About Bali

Holidays to Bali are practically a rite of passage for any Australian thanks to its close vicinity to our shores and its unbeatable value. Not to mention, it's a pretty spectacular place to spend a few days - or weeks!

Bali is not only beloved by Aussies, but it's internationally recognised as one of the best places to escape to. It's got it all - modern tourist facilities, incredible shopping opportunities, beaches galore and a rich cultural heritage.

With all that rolled into one dream location, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd have to empty the piggy bank in order to get there. We pride ourselves on offering unique and valuable packages to help you make all your Balinese dreams come true, so that holiday may be within closer reach than you think.

Once you've decided to take the plunge and hop on the plane, the next step is choosing between the wide range of resort and hotel accommodation on offer in Bali. With popular destinations like Nusa Dua, Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Legian and Seminyak all contained within the island, it pays to book yourself in to a few different places in order to experience all Bali has to offer.

Try the beachfront Bali Garden Beach Resort in South Kuta for a relaxing resort at a reasonable price, or go all out with your very own private villa at Sentosa Private Villas and Spa in Seminyak. Here you'll have your very own swimming pool, along with an on-site restaurant, bar, gym and spa facility. This resort is so well equipped you could spend your entire holiday without stepping outside of the confines of your villa!

Whatever your budget and no matter your requirements, we're sure we can offer you the perfect accommodation to make your Bali experience even more beautiful.

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Popular Regions

KUTA AREA: the capital of Bali is Denpasar City, but for tourists it is the Kuta area, a mecca for shoppers looking for a bargain (cheap DVDs, tee shirts, leather goods, casual wear) and those wanting to be where the main action of Bali is situated. Here you will also find a host of bars and restaurants, including the very popular Hard Rock Cafe. If you are looking to just chill-out with the locals or learn to ride a surfboard this is the place, famous Kuta Beach, stay late and watch the spectacular sunset truly memorable!

SOUTH KUTA (Tuban): this area is more suited to families and those looking for a more relaxed holiday and is where you will find some of Bali's best family orientated resorts, many with beach front locations. It is also home to Bali's biggest water theme park - Waterbom - with a fantastic selection of waterslides and activities to suit the thrillseeker or the little ones alike. Here you can also shop in air-conditioned comfort at the Discovery Kartika Mall, browse through the Art Markets for a souvenir or two or head to Matahari Department Store in well know Kuta Square.

LEGIAN BEACH: the area known as Legian is more an extension of the northern end of Kuta Beach and tends to be more relaxed and laid- back than Kuta. Many of the resorts are located on the long stretch of the beach and take full advantage of their setting with the restaurants, bars and swimming pools being well placed to take advantage of the seaview and stunning sunsets. The surrounding area plays home to a myriad of small designer shops and local restaurants.

SEMINYAK: this is the most recently developed area along the beach just past Legian and features some of the islands best resorts and restaurants, including the very popular and chic Ku de Ta, a wonderful beachside restaurant and bar. Seminyak is also home to many of Bali's villa resorts which cater to couples wanting that something special, a luxurious private pool villa, or to larger groups of friends or families wanting their own home away from home. Many offer 2 or 3 bedroom villas with their own kitchens and private pool. A wonderful experience is assured for all.

JIMBARAN BAY: The Bay is a long, beautiful sandy beach with the old fishing village of Jimbaran at one end. The beach is lined with small, family type restaurants offering fresh sea food with the main attraction being that you can choose your sea food, choose the cooking method and enjoy it overlooking the beach and the spectacular sunsets

NUSA DUA: The peninsula area on Nusa Dua in the south of the island plays host to many of the major international resorts in Bali. These include the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, Melia Bali and Laguna Resort & Spa. The area is noted for is delightful resorts set in stunning manicured tropical gardens that run to the edge of the palm fringed beach, serene atmosphere and superbly attentive service. Most of the resorts are generally larger than those in other main tourist areas and take full advantage of the large grounds they are set in to provide wonderful swimming pools, beautifully designed gardens and restaurants and the very best in Spas and facilities to ensure everyone is catered to. Nusa Dua is an ideal destination for families and couples and offers a wonderful selection of restaurants and shopping opportunities for all visitors.

