Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia: Bali’s Best Kept Secret

24 Aug

The holiday really begins the moment you step off the fast ferry, warm seawater splashing your legs as you wade towards a white sand beach. A delicious feeling of letting go starts at your toes and sweeps straight up your body as you breathe out…. 

Boat boys shoulder luggage to line up suitcases and bags on the sand for collection. We notice an immaculately uniformed smiling man from our hotel waiting on the beach. He asks if he can carry our bags. I only have a backpack but Maria’s suitcase is hefted with ease as he leads us up some wide stone steps.


We’ve arrived at Nusa Lembongan, a tiny coral sand and mangrove fringed island half an hour by boat off southern Bali. Only a few nautical miles separate us from the noisesome madness and traffic chaos of Kuta, Nusa Dua, Legian and more recently Seminyak, but the contrast is palpable. With few roads and residents the preferred transport modes on Nusa Lembongan are scooter and outboard boat. In our four-day stay I saw a few open backed jeepstyle buses but no cars. Bliss.


Our accommodation for the start of this weeklong 60 (me)-50 (my youngest sister Maria) double birthday celebration is Batu Karang Resort and Spa, a three minute walk from the boat drop off. A boutique, Balinese-style five star hotel, Batu Karang nestles into the hillside above a cliff overlooking the best reef surf breaks around the island (Batu Karang means reef). We quickly learn we’ve chosen the top hotel on the island and I silently thank my Australian friends who recommended it to us.



Both Maria and I are keen to have an active-relaxation vacation, i.e. we want adventure combined with plenty of pool and spa time plus sunset cocktails and good food. This is easy at BK. We walk every morning before it gets too hot, take a boat to snorkle on Mangrove Reef and rent scooters to circumnavigate the island and explore even tinier Nusa Ceningan on the other side of a swaying suspension bridge. We encounter a little more adventure than we bargained for on the rocky, potholed roads to Ceningan Cliffs but the views and the gado gado are worth it.








By departure day we are so chillaxed we’re already at our next stop, Ubud, before Maria realises she has the BK room key, an old fashioned key tied to a largish engraved rock, still in her pocket. Nicely done BK.

One Response to “Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia: Bali’s Best Kept Secret”

  1. Heather watt August 24, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Oh what bliss Sharon. You will be back to 50 years old in no time.

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