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Aussie Expats share their Bali favourites

Rock Bar in Jimbaran Bay offers amazing ocean views.

DISCOVER the island that locals love through the eyes and ears of Australians who live there. Here eight chefs, creatives and surfers share their favourite spots, shops and insider tips:


Fashion designer

Shop: I love walking the streets of Seminyak to see any new boutiques that have popped up since my last visit. You can’t go past Jalan Oberoi – they have a little bit of everything along there.

Eat: La Lucciola in Seminyak is the pinnacle of Balinese eating. The food is always fantastic and I have seen some wonderful sunsets there. I also frequently visit the Betelnut Cafe in Canggu. The menu is really healthy – they have amazing salads and smoothies. Urchin Restaurant is good for seafood and Saigon St for modern Asian.

Relax: I do yoga and meditation at a place called Desa Seni in Canggu. They do daily classes and the instructors are fantastic.

Secret spot: Finn’s Beach Club would have to be my not-so-secret spot. The kids absolutely love it because it’s right on the beach in Uluwatu and at sunset they light a series of bonfires. We all sit on beanbags and roast marshmallows.

Bar: I have seen some of the most breathtaking sunsets at Rock Bar in Jimbaran Bay. It has such an exclusive feel and, being right on a clifftop, the view is amazing. They have a drink called Rock My World that is delicious.

Coffee: Petitenget in Seminyak has really good coffee. The New Corner House in Seminyak has great coffee too.

Enjoy Christmas lunch at Finn’s Beach Club.


Surfer and DJ

Shop: Single Fin surf shop in Uluwatu is my one stop for everything surf related.

Eat: Lacalaca Mexican restaurant in Seminyak is good anytime of the day and it has the best Bloody Marys on the island.

Relax: I like Sticky’s Place bungalows at Bingin Beach. It’s nice to chill out there after a long night boogying at one of the Sunday sessions at famous surfers’ hangout Single Fin.

Secret spot: Mozaic Beach Club in Seminyak makes better cocktails than most of Bali’s beach clubs.

Bar: Helter Skelter in Kerobokan is all about music, art and love. It’s a bar/restaurant with amazing tapas-style food and a great vibe.

Coffee: The coffee at Revolver Espresso in Seminyak is the best you will ever have.

Activity: Surfing on Bali’s east coast. I can’t tell you where though, because then I’d have to share the waves.


Businesswoman and Balinese princess

Shop: The best place for homewares is from the wood workers in Kerobokan. Souq, in Seminyak, also has incredible homewares and vintage pieces. Tropicana and Shakuhachi are favourite fashion boutiques of mine, as is Magali Pascal in Seminyak for the best boho luxe pieces.

Eat: Some of the new spots I’m enjoying include Bamboo, Saigon Street and Barbacoa. Mama San, Sarong and La Lucciola will always be at the top of my list.

Relax: Anywhere along the Bukit Peninsula is perfect. I love all of the secret beaches around there because you can always find a spot and enjoy it all to yourself.

Secret spot: I love taking the kids to the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali resort’s Kokokan Kids Club on the weekends.

Bar: Ku De Ta in Seminyak will always be the perfect spot for sunset drinks. Old Man’s is my local bar in Canggu and there is a new place there called La Laguna.

Coffee: Revolver Espresso is the best!

Activity: The best time of the week in Bali is Sunday afternoon on the beach, as all the locals come out and the energy is so fun and vibrant.


Ku De Ta head chef

Shop: Kiosk is a fantastic shop in Seminyak by my buddy Ed. It stocks great independent labels including Pared sunglasses and also my wife’s Kingston Kids clothing label.

Eat: Cuca in Jimbaran has great tapas by my friend Kevin, who was formally a chef at El Bulli in Spain.

Relax: Mozaic Beach Club is terrific for lazy days with the kids. It’s great for families and has a relaxed vibe.

Secret spot: Tom Tom at Bingin Beach. Walk 300 steps down the cliff to an incredible place to stay overlooking an equally incredible surf break.

Bar: Hank’s Pizza & Liquor. If you like great pizza and rock’n’roll, this is your place. It’s owned and run by four mates from Sydney and Melbourne and has live music every week.

Coffee: Revolver is a hole-in-the-wall shop on Jalan Petitegnet that does great takeaways .

Activity: Surfing. Old Man’s is best for beginners, or try Berawa or Echo beach and, for the experienced, Uluwatu.

Mozaic Beach Club in Seminyak makes great cocktails. Picture: Supplied


Former stylist

Shop: Navigating the area can be a little bit overwhelming if you’re new to Bali, so it’s best to shop in the boutiques clustered throughout Seminyak. Don’t miss Prisoners of St Petersburg, Zuttion, Auguste and Gooseberry Intimates on Jalan Kayu Aya. Pick up some wholesome chocolate goodies at Earth Cafe and then follow the road all the way past Seminyak Square to Tropicana store. Young Byers on Jalan Kayu is ahidden gem and the Bali Boat Shed, Mister Zimi, and Kim Soo are also worth checking out.

