Bali is one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations and has plenty to offer families. While Bali is more attractive to the young adults in the 18 to 30 years bracket rather than places like Fiji or other pacific islands, there are a large number of resorts that provide for families. Relax in the sun or spend your days shopping, sightseeing or on the water.
Bali is a traditional Indonesian province famous for its sandy beaches, people and food.
It is located about 6 hours flight time from the east coast of Australia. Bali has an area of 5,632.86 square kilometres.
There are several other small islands in the province like Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, and Serangan Island.
Bali's airport is the Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport. It is located in southern Bali, 13km south of Denpasar. It is Indonesia's third-busiest international airport.
The population of Bali is 3.89 million people, and is home to most of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. It is the largest tourist destination in Indonesia and is renowned for its traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting and music.
Diving and snorkeling are among major attractions in Bali. Divers can view various marine creatures, such as colorful tropical fish and coral reefs. Surfing can be done everyday in Bali. Bali's magnificent surfing was introduced by Australian surfers at the end of the 60's, and since then, Bali has become a paradise for surfers. Kuta beach is a great place to learn to surf. White water rafting is popular in the wet season.
Bali is blessed with a beautiful year-round climate with maximum temperatures ranging from 32C to 35C. Bali weather only has two seasons. The best season to travel to Bali is the dry season that officially runs from May to October.
There are temples in every village in Bali. During festivals, the temples are colourful and active with dancing and music. Some of the most popular temples to visit are Tanah Lot Temple, Pura Besakih, Ulu Watu and Ulu Danu. Visitors are requested to respect the dress code when entering the temples. You cannot wear singlets or be bare-chested and your knees should be covered.
Taxi's are available in all areas as well as mini buses (Bemos) and are reasonably priced. You can also hire motor bikes and bicycles. Taxis and Bemos are a very cheap way to travel around Bali but make sure you agree to a price prior to travel. You can hire a car and driver for the day for about AUD$40.
Population: Around 3.89 million people live on the island of Bali
Location: Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator.
Economy: Bali's economy includes tourism (the largest single industry) and agriculture.
Language: The national language is Bahasa Indonesia, however Balinese and English are widely spoken.
Religion: Around 92% of Bali's population adhere to Balinese Hinduism while most of the remainder follow Islam.
Climate: November to March are the wetter months. The high temperatures are usually between 29 and 32 degrees year round with the low from 17 degrees (January-April) and up to 22 degrees (August, September). The humidity is very high and can be very uncomfortable. The higher humidity occurs from December to March.
Currency: Rupiahs, divided into 100 sens. Notes - 10000, 5000, 1000, 500, 100 Coins - 100, 50, 25, 10, 5. Make sure you exchange money only with licensed money changers.
Time Zone: Bali is 2 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time. There is no daylight saving time in Bali.
Driving: There are many places to hire a car or motorbike in Bali, there are small local businesses through to International companies. You will need an International driver's license. The roads can be heavily congested, so you need to be patient.
Taxis: Taxis in Bali are plentiful, especially in tourist areas such as Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur, Nusa Dua and Ubud. Make sure the driver understands where he's heading and uses the meter.
Flying Times To Bali: Approximately 6 hours from Australia's east coast.
Passports: All visitors to Bali must have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity beyond the date of arrival.
VISAS: Australians require a 'Visa-On Arrival' - prices US$25 for a stay of up to 30 days (30 day visa can now be extended).
Departure tax: 150,000 Rp (approx AUD$25) (Need to pay in Indonesian currency)
Health: There are some good health clinics in Bali. Be sure you have good travel insurance. Bali belly is quite common which you can get by contaminated water, eating food that is not well prepared or fruit that is not washed properly. Drink bottled water.
Electricity: Current is 220V, 50Hz. Sockets are two-pin plugs; adaptors are cheap and for sale everywhere.
Departing: When departing Bali you have to pay departure tax which can be paid in cash in Indonesian Rupiah only (Rp 150,000),
so save some money for the trip out. Be prepared for long waits in peak season. Duty-free shopping is available in the International Departures area, in the Plaza Bali.
Arriving: Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport is 13km south of Denpasar. Arriving passengers are passed through VOA (visa on arrival) issuance if applicable, then subsequently processed through immigration clearance channels for VOA, Non VOA, Visa waiver and a separate channel for Indonesian passport holders. Baggage retrieval is followed by customs and quarantine examinations including baggage X-ray checkpoints. The whole procedure can take some time, especially in peak season.
Be mindful of airport porters who can be very pushy. If you do not wish to engage the services of a porter, then a firm but polite "no" should suffice. If you do accept their services then a payment is required with Rp 5,000 being the standard charge.
If you have arranged a pick up through your Bali accomodation then they should be waiting for you as you exit customs. Otherwise head to the Taxi Stand desk - these taxi's are linked to the Bali airport and the prices are all fixed.
Direct flights to Bali are available mostly from cities in Asia and Pacific countries. Jetstar and Virgin fly regularly from
Australia to Bali. Garuda, Air Asia and Skywest also fly direct from Australia.
The Domestic and Internationsl terminals are within walking distance of each other and are separated by the Festival Plaza.
You can also fly directly from Ngurah Rai to Europe, Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong.
Kuta is the most famous of all of the tourist locations in Bali. It has a huge shopping centre with department stores, boutiques, CD shops etc. There are also plenty of hawkers to pester you into buying their wares. The accommodation in Kuta is generally in the budget area, and is probably not the best choice for families (with the exception of the Hard Rock Hotel). The beach at Kuta is a surf beach and can become crowded. Kuta is mainly a place for shopping and partying.
