Balian Bagus

Ok here goes. We asked on Instagram if you wanted us to start blogging again and we had an overwhelming yes vote. We had a lot of inquiries about our trip to Balian so I guess we may as well start here. I hope you enjoy our new easy to read blog layout, let us know!

Where

Balian is a sleepy surfing town which can be found in the upper West Coast of Bali approximately 2.5hrs from Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Surf

There are two major surfing options within the Balian area. Balian is a beach break known for its usually longer and better shaped lefts from its rights. The water can be murky here at times after a lot of rain as there is a river mouth that runs into it.

Medewi is another 30mins north west from here, and is a left hand point break. The bottom is made up of boulders. Jacko got some of his longest rides here. It also boasts one of the most user friendly waves in Bali and is a great beginner wave.

As you can see there is lots of wave options for the beginner through to the advanced in this area…. depending where you sit.

Stay

We stayed in Balian which we would recommend, especially for families. Everything is so close which is handy for those not confident to jump on a scooter. You can head to the beach, grab some food from a warung or a massage which is all within walking distance. We stayed at Istana Balian which has a few great options for single travellers, couples and families. It’s only a short 3minute stroll to the beach and also boasts the best food around. Even if you don’t stay here be sure to drop in for some food and drinks and catch some live sport on the TV. Pondok Pitaya is another accommodation spot especially popular for surfers and yogis and has a range of accommodation options. It is adjacent to Balian Beach and you can watch the surf from the pool. It’s also another spot to grab a coffee or some food after a surf. There are also some great villas around just situated back from the beach, most with ocean views.

Eat

As mentioned make sure you drop into Istana Balian for dinner and Pondok Pitaya for a post surf snack. Also be sure to try Sushi Surf Balian which overlooks Balian Beach. Although it is western prices it was absolutely delicious and so fresh!

Activities

What besides surfing?

Ok so there is also some fun things to do away from the waves. If your up for it drop in to Pondok Pitaya and do a casual yoga class. Just be sure to drop by maybe the day before and check in what times they run as it can change. I was able to go twice and really enjoyed both my classes.

Go hang out at Secret Bay. At the top of the hill over looking Balian Beach turn right at the sign towards Secret Bay. Down here you can explore a little hidden bay after crossing a driftwood bridge. Get a cute Instagram photo on the swings overlooking the bay and wander down the paths on the cliff leading to great photo spots. Also if you see the sign “nature walk” it will lead you to a bat cave (an actual cave full of bats). Or alternatively you can just see them hanging off the cliff to the right of the secret bay swings. There is also a resort here where you can use the facilities such as the pool and restaurant for the day.

Hire a scooter or a driver with a car and explore your surrounds. We started to head off towards Medewi And found this massive stretch of isolated black sand beach with thousands and thousands of crabs scuttling off to hide when we walked by. It was amazing and Kanoa loved just exploring the beach.

So there you have it. Our first post after a very long hiatus and we have so many things to blog about coming up. Tell us your thoughts and if you have seen anything on our Instagram @saltythree that you want us to write about just comment here, DM on Instagram or shoot us an email.

✌🏻 Saltythree~ Ash.

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Keeping It Local

You asked for it and we listened. So tonight we are blogging a bit more on Merewether.

How fitting that today was extraordinarily hot in our little neck of the woods. We managed to get the little Grom out and down to the Merewether ocean baths, which we mentioned in our first blog, before 8am this morning.

There was already a hive of activity there with many locals and tourists. Such a perfect spot for little ones to swim and play on the sand in a safe environment. The smaller bath has a sand bottom which gets deeper the further you walk out. Today our little one swam across to the other side, climbed the ladder and continued to jump into the water off the edge a dozen times.

 

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After we had enough swimming and sand castle building we went for a short stroll and checked out “Merewether Aquarium”. This walkway which provides beach access, has been transformed into a sea life filled aquarium by Newcastle artist Trevor Dickinson. It was officially opened on September 8th 2014. Former Mambo designer Michael Bell also repainted some of his earlier work in the tunnel from 1998. Mambo, such an iconic Aussie surfing brand.

 

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This was such a fun little activity to do with young ones pointing out all the different sea life on the walls and plenty of photo opportunities. Although this little toddler didn’t want to stand still for any today.

 

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We then ventured down to Bluedoor kiosk which is situated outside Merewether surfclub for coffee and another play in the sand searching for sea shells.

Such a great little morning down at our local, Kanoa was well and truly worn out by nap time today. We have such a big year coming up including trips back to Bali, China and a month in Hawaii so stay tuned.

 

See you soon x Salty Three

 

 

Bingin….It just feels like home.