SANUR: Sanur is the birth place of tourism in the part of the world. It is recognised as the main centre for art in Bali and features a great array of small boutiques offering wonderful local art works and creative designs in handmade jewellery, wood carvings, stone work and beautifully crafted furniture. The resorts cater beautifully to those wanting to be surrounded by not only this style of shopping but those who enjoy the opportunity to fossick for a real bargain or antique or just meander to any of the myriad of local and international restaurants. A walk along the beachfront promenade is a marvellous experience. Sanur offers a wide selection of resorts that cater best to those wanting to slow down, relax and take in the peace and culture that Bali and its people exude.

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People & Customs

The Balinese are an incredibly friendly, relaxed and spiritual people who take life at a slow pace. Many travellers report the Balinese people as being some of, if not the, nicest people they have met. The Balinese Culture is one of Bali's main tourist attractions as there are not many places in the world where you can find such a rich culture of devotion to traditional values and a unique religion which in this case is an adaptation of Hinduism. Famous for the dances and performances as well as the artwork that is produced in certain villages that tend to dedicate their selves to a certain art for a certain village, such as Ubud is the village of painters and Mas is the village of carvers. Performances include the puppet shows that re-enact the legends and stories of the areas as well as costumed performances that are enchanting, beautiful and sometimes sinister.

The Shivaite part of Hinduism is the main religion followed which creates a fascinating island, the Balinese people leave many offerings of rice and incense are everyday and put their lives and business to the side entirely for the many calendar and family festivals that paint and carve their lives and are of supreme importance so that this island is also known as an island of heaven. The best places in Bali to witness the true Balinese culture is in Ubud where you can witness the performances as well as Uluwatu and to see the real Bali away from the tourists then travel to the east and north east of the island. The other religions include Moslem, Christian/Catholic and Buddhist where they live in harmony and peace,

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language in Bali, however English is widely spoken in resort areas, hotels shops and restaurants.

The Balinese are inclusive by nature and take great pride in their heritage and therefore do not mind visitors observing ceremonies and traditional dances.

Visitors should dress appropriately - smart casual is appropriate - swim wear is not appropriate.

Be quiet and respectful. Cameras and camcorders may be used - but do be unobtrusive.

When visiting temples be aware that you should wear long pants or a sarong with a sash tied around the waist. These are available at the temple to borrow for a small donation

If you do find yourself stuck in traffic for no apparent reason you may have come up on a Balinese procession on the way to temple. Be patient. No amount of honking the car's horn is going to speed things up and it's rude to try and pass.

Balinese regard the head as the highest part of the body, both literally and figuratively. Therefore, they do not appreciate anyone patting them there, even as a friendly gesture

Major hotels usually add a 10% service charge to bills. Where it is not included a tip of between 5% to 10% of the bill would be appropriate if the service is satisfactory. Airport porters and Bellmen generally get Rp.3,000 for a small carry-on sized luggage, Rp.5,000 for larger bags and Rp.10,000 for extra heavy luggage. Tipping taxi and hire-car drivers is not mandatory, but if service has been satisfactory tip is sufficient for a taxi driver, Hire-car drivers would normally expect a larger tip.

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Top Things To Do

Sit on Kuta Beach and watch the beautiful sunset.

Hire a taxi for the day and explore the island and some of its lesser known spots.

Take the kids to Waterbom Park the whole family will have a great day

Visit Bali Safari & Marine Park where Africa comes to you - a terrific day is assured.

Have a game of golf at the Greg Norman designed Nirwana Bali Golf Club where the views alone make it an enjoyable experience no matter what you score.

Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the best restaurants in Bali & the very chic Ku De Ta in Seminyak. Wonderful ambience, great food and spectacular beachfront setting. Ideal for a romantic evening!

