreck during your Wreck Speciality Course. What is great with SSI is that we can combine two specialties that work well together. We often do a Deep Wreck dive on the Boga Wreck.

The bow of the Boga Wreck in Kubu
The bow of the Boga Wreck in Kubu

I remember the first time I dove there, during my Deep specialty course with Nico, in 2014. At that time, the USAT Liberty Wreck was the only other wreck that I dived on. I will never forget the fantastic feeling I had while entering the Boga Wreck. At 30 meters down, the pressure of the water was slowing down my movements, and the weightlessness I felt made me think I was an astronaut exploring the moon. The fact that we were the only ones diving on this amazing Bali wreck, strengthen the adventurous and surreal side of the experience. I really thought I was on another planet. Until now, I have never felt this sensation again on another dive site.

The Boga Wreck is also the perfect dive site to practice Nitrox Diving and Sidemount diving. Extend your bottom time with Enriched Air Nitrox while exploring the cargo hold. Enjoy the feeling of freedom that comes with Sidemount diving while exploring the Boga shipwreck. This dual-level wreck offers many treasures to discover, and is definitively a great site to dive on!

Diver in Sidemount Configuration in the Blue
Diver in Sidemount Configuration

Boga Wreck: A young wreck colonized by marine life, with interesting elements inside

Diving this deep water young Bali wreck is an amazing experience. The structure of the boat is relatively well preserved. It is already colonized by marine life. The statues, the jeep and the amphorae inside the Boga wreck are gradually contributing to the arrival of new aquatic species: soft corals, moray eels, lionfish, leaf fish, shrimp and hundreds of other animals have already taken possession of the wreck as a refuge. Barracudas, sharks, turtles, humphead parrotfish and the usual reef fish like to hang out in the area too.

The Jeep inside the Boga Wreck, Kubu
The Jeep inside the Boga Wreck, Kubu

The Boga Wreck contains many interesting pieces like its wheel, still intact. Even though many divers like to play with the wreck’s wheel in front of their camera, this should not happen. Kindly keep in mind that nothing should be touched underwater, to protect marine life. In the same order of idea, it would have been great if the tires of the jeep had been removed before sunken. As unfortunately, I worry that the tires may release bad chemical components as they will deteriorate over the years. 

The wheel of the Boga Wreck, still intact.
The wheel of the Boga Wreck, still intact.

Not far from the Boga wreck,  Kubu Reef is also a wonderful dive site. The bottom of this coral garden is an alternation of black sand and old lava flow. In addition, structures were sunk to create an artificial reef (bikes, scooters, concrete mixer and much more). As a result, this site is now filled with colorful underwater life and we can find a lot of interesting species.

Diving Amed: The Japanese Wreck, an easy dive site with stunning sea life

Amed is a small village located on the Northeast coast of Bali. It’s also the name of the area of villages along the sea (8km stripe), which can be confusing. The Japanese Wreck is located in Banyuning Bay, close to the small village of the same name. Banyuning is one of the seven fishing villages along the coastline that is referred to as “Amed”. 

Happy divers on a jukung in Banyuning Bay, Amed.
Happy divers on a jukung in Banyuning Bay, Amed.

Amed is Bali’s nearest point to Lombok island. Early morning across the straits you can see Mount Rinjani (Lombok volcano). And on the other side, you have a fantastic view of Mount Agung Volcano, which is the highest point of all Bali. While sailing out on a traditional boat for the morning catch, you will enjoy scenic sunrises. With its natural landscapes and breathtaking views, wonderful underwater playgrounds and a laid back atmosphere, Amed is definitely a nice area to relax and recharge. 

Amed, northeast coast of Bali - Indonesia
Amed, northeast coast of Bali – Indonesia

The Japanese wreck is literally just off the beach, just a short surface swim from the shore. The local villagers have privatized a small car park, and ask the tourists a small fee to access the beach. Down on the beach, there is a shaded area, a cafe, some toilets, and some shower. We can rent snorkeling gear there too. To find the wreck it’s easy: you just have to swim for ten meters in the direction of the buoy marking its presence.

A small wreck whose origin is uncertain, surrounded by vibrant marine life

The Japanese Wreck is a small wreck of 18 meters long. The wreck is partially broken up. It now lies on its side in the shallow water. Diving this Bali Wreck is safe and easy. As a result, the Japanese Wreck is a very popular diving and snorkeling site. At its deepest point, the wreck touches the sea bed at 12m. On this Bali Wreck, you will see many sea fans, various sponges, healthy coral, lots of small shrimps, nudibranchs and crabs. And lots of fish of course. The propeller is completely covered with marine life and it takes an eagle eye to realize its presence.

Japanese Wreck Amed Bali
Japanese Wreck Amed Bali

The history of the Japanese wreck is a bit mysterious. Some say that “Japanese” is actually a deformation of Javanese, and that the wreck was a fishing boat coming from Java, looking for waters with more fish. For others, the wreck is a Japanese patrol vessel that was sunk during the Second World War. Another rumor states that the origin of the boat is unknown but that its name comes from the presence of Japanese style toilets on board.  Whatever its history, the Japanese wreck, the reef that surrounds it and its ecosystem are breathtaking.

