Bali is one of the closest holiday hotspots to Australia…and the most popular. It’s brimming with Aussies, in fact, there are signs in some areas stating that businesses are “Australian Owned” to draw in the home crowds. In some towns, you’ll even hear people call out “Hey mate” and turn to find a local Balinese talking to you!
An Easy Transition
Besides the throngs of Australians making it feel even more like home, moving to Bali is a smooth and easy changeover. Unless you opt for more off-track areas like the West coast, you won’t feel like you’re in a wildly foreign land. There’s no real culture shock, Bali has most, if not all, of the amenities you’d find at home. Plus, because it has been a tourist destination since the 70’s, most people speak English, making everyday life a breeze.
Bali’s climate is hot and tropical year round. The average temperatures hover around 27 C with high humidity during the wet season, from October to April. The dry season, May-September, has the lowest humidity. The mountainous region through the centre of the island is cooler year round.
There are various hospitals throughout the island. When in need, most expats stick to the private hospitals as the quality of care and attention to detail are generally more in line with Western standards. The two best private hospitals on the island are BIMC and Siloam, both located in Kuta. For a cold or minor injury, there are local doctors and clinics in every town.
Getting to Bali
There is only one international airport in Bali, Ngurah Rai International Airport, in Denpasar. With direct flights from Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin and Townsville from as low as $200, it makes for a quick getaway. Quantas, Jetstar, Air Asia and Virgin Australia are just a few of the popular airlines that fly regularly.
Popular Expat Destinations
This is the shopping mecca of the island. Whether looking for crafts, art, homewares or clothing, you won’t be disappointed in the variety and artistry of it all. It is also a fabulous international food destination so after working up an appetite from all the shopping or a day at the beach, you can indulge in any type of cuisine you desire.
Situated in the southern portion of the island called the Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu is a surfer’s paradise. Here the rugged coastline gives way to the blue seas and the big waves of the Indian Ocean.
Sitting on the southeast coast of the island, Sanur has a reputation for being sleepy, and while most bars and restaurants close at midnight, it’s far from boring. It’s small enough to get to most places on a bicycle but big enough to keep you entertained. There’s a narrow boardwalk that runs almost the entire length of the beach filled with various locations to dine from inexpensive local restaurants, or warungs, to fine dining.
On the northern coast, Lovina is probably one of the least expensive places to live on the island. With calm waters home to pods of dolphins, this not for the surf set, but perfect for divers and snorkellers. It’s a low-key place to catch up on life with nearby attractions like temples, waterfalls and hot springs.
An epicenter of the arts as well as the place for anything holistic and mystical, Ubud is often referred to as the heart of Bali. It where you can attend yoga retreats, go vegan and capture your inner designer at a jewellery making class. It is surrounded by rice paddies and 30 minutes’ drive to the nearest beach.