Head up to Ubud, the cultural and handicraft heart of Bali and explore the beautiful temple complexes and look for that special painting or carving that you just have to have.

Learn to ride a surfboard at one of the many Surf Schools on Kuta Beach. A new passion is about to start.

Sign up for a cooking school and learn the art of making delicious Indonesian cuisine.

Have a great holiday.

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Shopping

Shopping hours in most resort areas extend from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and some open for half a day on Sunday. In the city centres some shops close for a siesta between 1.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. Most large shops, supermarkets and department stores have fixed prices, but at small stalls and in the markets it is customary to bargain, starting at half of the asking price and going up to what you want to pay. An important point to keep in mind is that Balinese admire good manners and a sense of humour and tend to be put off by a loss of temper. Providing you have the time, a good general rule is to make a survey of several shops selling the sort of items you want before coming to a final decision.

Most hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops accept certain foreign currencies and credit cards. Diners Club and American Express, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at hotels, department stores, shops, restaurants and nightclubs. According to the Indonesian banking regulations, payment by credit cards is charged in local currency. Some merchants apply a 3-5 percent surcharge for credit card transactions.

ATMs are everywhere. Many connect to international banking networks so you can withdraw cash in rupiah from your home account. Look for those affiliated with your own ATM network, noted by signage on your card.

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General Health

Vaccinations are not required by law for entry to Bali but you may wish to consult your doctor six weeks prior to travel. Some travellers may experience minor stomach upsets or changed bowel actions while they are away from home. Commonly known as "Bali Belly" it is often the affect of an exotic diet rather than of a serious illness. It is important to be able to recognise a serious problem if one should arise. Avoid temporary 'black henna' tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.

Avoid over-exposure to the tropical sun. Tanning oils and sun-protection oils are necessary for those who insist on obtaining a fast tan, and a hat should be worn when hiking or indulging in water-sports to avoid sunstroke.

Don't drink the local water unless it has been well boiled. It is better to drink hot drinks and bottled drinks than the local iced refreshments, as you will not have time to develop a resistance to local bacteria while travelling. All fruit should be peeled or washed before eating and raw vegetables and salads are high risk unless in the international standard hotels and restaurants.

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When To Go

With sunshine throughout the year Bali has a tropical monsoon climate with pleasant day temperatures between 20° to 33° Celsius. Rainy season starts from October to March, when the West monsoon brings heavy showers and high humidity. June to September is considered the driest season, with low humidity and it can be fairly cool in the evenings, the best time for any outdoor activities. It can get very cool up in the highlands and a warm sweater can be a good idea in mountain villages like Kintamani or Bedugul.

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What To Pack

Dress is normally informal in Bali due to the warm, humid climate and clothing of light fabrics is recommended. A Light jacket may be required for cooler evenings or travelling in highland areas. When entering a temple tourists are required to wear a sarong and sash, which are available at the temple. Legs must be covered (long pants and a sash can also be acceptable).

Make sure you only pack half a suitcase worth of clothes. You must do some serious shopping in Bali and you wouldn't want to run out of space when you return to your own country.

Bring light clothes as it gets very hot and humid during daytime but it will be a little cooler at night. Don't forget the sandals for the beach and of course swim gear is a must!

Take a good camera with you. Bring spare batteries, if you have rechargeable batteries they are better. You should have extra memory cards for digital cameras when you join tours.

Bring lots of sun screen and tanning oil. They could be quite pricey in Bali. Also, mosquitoes could be a problem too so bring insect repellents.

The voltage in Bali is 220 volts, 50 cycle AC power, they use two round pins for power plugs in Bali. Some hotels may supply adapters however you are advised to carry a plug adaptor kit for shavers, hair driers and other appliances

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Grown Up Getaways

Bali is the perfect destination for those seeking an idyllic holiday not far from home. Just several hours' flight from Australia, this tropical paradise is an easy journey that offers huge rewards.

