Australians really were ones who drove the tourist boom in Bali, with surfers arriving in the 1970’s followed by waves of package tourists.
Kuta Beach was, and still is the epicenter of the Australian tourist scene in Bali, with Tuban to the south and Legian to the north also being favourites.
•Visas: Australians are entitled to VOA (Visa On Arrival), meaning they can show up and get 30 days for US$25.
Denpasar airport in Tuban is 1km from the large resort style hotels on Jl. Kartika Plaza, such as Ramada Bintang, Bali Dynasty, Discovery. For Aussies with families who want maximum fun and sunshine / minimum stress, these places are as close as you’ll get.
Kuta and Legian are loaded with budget to mid range hotels that cater to family groups, including Hotel Bounty on Poppies II in Kuta, to Jayakarta on Jl. Padma Utara in Legian, which has 3 pools and a more ‘resort’ feel.
Aussies are generally well liked and many Balinese speak good English, some with a fake Aussie accent. Australian families often become attached to their favourite Balinese local, whether it be Wayan, Made or Komang, often returning year after year and hiring the same driver. Australians can drive in Bali as long as they bring their International Driving Licence. Mine is from Northern Territories.
Most people who work in tourist shops in Bali, speak English and are familiar with Australians and their way of doing business. Plenty of friendly banter and playful jargon. Typical goods sought out by Aussies include Bintang t-shirts, knock off surf shorts, DVD’s and other small gifts. This stuff is abundent in Kuta and Legian. For those staying in Tuban, the Discovery Mall is located on Jl. Kartika Plaza, featuring clothes, surf wear, Starbucks and oceanview cafes.
A little ways up is Kuta Square, a high density shopping street, with Matahari Department Store, McDonalds and KFC.
The Australian Consulate is located in Renon, Denpasar.
There are a number of Australian owned surf schools in Bali, including Pro Surf, Bali Learn To Surf and Palu. Shop around for the best deals as prices change.
Younger Australians flock to Bounty Ship, Paddy’s and MBarGo, in Kuta, which are focused on drinking and loud music. Paddy’s serves jungle juice, a sweet mixture that is designed to get you drunk.
The 30’s-50’s age group tend to prefer Peanuts, at Jl. Legian and Jl. Melasti, Secret Garden, on Poppies I and a variety of places in the Legian area, including Poser’s Pub and green & gold painted Aussie bar on Jl. Padma. Peanuts does a pub crawl on Tuesdays and Saturday’s, could get ugly! If you need your dose of Crocodile Dundee, head over to Bush Telegraph on Jl. Dhyana Pura, complete with full size plastic croc.
Despite the news reports of terrorrists planing to kill Australians, most Indonesians and Balinese are very friendly, and are happy to have an Australian friend. While the vast majority of Australian tourists in Bali stay within 1 km of the beach, those who venture further afield, do so in relative safety.
•Sport on tv:
Australian sport can be seen in a variety of places, including Stadium Cafe (0361)763100 Tuban, Sin City (0361)730372 in Seminyak, All Stars Cafe (0361)757933 in Tuban and Pub Bagus on Poppies II in Kuta. Many places will advertise the day’s sporting line-up on a board outside.
•Australian travel interests in Bali:
Schoolies week. Schoolies week is in mid-November , which means the weather will be humid, with the odd shower now and then.
•Bali bombing I anniversary:
The anniversary of the first Bali bombing is held every year on October 12th, in Kuta. The Australian ambassador usually gives a speech along with other dignitaries at the memorial, at Jl. Legian and Poppies II. All allcomers are welcome, no special dress or preparations are necessary, althoguh I suggest you bring a hat and a bottle of water. proceedings usually start around 9am.
•Schapelle Corby & Bali Nine:
Kerobokan jail houses a selection of young Australian convicted of drug offences. Visiting them has become an item of interest for many Australian tourists. If you wish to visit, do not bring cameras or cell phones. You’ll have to name the person you wish to visit, pay 20,000rp and wait to see if they will talk to you. Visiting time breaks for lunch and starts around 2pm, you’ll get maybe an hour or 2 and gifts of food are allowed..
Australian Consulate in Bali
Jl. Mochammed Yamin #4
Australian Embassy Jakarta
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav C15-16
Indonesian Embassies & Consulates in Australia
8 Darwin Ave
02 6250 8600
Level 2, 45 King William St.
S. Australia, 5000
08 8217 8282
Level 20, Riverside Center, 123 Eagle St
07 3309 0888
20 Harry Chan Ave
N. Territories 0801
08 8941 0048
72 Queen Rd
03 9525 2755
134 Adelaide Terrace,
08 9221 5858
236-238 Maroumba Rd
02 9344 9933
•Guidebooks for Bali:
There are some very inforamtiive guides for Bali. I find that Lonely Planet and Rough Guide offer a lot of ‘nuts & bolts’ info, including how to get around, with particulars on travel times and cost, guest house / hotel locations, contact info etc. The Natural Guide to Bali and others offer a more culturally centered view.
Here are some places in Australia where you can pick up a map of Bali and some reading material that may supplement your knowledge of the island.
Map Shop 6-10 Peel St
S. Australia 5000
08 8231 2033
372 Little Bourhee St
03 9670 4383
Perth Map Center
1/884 Hay St.
08 9322 5733