Situated next to Kuta, but much quieter. The beach is protected by a reef, making swimming a lot safer than Kuta. This area has the largest range of well priced family accommodation available. There are family restaurants, a water park and the Kuta centre shopping mall only a short walk from most resorts.
Not far from Kuta is Seminyak. Much more an up market area with trendy restaurants and bars. More an area for couples rather than families and this is reflected in the number of resorts offering family facilities.
Sanur is situated about 20 minutes by car from Kuta, and is a quiet, relaxing alternative to the busy Kuta. There are still plenty of local shops and restaurants. Beautiful white sandy beaches but watch for the reefs at low tide. Less hawkers to bother you and a fantastic range of quality family friendly accommodation to choose from.
Quieter than Kuta and offering a better standard of shopping, restaurants and bars. Ideal for families with a good choice of quality hotels, mostly on the beachfront. The beach is much quieter and there are less hawkers around.
About 30-40 minutes by car north of Kuta. The hotels in this area are luxury accommodation and there is only a limited number of family friendly resorts to choose from. There are plenty of shops nearby so there's no need to travel to Kuta.
Very classy area with luxurious five star resorts. The shopping and restaurants aren’t as abundant here but it's only about 30 minutes by car to Kuta. Beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of family friendly accommodation, but at the higher end of the price scale.
Ten minutes drive south of Kuta is the fishing village of Jimbaran Bay. Beautiful, safe beach and the seafood beachfront restaurants are very popular. Some nice family resorts to choose from.
Just to the north of Nusa Dua is Tanjung Benoa. It is very quiet but only 10 minutes by car to the shopping and restaurants of Nusa Dua. There's a wide range of water sports available from a couple of family friendly resorts.
About two and a half hours from Bali is the island of Lombok. This island doesn't have the hustle and bustle of Bali and boasts some fantastic beaches. There are a number of family resorts available, providing a host of water sports and family activities.
There are endless activities available for families in Bali. Here is a list of the most popular ones:
Waterbom Park and Spa
Located in the heart of Kuta, it is a must with the kids. On offer are waterslides, pools, and water volleyball. There is an aquatic playground for smaller children offering loads of fun in a fully-supervised environment.
Bali Bird Park
Enter a fascinating world of exotic sights and sounds... Hundreds of the world's rarest and most beautiful birds greet you as you stroll through tropical gardens. Located in Taman Burung.
Bali Safari and Marine Park
Home to hundreds of amazing animals representing more than 50 species, including some rare and endangered species. There are also animal rides and daily shows. Located near Lebih Beach in Gianyar only a few minutes from Sanur and less than 30 mins from Denpasar.
Situated on 22 acres of lush landscape in the art village of Singapadu and home to a diverse collection of more than 350 exotic animals a majority of which are indigenous to Indonesia. The zoo is only a fifteen minute drive from Ubud.
Bali Treetop Adventure Park
Located in the Bali Botanical Garden, Bedugul. Bali treetop adventure park is a fun activity set in an open air environment. 72 challenges for all levels and ages - Suspended bridges, Spider Nets, Tarzan Jumps, Flying-Fox, Flying Swings, and many more fun challenges.
Elephant Safari Park
Your chance to get up close and personal with these incredible animals in a beautiful tropical park setting. Almost 30 magnificent and well cared for Sumatran elephants can be found throughout the lush tropical grounds. You can do the Day Trek or the Night Safari. About 1 hr from Ubud.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple
Sitting on top of a cliff, the temple is one of Bali's most sacred places. Uluwatu has a resident band of wild monkeys which you can feed with the peanuts and bananas sold there.
The major issues facing travellers to Bali are those associated with local hygiene, safe water & food, diseases transmitted by mosquitoes & accidents. Currency of your basic immunisations such as Tetanus & Diphtheria should be checked & others like Hepatitis A & Typhoid considered.
The most famous disease that you can get quite easily when you visit Bali is the Bali Belly. Basically the Bali Belly is stomach cramps together with diarrhoea. Bali Belly is caused by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food. Avoid fruit and vegetables that are not washed in safe water. Thoroughly cooked food is usually safe as long as it has not been left standing or has been re-heated. Stick to the major resorts and popular and busy restaurants. Stick to bottled water and avoid ice in your drinks. Take care that bottled water that you buy is properly sealed and not just re-filled from a tap.
Hepatitis A is spread by poor sanitation, contaminated water, shellfish or food sold by handlers with poor hygiene. Taking care of what you eat and drink will help avoid it. Hepatitis B is spread through contact with infected blood. Avoid body piercing. Typhoid fever is also spread through contact with contaminated food or water.
Bali has really good health clinics with modern equipment and English speaking doctors. Check with your travel agent what type of support each resort offers. Medical services for the traveller can be costly so travel health insurance is recommended. The general emergency numbers in Bali are: police 110, ambulance 118 and fire department 113.
Balinese is the native language of Bali. The official language is now Bahasa Indonesia. Almost everyone on Bali speaks Bahasa Indonesia in addition to Balinese and many speak a little English as well.
It's a good idea to learn some of
the Balinses language before you arrive. Some of the more common
Balinese words and phrases are:
Say yah! - yes.
Sing - no.
Rum-reebok-sung (in BI= coelacanth) - please
M'door-sue-box-summer (in BI= terry-muck-hussy) - thankyou.
Dull-dull - bye-bye.
Ssell-a-mutt dull-tongue (in BI) - welcome!
Sell-a-mutt buggy (in BI) - goodmorning!
Bit-sick (in BI= bug-goose) - good.
Jill-lek - bad.