Bingin, located within the region known as the Bukit is found on the southern end of the island of Bali, Indonesia.  Bukit which means “hill” in Indonesian is home to some of the best surfing spots on the island. White limestone cliffs poring into blue sparkling oceans is what attracts most to Bingin and the Bukit.

Bingin is always on our “must stay” list when we travel to Bali. Its location means it is more quiet as it is tucked up out of the way of the hustle and bustle of Kuta and its popular surrounds. The beach is accessed by cliff steps which may be a turn off for some who are used to walking straight onto a beach. We like this as it gives this place a more uncharted feel. We managed to walk down and up the steps with Kanoa strapped to our back in a sling with no troubles. On low tide Kanoa had fun exploring the rock shelf and rock pools, but it can be slippery so we were always close by guiding his hand.

 

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Another great thing is the wide range of accomodation options available in the area from cheap rooms and backpackers right on the waters edge to more family friendly accomodation upon the cliff in the way of Villas to romantic couple retreats perfect for honeymooners. If your looking for a Villa you cant go past checking out baliretreats.com.au we always book through Bali retreats and have had fabulous customer service. We decided to extend our stay in Bingin on our last trip and although we had to move out of our present accomodatation, they moved us right around the corner to another villa.

Eating out, there is plenty of options. Most Villa stays will come with a cook but if you are looking to eat out you cant go past the Warungs on the cliff overlooking the beach. We ate down there most nights and had no troubles. You will generally see tourists flock to “Kelly’s warung” which is one of the more popular eating spots but there is also some great options for a seafood BBQ on the beach where you can watch your meal being cooked while the sun sets over the Indian ocean.

 

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On top of the cliff amongst the villa’s is a little food paradise known as “cashew tree”. Along with great coffee and smoothies it has an amazing array of both balinese and western food options. We visited most days as the smoothies were amazing and there was a childrens play area with plenty of toys for our little “terror” to busy himself with. It was a saviour and Kanoa got to play with kids and interact.

 

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For a change of scenery and if you have time be sure to check out El Kabron spanish resturaunt and beach club. Although abit more pricier than your local warung it is definetly something to check out especially if you have a baby sitter and want a baby free escape. We had no baby sitter but this little family of three decided to take a trek to find this beach club amongst the cliffs. Although we got very lost (we reccomend just getting transport as some fences may or may not have been scaled) we had a lot of fun on our trek.

 

El Kabron is amazing, its infinity pool has fantastic views. We were lucky to be there on a slow lunch day and had the pool practically to ourselves (which was good for us as we had a very busy toddler that day that was very out of place in this beautiful beach club). The staff werew amazing to our little terror and very accomodating. We enjoyed tapas and drinks and although not the usual “Bali” we are used to it was a great experience all the same.

 

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For the surfers amongst us, Bingin is a left hand barrelling wave breaking over a shallow coral reef. Its proximetry to numerous surfing spots along the Bukit means your always bound to find a good wave.

 

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For those looking for a spa day, you cant go past “Micks Place” for a beautiful massage ontop of the cliff overlooking the ocean. Micks place has an extensive treatment list which offer multiple services. Micks place is also popular for destination weddings and offers multiple accomodation options.

Bingin, only approx. 30mins from Kuta in our opinion should be on everyones Bali must see list from singles, couples, families, surfers, non surfers and travellers. Enjoy the quiet, enjoy the calm and the pristine ocean in what we like to think as our home away from home.

See you soon x Salty Three

 

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(Bingin, Bali, Indonesia).

Disclaimer*. All photos are our own or photos of us.

 

Merewether Our Home

Its not uncommon for the three of us to venture down to our local, Merewether beach for a Coffee and some R & R most mornings between the hustle and bustle of work and life in general. Its a constant in our busy life that both of us and our son have become acustomed to. You will often find Jacko coming out from a surf, Kanoa running around like a crazy toddler rushing down the ramp and onto the sand and Ashleigh chasing behind him trying not to spill a drop of her bluedoor coffee.

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Merewether is a world famous surf break home to Surfest, a surfing contest that attracts some of the best surfers in the world. In 2009 Merewether was inducted as the 7th national surfing reserve. It is also a fantastic spot for non surfers and families. Just a short stroll south from the blue door cafe and a second cafe/ bar and function room called the Merewether surf house lies the recently renovated Merewether ocean baths. Once voted in the top 10 ocean baths to visit in the world these baths also cater to the littlest of groms with a smaller sand bottom wadding pool.

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Go for a coffee, a swim in the ocean or the baths or just sit and chill and have a coffee and watch the kids go back and forth between the cafes on there scooters and bikes.
We could write about Merewether all day, but we might save some for later.
See you down at Mbay – SalthyThree

 

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*Merewether, Newcastle, NSW, Australia