Ngurah Rai International Airport
To visit or leave the Island of the Gods, Bali, the most convenient way is by air transport using airplane. Ngurah Rai International Airport is currently the only commercial airport in Bali. In addition to that, a new floating international airport will be constructed on a beach off Kubutambahan in Buleleng (source). There is a small airfield in Buleleng called Letkol Wisnu Airfield in Buleleng, but it is used by the local flight academy only.
Ngurah Rai Airport is located 13 km south of Denpasar. It will take around 30 minutes car drive from either Denpasar or Nusa Dua in normal traffic. Built on the coastline of Indian Ocean, the runway can be seen from the famous Kuta beach.
As the third busiest airports in Indonesia after Soekarno-Hatta (Jakarta) and Juanda (Surabaya), Ngurah Rai underwent a big renovation in 2012-2013, opening new international terminals in the new 3 storey L-shaped building and re-modelling the old building to be the domestic terminals.
The government relocate the main bus station from Ubung in Denpasar, to Mengwi in Tabanan. It is inconvenient since the new bus station is 30 minutes further from Denpasar, but the new bus station is bigger and located outside Denpasar which has become too crowded. All inter-province buses depart from Mengwi bus station, with routes heading to Lombok and Java (Malang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and even Jakarta).
There is no train track in Bali, thus there are no train station. Strangely, the state-owned train company, PT. KAI, offers a trip from / to Denpasar. Turns out that if you buy a ticket from the official website or other travel companies, first you will taken by land with a bus which will board the ferry at Gilimanuk harbor, and you will be dropped at Banyuwangi Baru train station, where you finally can board the train. Travel by train in Java may sounds inconvenient and boring, but can be quite an adventure and nostalgic. KAI’s services has been greatly improved since around 2014 too.
Gilimanuk Ferry Harbor
If you take the land route to Java, the only way to cross the Bali strait is by ferry. It currently has 4 ferry docks, and with the maximum load of roughly 275 passengers, 58 motor bikes, and 26 cars, each ferry will stay at the dock for about 30-45 minutes to unload & load the passengers before sailing. It will then take about 45 minutes to 2 hours max to reach Ketapang Harbor in Banyuwangi, East Java.
Though the current is quite strong, but generally the waves at Bali strait is calm. However, the waves can be quite rough around July through November. The harbor management constantly monitoring the wave level and will temporarily halt all ferries’ operation until the wave level is safe enough for sailing.
During school holidays and long weekends, usually the harbor will be crowded with cars & buses from Java, as well as people who wants to spend their holiday in their hometown in Java. Avoid traveling around Nyepi and Idul Fitri (Eid), as the harbor will be very crowded, and the line for entering the harbor can reach more than 10 kilometers from the main entrance.
To reach Gilimanuk which is about 120 km west of Denpasar, it will take about 3-4 hours by car or motorbike, or 4-5 hours by public bus (Denpasar-Gilimanuk route only).
Padang Bai Ferry Harbor
Padang Bai harbor is pretty far from main tourist areas in South Bali. The overland trip takes about 45 minutes to more than 1 hour on normal traffic.
Ferries cross from Padang Bai to Lembar every hour, 24 hours a day and the crossing takes 4 – 5 hours (plus sometimes considerable waiting around for loading and unloading). The Ferry ticket available at the harbor only (both Padang Bai or Lembar).
Most fast boats depart and return via Padangbai harbor. The fast boat trip between Padangbai harbor to Lombok / Gilis Island is about 1 hour 30 minutes (could be less or more, depends on wave condition). Here are some options on the fast boat services in Padang Bai:
Serangan – Padangbai – Gili Trawangan – Teluk Kode (Lombok)
The British-owned Blue Water Express is the pioneer of high speed transport to the Gili Islands and Lombok and has the longest track record than any other service with a 100% safety record, started with the cooperation of Island Promotions.
They carry full international safety equipment, have fully accredited captains and English speaking crew, and are a highly recommended choice as being the pioneers of high speed transport to Lombok and the Gili islands.
The BLUE WATER EXPRESS service offers daily departures with 3 boats and is the quickest way to get to and from the Gili islands or Lombok from Bali.
By using the excellent facilities at Serangan harbour, (20 minutes from all main South Bali areas: Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua, this avoids the long road trip in heavy traffic to and from Padangbai.
Padangbai – Gili Trawangan – Nusa Lembongan
Welcome aboard the “Ocean Star Express” fast boat service, we provide a reliable twice daily service from anywhere in Bali to Gili Trawangan and Lombok with the shortest possible sea crossing of approximately 60 minutes from Padangbai harbor.
Combining a picturesque road trip with the shortest possible sea crossing time, we will maximize your journey in comfort and safety. Our service is ideal for passengers staying in Ubud, Candidasa or north Bali, and for those who want a shorter sea crossing time, or for those who would simply just prefer a later afternoon departure.
Padangbai – Gili Trawangan – Teluk Kodek
All Gilicat vessels are built in Australia to international survey standard. Gilicat I is a fiberglass catamaran which carries 20 passengers; Gilicat II (above) is an aluminum monohull which carries 32 passengers. All the vessels are powered by the latest in outboard engine technology – Suzuki 300 HP four strokes. The seating is comfortable and custom designed, and the spacious cabins are weather-proof. They both have the latest safety equipment with SOLAS approved life jackets for each passenger, and self-inflating life rafts in the case of emergency. Your safety and comfort is our top priority.
Sanur – Nusa Penida – Padang bay – Lombok – Gili Air – Gili Trawangan
Our Mission is to be the Fast Cruise operator of choice for discerning customers on all the routes we cross.
Semaya Fast Cruises provide easiness, efficiency, safety, comfort, speed, reliability and at an affordable price, all for your convenience for trips to Lembongan, Lombok and the Gili islands of Trawangan and Gili Air.
Gili Trawangan – Gili Meno – Gili Air – Bangsal – Amed
The “Black Horse” fast boat is is owned by Eco dive Bali and is the ONLY fast boat to operate directly out of Amed in North East Bali direct to Gili Trawangan.
Saving any road trips to Padang Bay, the fastest most direct service for customers in Amed, Candidasa, Tulamben and Lovina.
Perfect for divers as Amed is so close to Tulamben to combine the Gilis with a dive package or safari.