Things to do in Bali
Say hello to the magic of Bali!
It comes as no surprise that Bali is Australia’s second most popular overseas destination. It is an easy place to visit, home to friendly and hospitable people and has a massive range of fun and interesting things to do and see.
Indonesia has an incredible archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and of those islands, Bali is a beautifully unique place. The most important cultural difference is that Bali is the only island and the only part of Indonesia where the dominant religion is Hinduism, in fact around 85% of the population in Bali is Hindu. The Balinese people are very dedicated to their religion with many interesting rituals woven into their daily lives. Because of the importance of religious rituals to the Balinese people, you will find many interesting festivals and religious activities happening all the time in Bali.
There are a staggering 20,000 temples in Bali, but the most beautiful and popular ones should certainly make your must-see list while experiencing Bali. Pura Besakih is the oldest, largest and most holy temple in Bali and is really a combination of 23 different temples all housed together on the slopes of Mount Agung in north-eastern Bali. Pura Tanah Lot is a stunning temple sitting atop a rocky outcrop over the ocean, it is a spectacular sight and one of Bali’s most popular tourist destinations and can be found at Bereban, which is further north along the coastline from Kuta. Pura Luhur Uluwatu, often referred to just as Uluwatu, is perched above the ocean on a 60-metre cliff in the very south-western tip of Bali and is a wonderful site to visit, both for the spiritual significance and the spectacular ocean views.
Once you get outside the major population centres, there are some great opportunities to experience the unique and traditional culture of Bali. You can get amongst the rice paddies of central Bali and see how many Balinese still live a rural lifestyle. This peaceful and deeply committed lifestyle will leave you with a lingering sense of admiration for a people who live and breathe the values that are important to them.
Although much of Bali is still rural subsistence style living, it has been a major tourist destination for a long time and has developed a wonderful range of things to do and see. Believe us – there is definitely something to suit every taste!
If you’re looking for some excitement, you will love a visit to Kuta which is a busy tourist area that has many stunning beaches, great shopping and a vibrant nightlife scene. While there are lots of beaches in the Kuta area, Seminyak beach is the most famous and popular. There are lots of beach and water related activities to try, like swimming and surfing, playing volleyball or beach soccer on the sand or just strolling the white-sand beach watching a picturesque sunset over the water.
If you want a break from the salt water, then head to Waterbom Bali, a huge waterpark with 17 different waterslides to enjoy, this is a great spot for families to visit. The park has lots to eat and drink as well as plenty of grassy space to sit down and relax.
Wildest Africa has been brought to Bali at the Bali Safari Park, where you can see and interact with over 1000 animals, including leopards, lions, tigers, zebras, orang-utans and elephants. You can take safari tours day or night and experience these animals and see what efforts the Safari Park is putting into animal conservation.
Nusa Dua is on the south-eastern coast of Bali and is a city that offers wonderful restaurants and bars, shopping experiences and great nightlife options. The Nusa Dua peninsula is famous for the water sports available including parasailing, jet skiing, wakeboarding and paddle boarding. Head south to some of the best white-sand beaches in the world, where you can swim and surf and even take a camel ride along the beach. Experience the fun and excitement of a water jet pack flight, where you use the power of water to propel you up to 8-metres above the surface and then fly around on your jet bike. It’s a really exciting activity, but still very safe because you are operating over water and have access to experienced instructors!
When you’re ready for a change of pace, you can leave the major centres behind and strike out to explore Bali’s magnificent coast and also spend some time unwinding in the peaceful highlands of Ubud. Ubud is an ideal place to have a retreat from the stresses of the world and experience traditional Balinese way of life. At various shops and markets dotted through the region, you will find some unique hand-crafted goods for sale, many of them by local craftspeople. The area also has a range of activities to enjoy such as golfing at a world-class golf course and the excitement of white-water rafting. There are several rivers winding across the interior of Bali that are well known as fantastic spots for some fun and challenging white-water rafting opportunities.
Bali is a tropical island with some of the most stunning white sandy beaches in the world. At various places around the coastline you will find beaches to suit whatever you are looking for, whether it is excitement and activity or seclusion and relaxation, Bali has it all. The warm tropical weather is perfect for enjoying beaches all year round and no matter where you are in Bali you are guaranteed to find a beautiful beach not far away. Kuta Beach is Bali’s most famous beach resort site! The beach is often crowded and is a great spot to relish action and entertainment. If you’re wanting to be in the heart of the hustle and bustle, this is the place come. Heading north from Kuta is Seminyak, which is also a beautiful beach with many activities to offer tourists, but generally is quieter than Kuta. Echo Beach is further north again and offers a stunning beach, suitable for swimming and surfing and has significantly less crowds than you will find at Kuta. The beautiful Jimbaran Bay flaunts long and beautiful beaches, but also has local seafood markets and plenty of restaurants, majority of them specialising in the most exquisite seafood.
There are some world-class snorkeling and diving sites around Bali. From deep dives around the wrecks on the east coast to some shallow dives over beautiful coral colonies, there is something to suit every taste and every experience level. The amount of marine life found around the Bali dive sites is incredible and there are some rare and interesting creatures to look for. If you want to begin diving, there are several diving schools on the island, so you can take a new skill home. Overall, with the wonderful diversity and quantity of marine life on offer, the diving and snorkeling sites in Bali won’t disappoint.
Bali is a great destination for surfers, with beaches and breaks to suit all skill levels. If you’re a beginner, there are plenty of surf schools and board rentals are widely available. Bali’s south-western coast is considered some of the best surfing on the island. Uluwatu is one of the island’s top surfing spots, known both for its consistent quality of waves and its spectacular scenery. Found on the very south-western corner of Bali, the landscape is quite dramatic with towering cliff faces and the beautiful temple overlooking the beach – truly a pleasant environment to catch a wave. The break at Uluwatu is more suitable for experienced surfers as it is a reef break. If you are looking for other sites, check out Suluban, Balangan, Bingin and Padang Padang, which are all great surfing breaks. Once you’re in Bali, it’s easy to check the local weather or ask the residents, so you can always plan the best beaches to visit for surfing while you are there.
Bali is an island paradise, with such a spectacular collection of beaches and marine environment, if you give yourself the chance to experience the incredible variety of activities and experiences available, you will love what Bali has to offer.