Leave the kids at home this time around so you can really experience the island nation at your leisure, without any of the demands and stresses from home. This way, the vast beaches, warm ocean water, pampering spa treatments and heavenly hotel rooms are all yours to enjoy without distraction! Who could say no?

It's no question that Bali is also a great destination for romance. Its very atmosphere is evocative of all things starry-eyed, whether it's the misty mountain landscape, rousing local music or fresh, sea-salt scent.

Not to mention Bali's luxury resorts encourage indulgence and enjoyment. Enjoy dreamy candlelit dinners with stunning ocean views, or treat yourself to a rejuvenating couples' massage.

The island is also culturally rich, so whether you're located at the beachy enclave of Nusa Dua or in the streets of Ubud there are cultural sites aplenty. You'll come across beautiful song and dance as you explore local temples, markets and villages getting to know the inviting culture.

The natural landscape is also incredibly picturesque, perfect for hikes and romantic picnics. See if you can stumble upon a serene inland pool or waterfall where you settle in for lunch, surrounded by magical jungle.

Or perhaps a sunset cruise in calm, offshore waters is more your style. Enjoy watching red, orange and pink light up the sky as you relax on a yacht, drink in hand with your loved one. I wonder what those kids are doing back at home right now?

We have the low-down on the top spots in Bali, so get in touch and we'll fill you in and get the ball rolling.

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Family Favourites

Aussies and Kiwi adults have been heading to Bali for years for their own holidays - but have you ever thought about taking the kids along too?

There's nothing like the way Balinese people welcome families, especially children, so expect to feel at home as soon as you arrive.

With a host of beautiful beaches and villages such as Nusa Dua and Kuta, you can find many comfortable and family-resorts close to all the action.

You might want to spend your time building intricate sandcastles, splashing in the shallows, or even introducing the young ones to the local Hindu culture.

Visit some of the stunning temples and witness a ceremony celebrating a marriage or birth, or even the lunar cycle.

You can also experience traditional performances, dance and music, sure to enrapture both you and your curious kids from start to finish. Fire spinning and dancing is often a highlight of these excursions!

Check out the Bali Zoo, Elephant Park and Bird Park, too! The kids will love getting up close to the exotic creatures and will entertain them for hours.

Of course, there's also endless fun up for grabs on the water, with snorkelling, jet-skiing, cruising, water-skiing, fishing and yachting just some of the activities to keep you and your young ones busy.

And if you feel like relaxing at the spa for a few hours or maybe even partaking in a local meditation class, your hotel's kids' club will be able to amuse your offspring with plenty of exciting activities.

In Bali, dining is also always going to be a fun, family affair. You will be able to find a host of both local and internationally-inspired food, so there will be something to please even the fussiest kids' palates!

The local food places heavy emphasis on rice dishes and delectable spices. Expect lots of coconut, garlic and chilli along with an abundance of fish freshly plucked from the surrounding waters.

The kids are bound to love the novelty of food that comes wrapped in bright banana leaves and you might just find their tastes develop as the trip goes on. However, if a roasted suckling pig just isn't going to fly, you can always find somewhere offering a hot dog and chips!

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Teen Time

It's no secret that Australians love Bali and the Balinese love Australia. It's only a short flight away for many of us, but has a completely different culture and vibe that teens and adults alike fall in love with.

Pack your family's bags and head to Bali for a unique adventure you'll remember forever. Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali tempts tourists with everything from volcanoes and jungles to the most spectacular beaches you will ever see. Plus, there's a whole world of spiritual temples and traditional villages to explore, so you and your family are bound to meet some interesting locals along the road.

Style-savvy teens will love the opportunity to snap up a bargain at Bali's markets, where you can buy both casual and made-to-measure tailored outfits. There's also an abundance of locally-made jewellery and handicrafts to take home as souvenirs, plus you'll be benefiting local artists and craftspeople! Talk about a win-win.

