03 September, 2020
Mystical temples sprout from the jungles. Macaques twirl in the vine-strewn teak trees. There are surf shacks by glinting beaches. There are waves that break like glass barrels against the reefs. And ancient volcanos shatter the clouds on the horizon. Welcome to the legendary Indonesian Isle of the Gods. These days, cheap flights to Bali from New Zealand can get you to the Southeast Asian paradise in as little as nine hours. They touchdown in the big international airport in Denpasar. From there, it's only a short taxi ride to the surf Mecca of Kuta. Or, you can transfer out to the paradise archipelago of the Gilis, where it's all sugar sand and turquoise seas laden with turtles and corals.
Kuta Beach is the place to learn to surf – there are rental shacks and local Balinese surf instructors dotting the whole length of the sand!
Sat on a plinth in the midst of the misty Balinese jungles, Ubud is an arty mecca with farm-to-table food and spa hotels aplenty.
Party by night and laze by day – that's the order of proceedings on the Gili Islands, which string through the Bali Sea with talcum-powder beaches.
Emirates and Air New Zealand have direct flights to Bali from New Zealand.
Qatar Airways is the best airline to fly between New Zealand and Bali. Emirates is the best for direct flights. Jetstar is the best budget airline.