A bunch of my mates are currently discovering the place in the tropics I go back to more than any other – a small island off the east coast of Bali called Nusa Lembongan. It draws people for its surf breaks, its dive sites (awesome reef condition, not much big stuff) and it’s laid back atmosphere – in contrast to the hingar-bingar (hustle and bustle) of Bali.


I learnt to dive there after a difficult break up several years ago. In my last relationship we went there several times, wanting him to discover and love my favourite place. Beyond the romance and the heatbreak, the place has the kind of tropical magic that much of mainland Bali has almost lost, helped along by a bunch of great people that have stayed living there long after they were supposed to move on. Here’s the top places to check out:

  1. Blue Corner Dive – even if you’re not a diver, you’ll spend a lot of time here with the beach bar and laid back cool vibe
  2. Tiger Lily’s bungalows – low key, stylish, tropical accommodation and bar with a great cocktail and reasonable prices
  3. Bunga Bungalow – right were the fast boats pull up, pizza and cocktails and a great place to watch the sunset.
  4. Hai Tide Beach Resort – if you want a bit of class and a sheltered beach for snorkelling
  5. No idea what this bar is called but if you go to neighbouring Nusa Ceningan, and head as far as you can along the road, it ends at a run down, cliff top bar with Bintang and not much else. Best place to watch the waves roll in.


You get there by taking a boat from Sanur on the mainland. It’s only about an hour. From Darwin it’s do-able in a long weekend. Featured image taken by Owen Frankhauser

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