New Zealanders and Australians love Bali.
The scenery is beautiful when you get out of the bustling cities, the food and drink is so much cheaper than what we buy back home, flights are becoming cheaper with Airlines such as Jetstar providing 1-way fares for $150 and the weather is nearly always amazing!
Bali is the Number 1 Tourist destination for Australian Tourists.
Flights from Australia can be very cheap and it’s the closest country to them that has sunshine, cheap alcohol and surf. It’s like the Spring Break of America.
Depending on why you’re going to Bali, you can usually find what you’re looking for.
I know people who go to Bali on boys trips just to party it up and drink lots of Bintang Beer, Girls go with their Bridesmaids before a wedding for a long week of cheap pedicures, $10 massages and swims in infinity pools.
They have some awesome retreats here as well where you can spend days in the middle of the forest sleeping in luxury accommodation, waking up to beautiful rice fields, gourmet breakfasts and attending yoga classes.
I personally went to Bali back in 2014 with my Boyfriend of 1 year. It was a spur of the moment decision as we were originally wanting to take a week trip to an island nearer New Zealand like Raratonga or Fiji.
One day we went to a travel Expo in our home-town and headed straight to the area where they had brochures on the Islands. As pretty as they were, we weren’t super ‘excited’ about going. The beaches looked beautiful, the accommodation looked nice but we came to the conclusion that’d we’d just be a bit… bored in Raro.
We like a bit of adventure mixed with some relaxation and culture so when we got talking to a Travel Agent who’d been to Bali, he pretty much made up our minds for heading to Indonesia for 2 weeks. He raved on about how cheap everything was, how there was lots of stuff to do and places to party etc… The next day we’d booked through Virgin Australia 2x Return trips from Wellington, New Zealand to Bali in June as our first trip as a couple!
How Long Does It Take To Get There (Direct):
This isn’t including stop-overs
Auckland to Bali – 8 Hours, 53 minutes
Wellington to Bali – 9 Hours
Melbourne to Bali – 6 Hours
Sydney to Bali – 6 Hours, 16 Minutes
Perth to Bali – 3 Hours, 44 Minutes
Singapore to Bali – 2 Hours, 34 Minutes
New York City to Bali – 20 Hours, 46 Minutes
Chicago to Bali – 20 Hours
London to Bali – 16 Hours
I’ve had a little Sky Scanner search and I don’t think any airline in New Zealand flies direct to Bali apart from Air New Zealand who only fly direct from May – October on Saturdays and Wednesday’s.(Someone correct me if I’m wrong)
Virgin Australia always seems to stop in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne (Both ways)
China Airlines stops in Taiwan and Jetstar will always stop somewhere in Australia.
You can get some amazing deals on flights to Bali if you’re flying from New Zealand and don’t mind a shitty stop-over. I’ve seen Jetstar Flights for NZD$250 RETURN! (Obviously they have a stop over in Australia at inconvenient times) but if you’re not picky about times, can get time off work quickly and have the cash, I’d wait for an amazing deal like that to come up.
I’ve done a little research and the cheapest month to head over to Bali is in August.
The weather in August is pretty much the same as May and June. The whole month doesn’t vary much from the beginning to the end with average temperatures at 27°C (80°F) throughout the entire month, with lots of sun, virtually no chance of rain, and a constant, cool breeze. It is however quite humid but it’s very tempting as in August it’s Winter time in New Zealand and we’re dying for a bit of sun.
Obviously Australians can get cheaper flights, eg; Darwin to Bali for $161
Or Perth to Bali for $193 *sigh*
That’s another reason where you’ll feel like you’re surrounded my Auzzies when you’re in Bali. It’s just too cheap for them not to go!
Where To Stay:
When my boyfriend and I went, we stayed in Legian for 5 nights, one of the Gili Islands for another 4 nights and Seminyak for 4
To make it simple for you I’ve written a little paragraph about the places to stay in Bali which you can find on the map above.
South Bali Area
South Bali is the main part where all the tourists go. It’s the closest to the airport and the perfect area for a first-time Bali goer. There’s shopping, beaches, water activities and many places to drink and party until the early hours.
Canggu: Less tourists, quite a rural area with low-key nightlife and black/grey sandy beaches. Is becoming more developed over time…Think it has a water park for kids.
50-60 mins from airport
Seminyak: Very chic, classy, fine dining and stylish beach bars. Great for high end spas and massages, surfing and the beach. Accommodation is more high-quality and modern. Many tourists stay here if you’re wanting somewhere a bit more fancy.
30 mins from airport
Legian: Located South of Seminyak, Legian is a short taxi ride to Kuta with the advantage of not being right in the center of all the clubs and bars. I’d say this is the best place to stay accommodation-wise as you’re just a little bit away from the main ‘city center’ feel. You still have the choice of restaurants to eat at and market stalls to bargain at so you’re not completely away from all the fun stuff.
Legian has a better and less crowded surf break at the beach so may be good if you’re learning to surf.
If you’re searching for some good, cheap, clean accommodation, check out Bliss Surfer Hotel. It’s not the fanciest place to stay, the pool is over-shadowed by the hotel so it does get a bit chilly when you’re swimming but the staff are nice and the rooms are great.