You'll be hard pressed to tear your mini-Kelly Slaters away from the beach, as it truly is a surfing mecca. Bali boasts some of the most stunning coastlines in the world, with both black and white sand beaches. The warm waters will tempt you with their almost unbelievable turquoise tone, so bust out your swimmers, ignore your cringing kids and dive right in.

Take teens to Bali Safari and Marine Park to get up close and personal with some of their favourite wild animals. They can interact with elephants, check out the highly intelligent orangutans (who may seem smarter than your kids at times) and spot stripey zebras roaming the grounds. Animal-lovers will be happy to know the park prides itself on its sustainable environment and focus on preservation, so you'll be contributing to their hard work when you visit the site.

Relax with your family on Kuta Beach with a cool drink at the end of a long day and watch the sun set over this pristine island.

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Baby Steps

It's no secret - Australians love Bali, and the Balinese love Australians. But did you know that this love even extends to your tiny terrors? That's right, the whole family - even your little monsters - are welcome in this tropical paradise, so take your tots on the trip of a lifetime.

The locals here absolutely adore kids and will treat your little ones like their own - perfect for those moments you wish they truly did belong to someone else! Hospitality workers will often provide your tots with games, colouring books and crayons to while away the time waiting in restaurants, as well as providing meal options for those with more delicate palates. This means you can all enjoy meals out on the town.

Many Balinese resorts have inhouse kids' clubs, so check out their activities and options for looking after your kids while you're staying there. Sometimes all you want is a bit of downtime to yourself, and Bali is happy to oblige with childcare options and plenty of adult relaxation locations like spas and bars.

Your babies will love the picture-perfect beaches of Sanur, where you and your whole family can laze away the days in this incredibly laid-back beach location. You'll have blue skies year-long, and if you choose your times well you can even take in flickers of vibrant colour at the International Kite Festival. Babies will love watching them dance in the air for hours, giving you some much-needed time off!

For a relaxed day at the beach, launch your own kite into the turquoise sky and watch your kids' faces light up. If they're old enough (and coordinated enough!) they can even control the device themselves, or simply chase it along the ground. You can buy kites from many vendors in Bali, so don't worry about packing your own - you'll have enough to worry about when it comes to packing for the kids!

Take a closer look at the beautiful wildlife of the area at Bali Safari and Marine Park. Whether your kids take this in via stroller or they're old enough to totter around on their own, they'll love the huge selection of exotic animals, the marine park and theatre with live stage performances.

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Celebrations

Got a wedding coming up? Congratulations! If you've yet to plan your honeymoon location, check out Bali for one of the most beautiful and sought-after experiences you'll have. In fact, it's so pretty there you may even forget about all those post-wedding duties waiting for you upon your return home.

Dubbed "The Island of the Gods", Bali is known around the world for being truly spectacular. What's more, it's practically in our own backyard. It's no wonder we Aussies flock there in droves each year. It's not only become an extremely popular honeymoon spot for couples, but it's also becoming a hit for lovebirds to hold destination weddings.

If you're one of those outdoorsy couples, you'll be spoilt for choice by the luscious rice fields, majestic mountains and ancient temples dotted around this country. Surfers will be in heaven, along with anyone interested in donning a wetsuit and flippers for a closer look at the aquatic environment.

If you've managed to drag the kids along to help celebrate your big event, whether it's wedding anniversary or a very special birthday, never fear - the Balinese love kids, and will happily interact with them while you're taking a breather from their incessant questions.

Dine out in one of Bali's delicious restaurants, packed with fresh produce and seafood at alarmingly low prices, or head to Gianyar's nightmarket for some of Bali's best food. Groups will be happy here, with low prices, high spirits, a buzzing atmosphere and generous portions designed to be shared by all.

If a romantic engagement is on the cards, why not do it with a beautiful backdrop? Drop down on one knee under the ancient Gunung Kawi, where ten shrines stand proud at the bottom of a lush valley. Alternatively, the Goa Gajah cave could be the perfect spot for the big question, where you'll see history laid out in front of you.

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Got the info you need? Ready to relax in Bali?