Eat: Milk & Madu boasts an extensive breakfast menu to enjoy while the kids tackle the toy box in the cafe. We love the fresh salad bar at Watercress and our favourite dinner venues to take friends without the kids include Mejekawi, Metis and Mamasan.

Relax: We love 707 Beach Berm at Batu Belig. There are hot corn cobs and a great DJ.

Secret spot: Serangan Island, where temples dot the landscape and the kids can play on a protected beach.

Bar: Hanks Pizza & Liquor for good crust and cocktails.

Coffee: Baby Revs in Seminyak is a tried and trusted go-to for morning takeaway and Souq does a great cup of Joe too.

Activity: The whitewater rafting with Sobek adventure company in Ubud is amazing and day trips to Nusa Lembongan or camping in Bedugal are super memorable outings.

Breakfast at Milk & Madu in Bali. Picture: Instagram



Shop: The Frog Markets in Tabanan. The “Froggies” are huge vintage clothing markets with hundreds of dingy little pop-up shops under a tin roof. The people are friendly and there is nothing over $5.

Eat: Alchemy in Ubud is a raw vegan cafe serving incredible juices and smoothies and there is a raw breakfast bar where you can make your own coconut yoghurt granola.

Relax: Wander deep into the middle of the rice paddies in Canggu and lay on the little shelves, listening to the leaves rustling all around you.

Secret spot: I often buy organic vegetables from Bali Buda and cook my own food. The food in Bali is incredible, but I can’t eat out all the time!

Bar: I don’t do bars.

Coffee: Betelnut cafe in Canggu has the best coconut milk lattes ever, which you can sip as you gaze over the gorgeous rice fields.

Activity: Ecstatic Dance at Yoga Barn in Ubud. About 150 people pack into the tree house yoga studio at Yoga Barn at 7pm on a Friday night while an amazing DJ plays and everyone just dances. There is no talking, no judging; just freedom of movement and flow.


Co-owner Hank’s Pizza & Liquor

Shop: Drifter in Seminyak is a great one-stop-shop for all your Bali needs. It stocks the less commercial brands of boardies, shirts, shoes, books, surfboards and a bunch of other interesting stuff.

Eat: Cuca in Jimbaran is set on a lush green piece of land just off the beach with large coconut trees dotted through the property. It’s tasty, innovative and great value.

Relax: Lembongan is a 25-minute boat ride from Sanur with amazing snorkelling, good surf and almost no cars on island.

Secret spot: The small grassy knoll down on the beach at Batu Belong beach near Old Man’s. It’s a great place to hang out with the kids, have a swim and buy a few beers from the warung next door when the sun sets.

Bar: There is a great little beach bar down on Batu Belong called 707. It’s built on top of an old demolished building and has a very chilled vibe with no shoes required.

Coffee: Sisterfields always delivers the goods. It’s an air-conditioned cafe in the heart of Seminyak with a great breakfast and lunch menu to match the coffee

Activity: I love to take my six-year-old down to Donkey Skatepark on Sunset Rd. It has skate ramps in a big warehouse and everyone is super friendly.

Drifter in Seminyak is a great one-stop-shop. Picture: Instagram


Fashion designer

Shop: My Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott boutique on Jalan Petitenget in Seminyak. We carry our main collection as well as an “endless summer” collection that I design especially for summer, vacations and the beach.

Eat: We love to eat at El Kabron at the Bukit. It’s located on top of a cliff with incredible ocean views and a cool euro vibe with DJs playing music all day long.

Relax: Cocoon Medical Spa in Legian or Ubud for a facial, body scrub and massage. They also make the best fresh ginger and lemongrass herbal tea.

Secret spot: Watching the sun go down at our local beach.

Bar: Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak is always buzzing and a great place to people watch.

Coffee: Petitenget Cafe does great tea, green juice and coffee. Most of the produce is organic and grown on owner Sean’s farm so it’s the very best quality. The service is great, they have an extensive wine list and dining outside is such a pleasant experience.

Activity: We love to drive around discovering local villages and visiting the stunning temples on the island.


Offering privacy yet accessibility, the sister resorts Ayana and Rimba are located amid 90ha of clifftop gardens at Jimbaran Bay. Situated close to many of the hot spots mentioned in this story, Bali’s only integrated resort complex is a five-minute drive to Jimbaran Village’s traditional market, boutiques and art galleries, 40 minutes from Seminyak’s shopping and night-life and 1.5 hours from the cultural attractions of Ubud. A convenient base from which to explore Bali, Ayana is home to the breathtaking watering hole Rock Bar, perched 14m above the Indian Ocean, while between them Ayana and Rimba have 15 restaurants and bars, 11 swimming pools, a private beach, golf course, kids’ club and two day spas. Ten kilometres from Bali’s airport, the resorts boast dramatic ocean views on one side and lush forest and hills on the other, with villas, rooms and private residences among the accommodation options available.

Source – The Daily Telegraph

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