Once a stopover for intrepid surfers in the last stages of the hippie trail, Bali now brings in all types of travellers for the islands version of the great value Asian beach holiday.
Get ready to enjoy spectacular cliff top resorts and sophisticated eateries in Uluwatu and Seminyak, while Bali beaches like Kuta and Legian stay true to their promise of unbeatable value. But there is more to Bali than just cheap luxury - step out of the tourist centres and you'll see the vestiges of ancient Bali, from scalloped rice terraces to quiet fishing villages, quintessential namesakes of the island of the gods.
Most people will go shopping in Seminyak, pay their respects at the memorial in Kuta and take a day trip to Ubud. Here are a few more ideas of things to do after your flight to Bali:
- Spend a day enjoying the facilities of the Canggu Club, catching a football match in the air conditioned wood panelled bar while the kids play on manicured lawns
- Watch the sunset from the deck at Ku De Ta
- Hire a cabana and catch an end of summer gig at the Potato Head Beach Club
- Charter a fishermans boat out of Sanur
- Dine at Jimbaran Bay or visit the famous Rock Bar
- Shop some of Australia’s hottest labels, quite a few of whom now manufacture in Bali like Mister Zimi.
The glitzy Seminyak villas might not seem to offer a classic laidback Balinese holiday but there’s plenty here to keep the travellers coming back.
The secluded cliffs of Uluwatu used to only attract hardcore surfers to breaks like Bingin Beach, but this region in the south of Bali is increasingly attracting seriously high end travellers who want to escape the cramped streets of Seminyak.
Between the Uluwatu surf camps, you’ll now find a string of dramatic cliffside resorts, restaurants and bars allowing you to take in the spectacular sunsets in style.
It’s not all about the beaches in Bali.
Retreat from the waterfront to enjoy yoga, spiritual retreats and the annual writers festival from the lush mountain location of Ubud. It’s the perfect place to kick back and get through your summer reading from the most exclusive and beautiful Bali resorts including Hanging Gardens Ubud, Maya Ubud and Alila Ubud.
Visit the famous sacred Monkey Forest sancturary and watch monkeys roam freely on the footpaths of the rainforest walk.
The favourite location of reality tv producers hoping to snap Australians at their worst on holiday, Kuta often gets a bad rap. But there’s plenty of fun to be had in the dubiously constructed bars and winding backstreets, especially on days when any Australian sporting team is playing any other nation. The less than pristine beach is perfect for people watching at sunset and there are plenty of cheap local restaurants.
Mecca for expatriates, location of the Canggu Club and famous for their big ‘villa parties’, Canggu is the kind of place you go when you know someone in Bali. Most visitors to Canggu hire a driver and a villa and hop from beach to restaurant. Surfers like the local beach.
Popular beach destination Nusa Dua caters for everyone. The more active visitors can trek up the many steps to Mother Temple Besakih, play a round of golf on the most popular golf course in Bali or go for a surf out on the pristine, long, white sanded beaches. A myriad of spas, galleries and boutique shops await those who prefer less physical exertion. Nusa Dua is also known for its enclave of large international five star resorts including the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, Melia Nusa Dua Hotel and the Laguna Nusa Dua resort.
Fondly referred to as ‘snore’ by the locals, Sanur attracts a combination of honeymooners, babymooners and families looking to unwind in Balinese style without the madness of Seminyak.
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Bali weather is hot, tropical, with year round temperatures averaging 31°C - there's a reason why Australians love Bali in winter. Expect high humidity, occasional downpours and overcast skies during the wet season (October to April). The best time to book a flight to Bali is June to September, but it's also when Bali is most crowded. The weather in Ubud is cooler than the lower coastal areas.
From the airport
Flights to Bali arrive at Denpasar's Ngurah Rai International Airport. A private transfer to meet you after your flight is a perfect way to arrive to your relaxing Bali holiday. Many hotels offer courtesy airport transfers for their guests, or there's an official taxi rank located outside the arrivals hall.
In and around the city
Once in Bali, you can get around in cheap local yellow taxis by the meter or blue taxis by fixed rate. If you are visiting Jimbaran Bay or Ubud, it's customary to negotiate a return fare with your driver. Remember that traffic congestion around Kuta and Seminyak can add hours to even a short journey.
Your flight with Qantas
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