It’s basically Australia’s holiday house. Pre-pandemic, Bali hosted more than a million Aussies every year, from teens celebrating schoolies in Kuta to families soaking up Ubud’s tranquillity in secluded villas. Bali’s what you make it – a lavish getaway, a journey into a fascinating culture, a wellness escape or one long pub crawl. Now that Bali is reopening, plan your next trip with our Read Before You Leave guide.
Qantas and Jetstar fly directly to Bali. The flight takes about six and a half hours from the east coast and about four hours from Perth.
As of May 2022, Australians require a tourist visa to enter Bali for periods of 30 days or less. You can apply on arrival at the international airport; the fee is US$35 (A$50) per person. Your passport must have six months validity for you to enter Bali. For all other visas, visit the Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration website.
To stay up to date with the latest travel requirements, visit the Qantas Travel Ready hub.
Landing at Denpasar Airport
Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, otherwise known as Denpasar International Airport, is Indonesia’s second-busiest airport.
Located 13 kilometres south of Denpasar, the airport has a taxi counter located outside the arrivals hall. Tell the attendant your destination, pay the set fare and keep a hold of your receipt to show your taxi driver.
Check-in for Qantas-operated flights is counters C16-24 on Level 3.
COVID-19 vaccine advice
To travel internationally on a Qantas aircraft, all passengers 12 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (some exemptions apply; check them here). You will be required to carry and show proof of your vaccination status – before arriving at the airport, make sure to get an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). If you’ve previously tested positive for COVID-19, you might need medical clearance to fly; find out more here.
To enter Indonesia, you’ll require an ICVC (except for children under six) and evidence of a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before travel. You’ll also need travel insurance that includes coverage for COVID-19 treatment and medical evacuation to a referral hospital. Travellers must download and use the Peduli Lindungi contact tracing app throughout their stay.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival, including a temperature above 37.5°C, you’ll be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate until you receive a negative result.
In the lead-up to your departure, make sure to regularly check the latest Indonesian Directorate General of Immigration requirements and the Qantas Travel Ready guide as this information is subject to change.
Other health advice
- Make sure your basic vaccinations are up to date and consider shots for typhoid, measles, hepatitis A and B and Japanese encephalitis.
- Rabies exists in Bali. Make sure to have a rabies vaccination and be careful around dogs and monkeys.
- Cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus have been reported in Indonesia. The Australian Department of Health recommends women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant discuss their travel plans with a doctor.
- Dengue fever is a problem in Bali and according to Smart Traveller, there’s been an increase in infection rates among Australians returning from the area in recent years. There’s no vaccination available; use mosquito nets, apply a repellent that contains DEET and wear long sleeves and closed-toe shoes at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Guide to All Things Bali
Australians have seen our fair share of trouble with Indonesian authorities. Always obey Indonesian law.
- Penalties for drug offences are extremely harsh and include fines, imprisonment and the death penalty.
- Some prescription medications are considered illegal narcotics in Indonesia, so if you require drugs including morphine, sleeping pills or medication for ADHD, double check with the Indonesian embassy.
- The legal drinking age is 21.
- Gambling is illegal in Indonesia.
- Under Indonesian law, visitors must always carry identification on their person.
- In some instances, it’s illegal to take photographs in Indonesia. Obey signs banning photography and if in doubt, seek advice from local officials.
Always make sure your taxi driver has switched on the metre before you take off. Grab, the Singapore-based company that acquired Uber in Asia, is an inexpensive option that also lets you hire a driver for several hours.
Though motorcycles are ubiquitous in Bali, think twice before hiring one. A number of visitors have been killed or seriously injured while driving one. If you do decide to hire a bike, make sure you have the appropriate licence, that your insurance policy covers you and that you always wear a helmet.
The local currency is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR). At the time of writing, the Australian dollar was buying about IDR 10,036 – consult a reliable currency conversion service for up-to-date foreign exchange rates.
Check with your bank that you won’t be hit with extra fees when using your credit card in Bali. Your Australian bank and Indonesian ATMs will each charge you for withdrawing money from your debit card, too, so it might be worth organising a travel card (most banks have one) with low or no fees to use while you’re away.
In any case, inform your bank of your travel plans, lest overseas purchases are misconstrued as fraud and your card is cancelled.
Bali is generally warm and humid year-round with two main seasons: wet and dry. The rainy season typically runs from November to March or April; visitors can expect periods of rain each day that clear into sunshine within a few hours. During the dry season (May to October), conditions are less humid and cool breezes in the evenings provide a welcome respite from the warmth.
When to go
Balance seasonal concerns with peak tourism periods. During the high seasons in July, August and December fares and accommodation are expensive, restaurants are booked out and there are serious crowds. Great times to visit Bali are the May, June and September shoulder seasons: the weather is drier and less humid, there are fewer crowds and there are good deals to be had.
A range of crimes and scams can occur in Bali. Be aware of your surroundings in touristy areas and beware of bag snatchers, keep valuables out of sight and don’t leave drinks unattended.
Smart Traveller advises there is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Indonesia. Take official warnings seriously and follow the advice of local authorities.
Unlike the rest of Indonesia, which is mostly Muslim, Bali is largely Hindu. While it’s important to dress conservatively in other parts of the country, on beachy Bali, visitors can be more relaxed. Swimwear by the water, shorts and minis in touristy areas and plenty of bronzed skin in bars are normal. However, if you’re heading into villages and temples, respect the local culture and cover up shoulders, décolletage and bare legs. Pack plenty of light, breathable layers and sturdy sandals for walking on uneven roads.
Tap water in Bali isn’t safe to drink. Stick to boiled or bottled water and ask for drinks without ice.
- Australia has no reciprocal healthcare arrangements with Indonesia, so without comprehensive travel insurance, travellers have to pay for medical treatment in Bali – and some hospitals will ask for payment upfront before treating you. Indonesian medical facilities aren’t as sophisticated as Australian hospitals, which means that in the case of a serious illness or accident, a patient may need to be evacuated to Australia – at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars.
- If you rent a car or moped without the requisite licence, your insurer will deny a claim in the case of an accident.
- As of May 2022, all visitors must be insured for COVID-19-related medical expenses to enter Indonesia. It’s also important to see if your policy covers other COVID-related issues like delays and cancelled flights.
Phone calls and mobile data
Before you land, disable data roaming on your phone and don’t answer incoming calls if you want to keep your monthly bill in check. If you need to keep in touch with people at home, invest in a prepaid travel SIM card (you can buy your international SIM before you leave Australia) or buy a local prepaid SIM. Remember, this will only work if your phone is not locked to your Australian carrier.
The main emergency number in Bali is 112.
To call Australia, dial +61 followed by the phone number (include the area code but minus the zero). So to call a Sydney landline, you would dial +61 2 then the phone number. To call a mobile phone, use the same country code (+61) and dial the mobile number minus the first zero.
Bali has the same standard voltage as Australia, so all gadgets and chargers should work without a problem. You will need a power adapter because the sockets are different.
Wi-Fi is readily available in cafés, restaurants and hotels. Use a VPN to keep your data secure when using public networks.
- The Australian Consulate-General in Bali for emergencies.
- Wonderful Indonesia for tourist information.
- Ngurah Rai International Airport for flight and airport information.
- Smart Traveller for up-to-date safety information.
- The Qantas Travel Ready hub for the latest travel requirements.