The jewel of Indonesia's 17,000 islands, Bali lies between Java and Lombok, just a few hours' plane ride from Australian cities. Bali's shimmering beaches and glittering nightlife make it a magnet for young Australians eager to party. Bali and Australia have a close relationship that goes back decades. While this relationship was tested by the nightclub bombings in 2002, the island is busier than ever now, with more than half-a-million Australians taking cheap flights to Bali every year. There is, of course, a newish landmark to spend a moment at - the memorial on the site of Paddy's Pub on Legian Street. 

Away from the nonstop partying, Bali is a haven for those seeking spiritual refreshment. This is the Island of the Gods after all. The Balinese look away from the beaches to the Gunung Agung volcano and the mountain ranges that dominate the island's landscape, where the gods are said to live, to feed their souls. 

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Bali climate

Bali's climate is tropical monsoon with daytime temperatures hovering between 20 and 33 degrees Celsius. The wet season runs from October to March. Travellers taking cheap flights to Bali between these months should expect heavy showers and high humidity. The summer months (June through September) are the dry months, the days are hot but humidity is not a factor.

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When to fly to Bali

Peak season: 

Most Australians take cheap flights to Bali during the dry season (June through September) and for Christmas. Of the dry season months, July and August are the most popular. This is when schools are out and tour groups take trips around the island. The weather is hot but not as humid as during the wet season. 

Off season: 

The wet season (October to March) is generally considered the low season, but travellers who don't mind the humidity can benefit from lower fares and fewer crowds. It doesn't rain steadily throughout these months, usually the rains start to fall in December and January.

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Getting around Bali

Travellers arriving on cheap flights to Bali will discover that there are several ways of getting around the island. Bemos (small vans with a set routine) and buses are cheap if on the slow side. Taxis - chartered or metered - are convenient and inexpensive compared to other countries. Renting a car, motorbike or bicycle offers most independence. The most traditional mode of transport is a dokar (a horse and cart).

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Bali insider information

  • Kerobokan jail is a tourist attraction for many Australian visitors. Infamous inmates include Schapelle Leigh Corby, the Australian woman convicted of drug smuggling, Michael Loic Blanc, the French man convicted of drug smuggling, and the Bali Nine drug smuggling gang.
  • Bedugul is where the Balinese flee during the very hot and humid weather. This retreat is tucked into the crater of an extinct volcano, 1,400 metres above sea level. The air is fresh, the countryside lush and the fruit and vegetables considered the finest in Bali.
  • Ubud is Bali's fine-arts, dance and music centre (and a staple on the Eat, Pray, Love pilgrimage trail). The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival takes place towards the end of the year. It is considered to be one of the world's top literary festivals.

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Bali airports

Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS) ( The airport is situated 13km (8 miles) southwest of Denpasar and 2.5km (one-and-a-half miles) south of Kuta.

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Passports should be valid for at least six months.

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Entry requirements

Australians may apply for a visa when they land at Ngurah Rai Airport. The 30-day visa costs US$25.

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Kara Segedin
Writer, traveller, Tweeter, blogger and part-time adventurer. A kiwi living in London off to explore the world! I can never travel enough!
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    In-flight reading

    A House in Bali

    Colin McPhee McPhee, a Canadian-born musician, was entranced by the Balinese gamelan music, and spent about a decade on Bali in the 1930s. McPhee's work did much to popularise gamelan music in the West.

    The Birthmark: Memoirs of a Balinese Prince

    Dr AAM Djelantik The autobiography of a prince who became a medical doctor.

    Eat, Pray, Love

    Elizabeth Gilbert In an attempt to lift herself from the aftermath of divorce and depression, Gilbert spends a year travelling in Italy, India and Indonesia.

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