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Bali in perspective

Words and Photography by Cathy Wagstaff


Bali is still a great value family holiday

If I could, on these pages, share with you the look, feel and taste of Bali I would.

The warmth the Balinese radiate toward you and especially your kids, I wish I could get that feeling to jump off these pages and embrace you.

What I will share with you is several families’ views on Bali and why they have chosen this destination and their views on travelling to Bali at this time. The majority of visitors to Bali are now repeat visitors – those that have a love of the destination and consider it as almost a second home. Some love it so much that they have bought or are building a holiday home. This is more common than you think.

Sanur Paradise Plaza BaliThe Bassett Family from Victoria:

Parents: Adrian and Andrea Bassett
Children: Laila 4, Ashley 2
Travelling with: Grandparents

I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Adrian Bassett poolside at the Sanur Plaza Suites.

Why did you choose Bali?

We wanted to bring the children’s grandparents along, and had stayed previously at the Sanur Plaza Suites. This is a great option for larger families or groups. Bali is very affordable - even more so than our last trip due to the downturn in tourism. This has worked in our favour, as there are great bargains with shopping and accommodation. We love the Balinese people, that’s what it is all about. They love kids and are always willing to look after your children when you are having a meal.

Are you concerned with safety for you and your family?

Australians need to put things into perspective. You can jump into your car and drive to Queensland but do you know how many people die in car accidents each year? We exercise caution wherever we travel both in Australia and overseas. As I said you need to put things into perspective. We feel safe here.

Any Tips?

I recommend the website This site assisted with his decision to travel at this time.

Bali Elephant Safari ParkThe Minshull family from Humpty Doo, N.T. (Yes really!):

Parents: Tamara is a single mum.
Children: Rebecca 9, Nikola 7, and Daniel 5
Travelling with: Grandmother

I met this family when this sweet little face peered over the tourism desk at Nusa Lembongan Island and started chatting away about how much fun she was having, and that they were only here for another day. Rebecca took me to meet her mum Tamara, who believes you can take your kids anywhere. They have travelled to various overseas destinations and started coming to Bali when Rebecca was only two. Tamara’s parents have since purchased land and built a holiday home in Bali.

Are you concerned with safety for you and your family?

I am concerned about safety in the back of my mind but would not stop coming to Bali. I actually stay away from Kuta and I do not go into bars or nightclubs. Apart from that I feel as safe as you can anywhere. No one really knows what is going to happen tomorrow. You could get run over by a bus.

Bali has spectacular sceneryThe Mathews and Leadbitter families from WA:

Parents: Nadine and Ashley Matthews
Bev and Mark Leadbitter
Mathews’ family: Kaitlyn 12, Beau 11
Leadbitter family: Garrett 18, Triplets, Jared, Elly and Karly 12, Luke 10

These families were travelling together and were doing so for the seventh time – Bali is their annual holiday destination. Every single one of the four adults and seven children has a passion for Bali.

Why did they choose Bali?

It is much cheaper to holiday here than in Australia. For large families this is a very affordable destination. We are staying at the Sanur Plaza Suites which cater for larger families. The things we love about Bali: the food is great, the shopping is amazing and the people are fun … and of course the surfing. We come each year for 10 days and it’s cheaper for us than going to Rottnest Island.

Are you concerned with safety for you and your family?

We always stay at Sanur and feel safe here. We are cautious about Kuta but Kuta is not what we are here for. We rarely used to go there anyway.

Bali boysThe Higgins Family from Hillarys, Perth WA

Parents: John and Gaye
Children: Stephen, Lisa and Rachael

I met John and his family on the deck of Sail Sensations travelling back from Nusa Lembongan Island.

Why did they choose Bali?

Ironic as it may seem, the present downturn in tourism to Bali is a plus for those that visit. Bargains are to be had, prestigious resorts are offering rates you would not fi nd elsewhere (and Bali does know how to do pure luxury) shopping is at a premium with retailers keen to move their wares and exceptionally negotiable. I fi rmly believe that Bali is the best value holiday to be had anywhere in the world. We all love the people. My wife loves the shopping.

Are you concerned with safety for you and your family?

This is the first time we have been back to Bali for four years, although we have made 10 trips here before. We feel comfortable and are happy to be here. Five-star resorts have taken sound steps to increase security. Vehicles entering are checked thoroughly as is baggage being taken into the hotel via scanners similar to those found at airports. There is more security visable at tourist spots.

Bali Elephant Safari ParkAny Tips?

Visit Bali before it gets busy again and prices climb back. You get an affordable holiday and have the pleasure of supporting the Balinese. It was very noticeable that other nationalities were still embracing Bali and even more noticeable was the absence of Australians. On my walk down Poppies Lane I no longer had to jump out of the way of a moped being precariously manoeuvred by an Australian. Sad to say, I actually missed it!

There were many European visitors, most of whom were putting travel to Bali into the perspective of bombings that had occurred in other parts of the world. One father of four I spoke to had some interesting insights. ‘Have we all boycotted London?’ he asked. He wondered why travel warnings about Bali had been so strident compared with many other destinations that had also been devastated by bombings. 'Why isn't New York on the list?' he wondered.

Words and Photography
by Cathy Wagstaff


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