I hear the Padma Resort (Think, swim-up bar, Infinity Pool, Tennis Court, Cooking classes) or Pullman Resort are quite nice if you’re looking to pay a bit more.
10-20 mins from airport
Kuta: Partying, Kuta beach, The Hard Rock Cafe and one of the main malls are all situated in Kuta. It’s great for nightlife and the beach but would stay away if you don’t like massive crowds and pumping music.
Kuta has great surfing options for beginners and experienced surfers. Have a look on TripAdvisor for some good companies.
If you’re looking to do some shopping, check out Kuta Square, Discovery mall (right across the road from Waterbom water park) or Beachwalk Shopping Center for all your shopping and dining needs.
Kuta is where the Bali Bombings took place in 2002 at Paddy’s Pub. There is now a permanant memorial at the site with all the names of the people that were killed along with the national flags of the victims to pay your respects.
10-20 mins from airport
Jimbaran: Think Seafood, spas, calm waters and white sand. Great if you have children as the waters are shallow and you can explore the morning Jimbaran Markets for fresh seafood. Has an amazing sunset after 5pm where you can relax with a cocktail and head to bed before 12am as the clubs usually shut around 11pm. However Kuta and Seminyak are only a cab ride away if you want to stay here and party somewhere else.
This is where the famous Rock Bar is located.
10-20 mins from airport
Nusa Dua: Has an amazing beach with water sports and coral beds for snorkeling. The surfing is amazing, I’ve read it’s recommended to hire a boat to take you out to the Nusa Dua Break. Also has one of the most popular shopping centers. Not really a place for partying and dining but the resorts will make you nice cocktails to sip in the sun.
30 mins from airport
Sanur: More on the Southeast coast, but a great place for people wanting a bit of peace and quiet in a tropical paradise. White sandy beaches, clear waters, great for kids as it has calmer waters and a few water sports like water skiing or kite surfing. Not too many places to shop but has souvenir stores and places to buy some clothing.
30 -40 mins from airport
Ubud: Ever heard of Eat, Pray, Love? Well that was situated in Ubud. Imagine rolling green hills, fresh air, rice paddies and temples. This is the place to go if you want to get away from the touristy area and really get to know the Balinese Culture. This is where people come to do yoga and stay at meditation resorts. It also has the monkey forest, elephant riding and white water rafting. About a 45 minute drive away from the beach.
Gianyar: Not too far from Ubud, here you can buy traditional paintings, browse through flea markets, and haggle until your hearts content.Not really a place to party or even get massages but it has more of a Balinese Culture to explore.
Lovina: A destination of slow-paced beach towns. Has black sand beaches and live music with a few clubs scattered around. You can snorkel around the local reefs or take a trip to see the off-shore islands and dolphins! However from what I’ve read, there’s not a lot to do.
3-4 hours from airport
Tulamben: The most likely thing you’ll be doing here is Diving. Tulamben is a small fishing village and a very popular dive site. A US Army Transport ship torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942 lies just 25m’s off shore so divers love to go and explore.
3 hours from airport
Amed: Same deal as Tulamben, Amed is a very popular place for diving. Come here if you want to snorkel and dive until you have water in your ears. You can also climb up 3.142 meters of Bali’s highest mountain, Mount Agung if you’re wanting a day of exercise.
The mountain is about 40 minutes from Amed and while you’re there you can check out Bali’s largest and most sacred Hindu temple at the bottom.
Luxury Villa Celagi is a popular place to stay if you’re wanting to stay on the island.
2 hours from airport
Now if you really want to sail away from the mainland, head over and check out some of these beautiful islands.
Nusa Lembongan: Not really a place to stay, but defiantly a place to visit. This is basically island life of what Bali used to be 25 years ago. Great for a day trip to do some snorkeling and meet the locals. However if you do want to get back to basics and stay on the island, there are some nice accommodation options where you can stay, go swimming and head to the Scooby Doo Beach Bar.
To make this short, there are 3 Islands.
- Gili Air
- Gili Meno
- Gili Trawangan.
Gili Trawangan is the bustling island where you go if you want to meet backpackers, party, sleep or just watch a movie in the sand. Most of the action is centered on the southern part of the island but it’s also fine to go to as a couple if you want a romantic getaway. There’s not motorized transport so everything is horse and cart over here!
Gili Meno is the least visited island. I know they have a turtle sanctuary and you can do some diving trips which are meant to be good. Other than that, there’s not too much to do. You can stay here in one of the bungalows they have available on the island but don’t expect anything too special.
Gili Air is where all the locals live. It still has restaurants and bars but it’s not as intense as Gili T with all the partying. They have a Night Market, some boat tours and some Villa’s to stay in but I probably wouldn’t spend too long here.
Lombok: An East Island just off Bali, it isn’t as popular as it’s neighbor but has many isolated beaches and a perfect place to stay if you just want to do day-trips to The Gili Islands. Also it’s the home of Mount Rinjani (the second highest volcano in Indonesia) where you can book guided tours to explore. The main area to stay in on Lombok is Senggigi as that’s where all the hotels and restaurants are. Things to do are day trips, swimming and snorkeling.
Credit: None of the pictures used are mine, if you come across a picture you own let me know and I’ll credit you 🙂 I just did a cheeky Google search.