Inspiration Destinations Indonesia Bali Bali & 2 Other Must-Explore Islands in Indonesia 

Bali & 2 Other Must-Explore Islands in Indonesia 

October 17, 2023
Bali, which you can travel to flying Garuda Indonesia.

The allure of Bali is no secret, but the wider wonders of Indonesia shouldn't be kept out of the spotlight.

Indonesia is more than Bali. And while the Island of the Gods is justly worthy of each and every visit it receives from travellers all around the world, the treasure trove of Indonesia’s other islands (there are more than 17,000 of them!) should not be overlooked. On your next trip to Indonesia, make time to venture to the lesser-known but just as paradisic Lombok or Komodo; both destinations reward exploration with five-star beachfront resorts, days of active adventuring, scenic serenity and opportunity to learn about local culture and history. Discover how to reach these islands and uncover Bali and beyond.

Ready to escape? Explore our best Bali stays here.

Getting to Indonesia 

Garuda Indonesia, the airline of Indonesia, flies direct from Melbourne Airport to Bali (Denpasar) four times a week and from Melbourne Airport to Jakarta three times a week. It is a quick six-hour flight there (and even less on the way home). Your taste of Indonesia starts before your plane has even taxied down the runway however, with an award-winning cabin crew welcoming you warmly onboard and treating you to Indonesia's world-famous hospitality. Want to start your trip in true style? Relaxing and stretching out in your flat-lie business class seat should do it. Garuda Indonesia are the only carrier that offers these seats on flights from Melbourne to Bali.


How to get to Bali 

Flying straight into Denpasar means the best of Bali is at your fingertips. When your Garuda Indonesia flight lands at Denpasar Airport, you are only 15 minutes' drive from Kuta’s famous beach clubs or 20 minutes' drive via overwater highway to the ultra-luxurious resorts of Nusa Dua. It is a 45-minute drive to the limestone cliffs and million-dollar views of Uluwatu, or 70 minutes by car to Ubud’s tropical forests and rice paddy fields. All you need to do is work out what kind of escape you want and let Bali work its magic. 

Where to go in Bali 

Local Balinese women in traditional dress, one of the cultural aspects visitors can experience in Indonesia.
Local Balinese women. Source: Supplied.

Bali is the travel equivalent of a chameleon: it can be whatever you want. Whether you seek party or peace, surf breaks or jungle escapes, swanky villas or luxury retreats, there is a slice of Indonesian paradise for you.

Head straight for Kuta for a place where the party goes from day to night and the surf is just as strong as the good times. Those seeking somewhere to rebalance mind, body and soul will find their perfect match in the leafy surroundings of Ubud, thanks to its open-air resorts dedicated to detoxification. For the best of both worlds, where the celebratory atmosphere of Kuta combines with the peaceful nature of Ubud, make a beeline for Uluwatu. Expect clear waters, sunsets that are next level, and photogenic beaches. Be sure to nab a perch on the deck of one of Uluwatu’s famed clifftop bars to sip a cocktail while watching the surfers tackle the waves below.

Nusa Dua is for those who covet a five-star resort so luxe that they'll contemplate booking a return visit before even checking out. The beachfront options in Nusa Dua are seemingly endless for the perfect flop-and-drop style of holiday for couples, honeymooners and families – pick a stay to suit you and there will be no need to leave the resort grounds. 


How to get to Lombok 

Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, is your key to discovering other islands beyond Bali. One of the best reasons to extend your time in Indonesia is Lombok, only a two-hour flight from Jakarta. Flights depart daily and take explorers to the sun-blessed beaches, marine life-rich waters and traditional local villages of an island many never want to leave. Garuda Indonesia operate three flights per week to Jakarta from Melbourne Airport with one more service taking off from mid-December 2023.

What to do on Lombok 

A view of a beach and blue sky in Lombok, one of the best islands to visit in Indonesia
Lombok, Indonesia. Source: Supplied.

Lombok is for adventurers, wanderers and nature lovers. Strap on your sturdiest boots to hike into the sky up Mount Rinjani, one of the highest volcanoes in Indonesia. Rising more than 3,700 metres above sea level, the peak of this dramatic volcano hides Segara Anak Crater Lake, a 6km crescent-shaped body of water that might be considered one of the best views in Indonesia. Follow a multi-day guided tour up the summit to experience the thrill of Rinjani, a name taken from an ancient Javanese word meaning ‘God’. There is an opportunity to visit the Lombok Monkey Forest as you follow the roads back down the mountain. Another good hike is Malimbu Hill, for great views of the Gili Islands. Prefer coast to craters? Make your way to the popular surf hangout, Senggigi Beach, for a lesson in the swell or simply to watch the pros carve it up.

Three of the most-loved islands off Lombok are the Gilis. Check out Gili Trawangan for vibrant sunsets and pumping beach parties; Gili Meno where the pearly stretch of beach draws honeymooners from around the world; and Gili Air for the perfect combination of family fun, moonlit celebrations and peaceful escapes. Book yourself onto a private speed boat departing from Lombok’s Teluk Nare Harbour and arrive in five to 15 minutes depending which island is your chosen destination.  


How to get to Komodo

Garuda Indonesia flies from Jakarta to Komodo Airport up to four times per week, with an easy flight time of 2 hours 30 minutes. Komodo Airport is actually located on Flores Island, which is your launching pad for exploring the incredible landscapes, waters and wildlife of Komodo National Park. There is no accommodation on Komodo Island, so the best option for travellers is to book a stay in Labuan Bajo - a fishing town on the western end of Flores. Garuda Indonesia's network to pair your flight from Melbourne Airport to Jakarta with your domestic connection to Labuan Bajo (Komodo Airport).

What to do on Komodo 

The sands of Lubuan Bajo, or Pink Beach, are a great day trip. Explore while in Indonesia.
Pink Beach, Indonesia. Source: Supplied.

A 90-minute speed boat ride from the Western shores of Flores Island will have you anchoring in the turquoise waters of Pink Beach for a day of fun in the sun. The distinct colour of the beach is a result of a unique pink coral found in these parts, highlighting the once-white sand with a vibrant pink hue. The snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities off Pink Beach and the surrounding islands take you to the heart of the Coral Triangle, a dazzling marine area home to thousands of species of coral and fish, as well as marine turtles.

Continue boating to the nearby Komodo National Park, a place that feels as its lost in time thanks to its Jurassic-esque entry archway. Follow the lead of your park ranger, to wander the grounds until you find the world’s largest lizard, the ancient Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat.  

Uncover even more reasons to explore Bali and beyond on Luxury Escapes' brand-new podcast, Travel in 20. Listen now on SpotifyApple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

This article is produced in partnership with Garuda Indonesia and Melbourne Airport.

About Georgia Pearce
Getaway guru Georgia is the go-to girl for uncovering the most fabulous travel destinations! From sandy-white beaches to snow-capped mountains, and everything in between she takes it upon herself to explore, experience and share every aspect of the adventure.

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