Japanese Wreck in Amed, with a diver on the right side
Japanese Wreck in Amed, with a diver on the right side

Amazing corals, smalls critters and rare species: a paradise for underwater photographers and macro lovers

Due to its proximity to Mount Agung volcano, the sand is black and this makes an unusual contrast with the colorful corals and critters. The profusion of soft corals all over this wreck and the small fish that play around is truly beautiful. Here you have a good chance to spot the rare ghost pipefish, the frogfish, the resident pygmy seahorse and the fascinating mimic octopus. Due to its shallow water, diving this Bali Wreck is great for underwater photography. The Japanese Wreck is heaven for macro lovers.

Frogfish on a sandy bottom in Amed, Japanese Wreck

Frogfish on a sandy bottom in Amed, Japanese Wreck

Besides the Japanese Wreck itself, the biodiversity around is just astonishing. The rich waters of the Indonesian throughflow that swirl around Banyuning Bay have created complete and vibrant ecosystems.

On the right side of the wreck, there is a very nice reef with gorgonians, going down to 30 meters which will set your second dive. Diving this Bali Wreck you’ll find an interesting variety of small critters, from pygmy seahorses to gobies and nudi’s. On the other side of the Japanese wreck, there is a sloping sandy bank for about 60m, more or less. There we can see fantastic bummies full of marine life. Huge sea fans filter the water flow, beautiful soft corals blossom and multiply while incredible hard corals bloom. In and around these marine infrastructures, there are plenty of fish and critters to explore. The colorful and lively bummies are a delight to admire.

Gorgonian - Japanse Wreck, Amed
Gorgonian – Japanese Wreck, Amed

Diving Bali Wrecks: Explore those 3 great Bali Wrecks with our Wreck & Thrills Package

With our Wreck and Thrills Diving Package, we bring you to discover another side of Bali: the North-East Coast. Tulamben, Amed and Kubu villages are far away from the mass tourism area and offer you an authentic experience and immersion in the traditional Bali. Let yourself be carried away on a 3-days adventure with us. We will take good care of you in and out of the water, and you will be amazed by Bali and its wonderful dive sites.

A fisherman on a traditional boat in Amed, with the Mont Agung behind
A fisherman on a traditional boat in Amed, with the Mont Agung behind

Wreck and Thrills Diving Package : 3 diving days, 9 exciting dives, 3 amazing wrecks

During these 3 sensational diving days, you will dive the stunning drop off in Tulamben, enjoy its famous USAT Liberty Wreck at night and early morning. You will explore the very fun Boga Wreck in Kubu and let you guided along Kubu Reef.  Finally, you will try the sites of Pyramids and Bunutan in Jemeluk area and have a blast on the Japanese Wreck dive site. If you like wreck diving and adventure, this diving package is what you need.

USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben
USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben

This Scuba Diving package includes deep diving, drift diving, night diving, and of course wreck diving. We can combine those great dives with continued education for those interested in completing a specialty course. Contact us for further information and a tailor-made program for you.

Female diver entering through a hole in the captain room of  the USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali
Diver entering through a hole in the captain room of the USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben, Bali

Explore more Bali Wrecks with The Jepun Wreck in Padang Bai and Anchor Wreck in Menjangan

If you are keen to dive more wrecks in Bali, book a diving day-trip with us in Padang Bai and dive on the Jepun. Or if you have more time, why not spend two or three days in the Pemuteran area and dive the beautiful Menjangan island with Anchor Wreck.

Diving Padang Bai: The Jepun Wreck

Padang Bai is located on the Central East coast of Bali. It is the ferry port between Bali and Lombok. Padang bai offers several good dive sites accessible by jukung.

Jukung by Nico Dives Cool in Padang Bai, Bali
Jukung by Nico Dives Cool in Padang Bai, Bali

The Jepun wreck takes its name from the dive site Tanjung Jepun which is a 15 minutes boat ride from Padang Bai.  The wreck is a small fishing boat that lies at about 16 m depth. The Jepun Wreck is a very good dive site to spot special critters like cuttlefish, octopus, leaf scorpionfish, ribbon eels, lionfish, stingrays, and frogfish, to name a few. Made of sandy bottom, this muck dive site has good corals and plenty of fish. The Jepun Wreck is also a great diving site for a Night Dive, where you may spot the beautiful Spanish Dancer if you are lucky.

Footage of an Open Water Course in Padang Bai – with the Jepun Wreck

Diving Menjangan: The Anchor Wreck

Menjangan Island is located in the northwest of Bali and is part of the Bali Barat National Park. There are so many dives sites to choose from, and one of them is the Anchor Wreck dive site.

Menjangan Island, North-West Bali
Menjangan Island, North-West Bali

The Wreck is a large wooden and copper cargo boat, that probably dates back to the 1800s. Its origin is a bit of a mystery. As nobody knows the name of this ship, it got its name from the large anchor that lies about 6 meters from the surface. Cruising around 13m, you will see the most colorful corals as well as sponges and coral clusters along the reef top. The first remains are at about 27m and the majority of the ship is scattered at around 41m. Some artifacts are still encrusted in the ship, but unfortunately, a lot of them have been taken out by divers.  It is actually not the wreck itself that makes this dive site so special but the marine diversity of the impressive wall.  Nevertheless, it is a nice feeling to be able to dive into such an old wreck.

Anchor Wreck, Menjangan Island, Bali
Anchor Wreck, Menjangan Island, Bali

In conclusion, Bali offers differents kinds of wrecks for all. From deep wreck to shallow wrecks accessible for beginner divers and snorkelers, young and old wrecks, some loaded with history or others with unknown origins, there is as much variety in the type of wreck that there is in the biodiversity of the marine life around. Dive Bali Wrecks with us and let the adventure begin.

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