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North Bali

Tulamben

 

Sleepy Tulamben village, situated on Bali's north-eastern shore, has long been a Mecca for scuba divers from all over the world. What this site has to offer is not too apparent at first glance, but the visitor will quickly change their mind the second they submerge. The two main dive points at Tulamben are the USAT Liberty Shipwreck to the west of the bay and the drop-off (wall) to the east, both offering very different scuba experiences.
 

 

The USAT Liberty


The Liberty was originally a cargo steamer built in New Jersey, USA in the early 20th century. She was pressed into service during W.W.II and armed with guns fore and aft. On 11th January 1942 the ship was cruising off the Lombok coast when she was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine causing major damage to the hull, but not sinking. The US Navy decided to try and salvage her and subsequently sent two destroyers to tow her to Bali. However, she was taking on too much water and it was decided to beach her at Tulamben.

 


 

In 1963 Bali's highest volcano, Gunung Agung, erupted causing major damage and loss of life on the island. This eruption also managed to push USAT Liberty to her final resting place 40 meters off shore, in between 9 and 28 meters of water.

 

Liberty is now Bali's most popular dive, encrusted with many different varieties of soft and hard coral and a very large concentration of fish and other marine life. A must do dive.
 

 

The wall dive at the eastern end of the bay is also very worthwhile too. Entering close to the rocks the sandy bottom shelves away and the beginning of a wall appear to the divers right. This becomes vertical at around 15 meters with the bottom gradually dropping away into the blue. Coral and marine life concentrations here are very good too. Particularly interesting is a very large (2 meter) purple gorgonian fan coral positioned on the top of the wall when it gets down to 30 meters.

For macro photographers and those interested in the smaller critters, the black sand slopes and coral gardens between the shipwreck and the wall have been drawing the professionals to Tulamben for years.
 

Tulamben - Facts & Figures

 

Reef type: Wall at western end, shallow reef stretching along the bay
Access: Practically all diving at Tulamben is done from the shore
Visibility: Very good, 15-30 meters
Current: Very slight, can be strong at tide change past eastern wall
Coral: Very good numbers and variety, abundant soft corals
Fish: Excellent, unrivaled for the macro photographer
Highlights: Shipwreck and marine life concentrations
 

 

 

Amed (Jemeluk)

 

Also known as Jemeluk, Amed is situated on Bali's north east shore quite close to the better known dive area of Tulamben. Amed is a small north facing bay with high cliffs on the eastern side and sandy salt flats to the west offering a choice of two dives, one a wall (east) and the other a drift over terracing underwater landscapes. Both of these sites are normally dived from a small local fishing boat from the bay.

The Amed wall

 

At the foot of the cliffs to the east of the bay lies a large coral reef in fairly shallow water. The corals here are some of the best that can be seen in Bali. As the reef spreads out seaward it suddenly plunges down about 50 meters out from the cliff bottom forming a wall that runs eastward into the next bay around the headland.
Depending on tides and current direction this is normally considered to be a drift dive, the local boatmen either dropping divers at either end of the wall. While not a particularly deep wall this dive does support a dazzling array of marine life and corals.

 

Amed West

 

Again dependent on current direction, these descending terraces provide stunning panoramas, and visibility can sometimes be excellent. Starting in relatively shallow water these slopes step down and out of sight into the ocean. At some points the terraces do turn into vertical walls but this cannot be considered a wall dive.

 

At both sites there are good concentrations of fish, with a fair sprinkling of white tip sharks. Our staff have also sighted the rare Sunfish (Mola Mola) and Manta Rays at both dive points.

 

 

Amed - Facts & Figures

 

Reeftype: Wall at eastern end, terracing to west. Shallow sandy bay in the middle
Access: Road transport pulls up on the beach where local fishing boats take around two minutes to reach both sites
Visibility: Very good, 15-40 meters
Current: Can be strong at both sites producing thrilling drift diving
Coral: Very good numbers and variety; abundant soft corals
Fish: Excellent, particularly white tip sharks
Highlights: Coral garden to the east of the bay

 

 

 

 

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