Experience the dramatic sights and diversity of Indonesia, a paradise of beautiful beaches, lush landscapes and colourful culture spread across 17,000 unique islands.
Bali and Beyond
Made up of more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia truly offers something for everyone. A melting pot of culture, landscape, art and food, it’s impossible to summarise its beauty. From the cosmopolitan city vibes of Jakarta to the beaches of Bali, the stunning Gili Islands off Lombok, street food of Yogyakarta and coral reefs of Wakatobi; everyone should experience wonderful Indonesia. So, what are you waiting for?
Best Time to Visit Indonesia
Indonesia has two seasons, wet and dry, with dry season usually the most popular time to travel. That’s not to say you shouldn’t travel during wet season; rainfall usually comes in short bursts and the temperature stays warm, meaning it’s unlikely to impact your trip, particularly in Bali, where the season change tends to be minimal. The contrast in seasons is usually greater the further east you go, which may be worth bearing in mind when planning your trip. If you’re not restricted by term times it can be a good idea to travel outside of school holidays, as resorts tend to be quieter and prices lower.
Indonesia Weather & Temperature
Warm, tropical weather with an average of around 28°C can be expected year-round in most of Indonesia. In certain areas like Sumatra and Sulawesi, highs climb to around 34°C in dry season – perfect for sunbathing!
Indonesia experiences two seasons – wet and dry – with the dry season generally spanning May to September. There are a few exceptions, however; on Sumatra, rain tends to fall between October and January in the north and November and February in the south, while Sulawesi experiences rain in June and July.
Attractions & Things to do in Indonesia
A long-time holiday favourite, Bali continues to be Indonesia’s most popular tourist island, from the lush green jungle of Ubud to the nightclubs of Seminyak and the surf spots of Kuta. Its hidden gems include the northern beaches (where it’s not unusual to spot pods of dolphins) and Canggu, home to the famed Tanah Lot temple. Or take a boat across to Nusa Penida, the southeastern island just off Bali, with its white-sand beaches and lagoons.
Gaining strongly in popularity is the island of Lombok, helped by the fact that Air Asia now operates direct four-hour flights from Perth. From here, it’s easy to explore the coral reefs and marine life of the Gili Islands.
If it’s city buzz you’re after, head to the sprawling Indonesian capital of Jakarta or the bustling streets of Makassar, home to the historical Fort Rotterdam and widely regarded as the gateway to east Indonesia.
Foodies will love Yogyakarta, Java’s fiercely independent, artsy city, which continues to use traditional methods to produce its delicious street food. Must-tries include Gudeg (jackfruit cooked with herbs and spices) and refreshing shaved ice desserts with fresh fruit.
Other fantastic destinations include the island of Batam, with its beaches and seven world-renowned golf courses, the high-end resorts of Bintan Island, the vast wildlife of Sulawesi, the Art Deco buildings of Bandung and the coral reefs of Wakatobi.
Whichever part you decide to visit, immerse yourself in Indonesia’s colourful culture by taking in traditional dances, savouring the local food, trekking through pine forests and rice paddies and admiring the abundant art and architecture.
What to Eat in Indonesia
With an ever-growing number of people planning their holidays around the local cuisine, it’s clear that good food is a major factor for travellers – and Indonesia is home to some of the world’s best. Let us introduce you to some of the country’s most delicious dishes.
Sate Ayam: Satay is one of the most popular dishes throughout Asia, but Indonesia’s take is something special. Indonesian satay is usually marinated in soy sauce and then grilled over a hot charcoal fire. Want to branch out? Swap Sate Ayam (chicken) for Sate Kambing (goat).
Ayam Goreng: Forget KFC, it’s all about Indonesian fried chicken. Rather than dowsing it in bread crumbs and battered, the emphasis is usually on creating a hearty marinade of garlic and shallots, then lightly battering and frying till crispy and golden – delicious!
Nasi Goreng: This Indonesian fried rice dish proves that it’s often the simple things that are best. Made with crushed chilli and garlic, you can add any meat or vegetables you like. Nasi Goreng can be found in any street food market and is not to be missed!
Beef Rendang: Curry lovers can’t leave Indonesia without trying a traditional Beef Rendang, a flavoursome dish of spices like star anise, cinnamon and cardamom, mixed with desiccated coconut, chilli, garlic and shallots.
Gado-Gado: This veggie-friendly favourite consists of vegetables and rice salad, served with peanut or cashew sauce. Bean sprouts, long beans, tofu and more are added, making this a heart street-food dish.
Ladies should dress modestly whilst visiting religious site such as temples. Trousers and floaty skirts are more appropriate for decency as well as the heat.
The Nyepi Day of Silence is observed in Bali yearly. The Hindu celebration lasts 24 hours, during which Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is closed and most hotels do not operate check-in/check-out.
Indonesia Visa: Do I Need One?
When travelling internationally, a visa may be required to the destination you are visiting. It is each traveller’s responsibility to ensure they are holding a current visa. Please take the time to visit our preferred vendor, Visas Direct, to assist you with any visa application requirements and processes.
Australians visiting Indonesia for 30 days or less do not require a visa, however you must have a passport with at least six months of validity remaining.
Please ensure that you have a current passport before travelling. Your passport needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. It should also have at least two blank pages left for passport stamps.
Allow plenty of time if you need to send your passport to the Passport Office for renewal, particularly prior to peak travel periods.
All travellers, especially honeymooners, should ensure that names in passports are those given out on the booking form. Airline tickets must be booked in the same name that appears on your passport.
It is useful to carry photo ID with you at all times, so get several good quality photocopies. This also makes replacing a lost passport easier.
Government Travel Advice
The safety of our travellers is the utmost importance. With your safety in mind, we monitor world events very closely, however we recommend visiting the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smart Traveller website to stay informed.