Rene Young

Move over Bali, Lombok is set to become one of New Zealand’s most loved holiday destinations. There are big plans afoot with a three billion dollar Mandalika Project underway to transform Lombok’s own Kuta from a sleepy fishing village to a sprawling beachside resort complex with luxury resorts, private villas and proposed theme park.

No longer content on being the laid back alternative for backpackers and surfers, hotels are replacing homestays and quinoa bowl serving cafes are popping up next to local warungs. It’s not a matter of if Lombok will explode but when, before it does, explore the Indonesian island paradise ahead of the masses.


The Glorious Gili Islands

Off the coast of Lombok, three emerald jewels sit pretty on the Java Sea. In ten minutes, speedboats can zip sun seekers to Gili Trawangan (Gili T), Gili Meno and Gili Air, where calm turquoise water lap palm fringed white sandy beaches.

Each island has its own personality, Gili T is large, loud and loves a party, the smallest Gili Meno is rustic, quiet and romantic and Gili Air a mixture of the two, relaxed, easy going and enjoys a night out.

Explore the non-motorised islands on retro bike and discover secluded snorkelling spots, where sea turtles thrive in the clear warm waters and schools of technicolour fish swim over coral gardens. End a perfect day in The Gili’s swaying from an overwater beach swing and watch the show of amber hues as the sun sets.

lombok sunset

Stunning and Uncrowded Beaches

Lombok boasts stunning beaches, find secluded coves of creamy soft sand on Lombok’s West Coast. Sheltered inlets and rugged surf beaches sweep the south coast and remote and untouched beaches pepper the under-the-radar east coast.

On Tanjung Aan coconut groves greet a perfect horse-shoe bend of white sand. Two tall grassy headlands shelter the beach so beach lovers can soak in its tranquil turquoise bay.

Set back from the surf beach at Serger Kuta cross a rickety bridge to sink your toes into the sand and swim in the calm shallow channel.

In the southeastern corner of Lombok discover Pink Beach, a remote and untouched curve of Pink sand created when red coral pounded by the waves wash up and mix with the soft white sand.

gili islands

Talented Artisans

It is said that each Sasak household owns a wooden loom. From an early age Sasak girls learn to weave. A skill passed down through generations. They are adept weavers by the time they are ready to marry, able to create beautiful hand woven fabric of intricate patterns.

Another age-old craft found in Lombok is pottery and Lombok potters are world renowned for producing high quality rich brown earthenware. For centuries, women having been transforming clay found in the local riverbed into beautiful and practical pieces including vases, plates, bowls and water vessels.

Fabric shops and pottering cooperatives are open to the public where visitor can learn to weave or create a clay creation.

lombok waterfalls

Tumbling Waterfalls

At the base of Lombok’s Rinjani volcano trails wind through the Rinjani National Park, which leads to roaring waterfalls and refreshing pools of pure spring water.

At Umar Maya falls, water streams over rocky crevices into a milky blue pool. Mangku Sakti waterways are carved out of ancient lava flows - they collect into small rocky pools before crashing down a giant cliff face.

The most magical waterfall of them all is Tui Kelep, a hike through rainforest and shallow streams is rewarded with thunderous water tumbling down a wall of verdant jungle. The falls are a unique combination of a vertical stream and a fanned waterfall pouring into a wide shallow rocky pool.

With a growing international airport with plans for more direct flights to Lombok and fast boats transfers from Bali, Lombok is moving ahead. It is time to visit Lombok now. Its untouched beauty may not stay like this for long.


Rene Young is an award-winning family travel blogger and freelance travel writer. She’s happiest with a camera in hand, exploring her home state of Queensland or better still, trailing after her kids aged five and eight, bound for new destinations. Read more of her family travels at Together We Roam.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.