Starting 9 June 2019, Air Asia will be giving Australians the opportunity to discover the beauty of the untouched Indonesia paradise of Lombok and the Gili Islands that lie just beyond this natural oasis. While the shores of Bali have long beckoned Aussie travellers, Australians wanting to explore beyond the tourist trails should visit Lombok, with its beautiful beaches and pristine scenery.
So, it’s time to delve deeper into wonderful Indonesia with Air Asia releasing direct flights from Perth to Lombok that’ll take under four hours and can cost as little as AU$150 one way.
Steep, peaked mountains covered in greenery tumble towards flawless coral oceans, with only a few boutique honeymoon haunts interrupting nature in-between. From culture to culinary delights, and luxury day spas to hiking trails, these are just a few of the many great reasons you need to visit the island of Lombok.
People tend to sashay their way to “the Gilis” presuming the islands are an offshoot of Bali, when in fact they are nestled right beside Lombok – Gili Air being just one kilometre away by boat. This island trio is the kind of sloped palm trees and pristine beaches destination that screensavers are made of, and they abound in opportunities for luxury, nightlife and activities of the sea.
Adventure enthusiasts could spend several days tapping into the hiking trails on offer on Lombok, alternating between the 3,726 metres of Mount Rinjani and the crater lake of Segara Anak. Though some of them are quite breathtaking – in the physically exhaustive sense – the reward when you reach the top makes it well worth the effort.
Within Indonesia’s archipelago of over 18,000 islands, Bali is an anomaly. It deviates from many of the social, political and religious norms of Indonesia. Though we personally have zero complaints about Bali and her magnificently unique ways, it is nice to dabble in Indonesia beyond the main tourist spots. With a hefty history and distinct culture, we can’t imagine a better candidate than Lombok.
Fairy-floss aficionados and Instagram addicts will know of the natural beauty that is Lombok’s Pink Sand Beach. Known as Pantai Tangsi in Indonesian, this Barbie doll location is found in the East Lombok region of Jerowaru, and will wow you to tears with its natural beauty. The pink hue is supposedly a result of coral, a nod to the underwater world that sits around the island.
Whether you want to charter a private helicopter, stick to the seas in a speedboat or take a 30-minute flight with Lion Air, Wings Air or Garuda, you’re not likely to be overwhelmed by the journey from Bali to Lombok. In fact, if you find yourself sailing across the Lombok Strait on a calm day, it’s actually a lovely day out.
…and dare we be so brutally honest, it’s better than the one on Bali.
Again highlighting its differences to Bali, Lombok is named ‘The Land of A Thousand Mosques,’ housing many of Indonesia’s 600,000 structures for Islamic worship. Many of them are architecturally incredible and symbolic of the island’s cultural past. The newly built Mataram Islamic Centre is proof that this culture is not at great risk of faltering.
Why has Bali managed to become such an eating extravaganza? Most likely because its climate allows the growth of enviable produce, and Lombok is just as fortunate. Nothing says holidays quite like waking up to fresh fruits of mangosteen, dragonfruit and salak whilst your personal chef whips free-roaming chicken’s eggs into your daily omelette.
With sprawling fields of coconut palms and endless untouched beaches still on offer, Lombok’s pristine landscape is perfect for those wanting to get back to nature.
If there’s anything more rewarding than going underwater, sifting through oysters, and popping back up having harvested your very own South Sea golden pearl, we would like to know about it!
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