Visiting Bali is almost a rite of passage for Australians: those who have never been become repeat visitors and those who have been become the best ambassadors for the stunning Indonesian island of Bali. If you're part of the former camp, check this handy list before visiting Bali for the first time.
1. Australians don’t need a visa for visits under 30 days
Until 2015, Australian visitors were required to obtain a visa before entering Bali. Now, Australians who are staying in Bali for under 30 days no longer require a visa. Just make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your intended travel dates!
2. Stick to drinking bottled water
Err on the side of precaution by drinking all bottled water. Most hotels and resorts will provide these for you, so there’s no need to plan ahead. If your accommodation has a kitchen, boil water for your personal use.
3. While Bali is relaxed, bring outfits for dress up occasions
In true island style, Bali has a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. But with the variety of upscale restaurants and bars, it would behoove any visitor to bring a few sets of ‘nice’ outfits and shoes.
4. Avoid stepping on offerings
An offering, or canang, is an important part of Balinese Hinduism. All over the island, these offerings of food, herbs, and flowers will be set outside of shops, in the middle of crossroads, on steps, or elsewhere. Step over or around the offerings and avoid disturbing the ritual.
5. If you visit sacred sites or temples, cover up
The simple gesture of dressing appropriately at a sacred site or temple is a way to be respectful of Bali’s ancient cultures and religions. Be sure to cover shoulders, chest, midriff, and wear a skirt, sarong, or pants that go below your knees.
6. Bali is actually far from where the latest volcanic eruptions have taken place
Bali makes the news when there is an eruption in the area; while its neighbouring islands have been hit - very unfortunately - Bali has remained safe. And in the case that nature takes a turn for the worse, the Indonesian government has made massive efforts to sort accommodation flexibility, should visitors need to stay.
7. If you plan to hire a motorbike or car, get an International Driving License
If part of your Bali holiday plan is hiring a motorbike, scooter, or car to zip around the island, organise an International Drivers License prior to your departure. As an alternative you can obtain a temporary tourist driver’s license from the police station located in Denpasar.
8. A great way to get around is hiring a private driver
Explore the island beyond your resort with the help of a private driver - especially if you plan to imbibe all holiday long! A driver will have better rates than taxi drivers. You can hire a driver for the duration of your stay or only for the days that you plan to spend moving around.
9. Accept it: you’ll be back
Enter Bali with open eyes, open arms, and an open heart. There’s a reason that it’s one of the most-visited destinations for Australian travellers!