Surfers and backpackers seem to have the knack of finding a holiday with a great budget, especially in Indonesia!
There are three islands with Gili as part of their name lying off the north-west coast of Lombok in the Flores Sea Air, Meno and Trawangan. Gili is Indonesian for small island, and there are lots of them sprinkled in the region.
The three Gilis have white sandy beaches, clear water with blue coral which is popular with divers and snorkellers, and there are numerous companies offering certified PADI diving and courses.
Trawangan's development began around 20 years ago thanks to travellers looking for "undiscovered" little islands. It is the furthest from Lombok but only takes around 20 minutes to reach if you fly, or one to two hours by water from Senggigi Beach, depending on the weather.
The backpacker grapevine has led people to the two by three kilometre island and the main street is lined with guest houses, cafes, bars and people just enjoying themselves.
Local transport is by cidomos, which are horses and carts. That means the sound of cars and motorbikes so prevalent in other parts of Indonesia is left far behind, which certainly makes for a more relaxing stay. The cidomos take just two people and a ride around the island takes about an hour. They are quite inexpensive, but you should barter before you accept the lift.
Even if you don't plan to dive or snorkel, a boat trip is an absolute must. Marine life includes harmless sharks, rays, giant clams and hundreds of turtles. Jellyfish can be blown from the mainland and it's certainly best to avoid them!
Accommodation is mainly in little bamboo bungalows on stilts with a thatched roof, small verandah and concrete bathroom at the back.
If you want something a little more comfortable, the three-star Villa Ombak is the most modern hotel on the island. It has air-conditioned bungalows with private bathrooms. The small resort is opposite the ocean, has a pool, spa and dive centre, reception, cafe and restaurant with ocean views.
Off Lombok, in Indonesia
Qantas and Australian Airlines fly daily to Denpasar.
Freestyle Holidays has a four night package to Gili Trawangan including return economy airfares, transfers, accommodation and breakfast starting at $988 ex Darwin, $1115 ex Perth, $1299 ex Melbourne, $1316 ex Sydney, $1339 ex Brisbane and $1351 ex Adelaide, per person.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.
9/5 Rosebery Place, Balmain 2041
Ph: 1300 665 firstname.lastname@example.org
Qantas: 13 13 13
It is recommended travellers to Indonesia see their doctor at least 6 weeks before departure. Prior to travel travellers should be ‘in date’ with vaccinations for polio, hepatitis A and B and tetanus. Depending on the time of year of travel and exact destination, other health precautions and preventions are recommended and best discussed with your doctor.