Tulamben is a small fishing village which is located on the north-eastern coast of Bali island. It is one of the most popular dive sites in Bali since the wreck of the Liberty, a US Army Transport ship which was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942 lies just off shore from the village. During high-season, there are up to 100 divers who dive to the ship wreck every single day.
The history of Tulamben can be traced through its name. The name derives from the word “batulambih”, which roughly means “many stones”. This name has something to do with the destructive eruptions by Mount Agung that have surged this part of Bali from time to time. The beach in Tulamben is not made of sand, but entirely covered with fairly large, smooth stones. The contemporary name has bloomed over time, from “Batulamben” and finally settled on the contraction name of “Tulamben” (“batu” means “stone” in Indonesian and Balinese language).
The wreck also significantly adds the attractions for Tulamben as a site for diving along. The wreck itself lies in shallow water and is considered appropriate for divers of all certification levels. The ship rests in 30 metres of water which is roughly 25 metres from the shore. Thus, it can be reached with a short swim from the beach. The highest point of the wreck tops is out about 5 metres from the water surface. The ship was torpedoed by the Japanese off the nearby Island of Lombok and the ship was dragged to the beach in Tulamben for rescue operations. The eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 that destroyed much of the eastern part of Bali, drove the ship into the water just off shore, where it became encrusted with coral and a home to other sea life.
The best conditions for diving here are during the months of October and November when the weather is usually calm and during the start of southeast monsoon, which typically extends from May to July. In addition to a wide variety of corals and invertebrates on the wreck itself, large fishes frequently stay in the wreck in some seasons, most famous are Mola mola, whale sharks and Black-tip reef sharks. Professional divers have praised local residents for minimizing local fishing activities.
Administratively, Tulamben is located in Karangasem regency which in the north eastern coast of Bali island. It takes around two and a half hours to get there from Denpasar city, the capital city of Bali province.