When mainland Bali gets busy during peak holiday times, this calls for a quick escape. If you and the family love the small island experience, then a trip ‘over the pond’ to Nusa Lembongan is the perfect choice.
Nusa Lembongan is much smaller (6.15km2), calmer and laidback than mainland Bali. Known as somewhere to kick of your shoes and sink your feet into the white sand whilst you watch your little ones paddle in the water or build a sand castle.
Nusa Lembongan is located 12 km from mainland Bali, off the south-east coast across the Badung Strait. A 30-40 minute fast boat ride from Sanur will take you there and fast boasts are on a daily schedule, making a trip over easier than ever. Fast boats arrive at Lembongan either at JungutBatu or Mushroom Bay. The boat ride does get a little bumpy however, but that’s all part of the experience!
So, what is there to do on this little island? Well, the beaches are now lined with boutique resorts and cottages offering an idyllic tropical experience. You know, palm trees, blue waters, white sand. Of course, that’s not always fun for the kids..
Water sports are a big attraction in the seas around Nusa Lembongan, with snorkelling, banana boats, surfing, diving and even seabed walking available for the families to try.
Lembongan is also home to an expansive mangrove forest on its northeast coast, too, where locals offer an immersive mangrove tour. The mangrove forest covers almost a third of the entire island and you can either jump on a stand up paddle or take the kids for a leisurely canoe experience through the waterways that wind through the forest. The atmosphere deep in the forest is calm and serene, where the children can look out in wonder and intrigue at this rare natural sight. If you’re lucky, you may spot a Javan kingfisher, a vibrant blue bird known to nest in such a habitat. Below the crystal clear waters, crabs, shrimp, fish and other small creatures can be found lurking.
Exploring the rest of the island is also an eye-opening experience, visiting the local villages and temples, or perhaps watch as the seaweed farmers go about their day collecting their harvest from the sea. The best way for a family with kids to navigate around the island is hiring a golf buggy or even a truck, driver included. If you’re handy on scooter, then this is also a fun, care-free way of exploring.
Once you’re mobile, its time to head south! Cross the iconic yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan, the smallest island found between Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Even more quiet than Lembongan, Ceningan is blessed with its long stretch of white sand beaches, crystal clear, turquoise water and awesome sunset spots. Pick a café and laze the day away hanging on a hammock while watching the kids play on the swing at the beach.
Without a doubt, beaches are the highlight of a holiday on Nusa Lembongan. Wander along the beach of Jungut Batu and you’ll find many popular beach clubs where you can sit back on a bean bag, soak up some sun and let the kids make new friends on the beach. Some favourite, child-friendly beach clubs on Lembongan are: Ohana, Lembongan Beach Club, and Mahagiri Beach Club at Jungut Batu, Sandy Bay Beach Club in Sandy Bay, and Hai Tide Beach Club at Mushroom Bay.
Hotels and restaurants at Jungut Batu and Mushroom Bay offer international fare, Italian cuisine, healthy food, local tastes and more, but the Jungut Batu area is more lively day and night.