I have absolutely no doubt that you have heard of Nusa Penida, and even if you haven’t you would have seen a picture of it. I practically guarantee it. It’s a popular spot for travellers everywhere.
Nusa Penida is one of the 3 Nusa islands, off east coast of Bali, Indonesia. Matt and I are staying on Nusa Lembongan, which is connected by the famous yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan. The third island, Nusa Penida is only reachable by ferry. Our second week on the island we had some mates visiting so it was the perfect time to go exploring Nusa Penida for a day.
What the day trip companies don’t tell you about Nusa Penida is that the roads are not connected all the way around the island, and those roads are more potholes than road, so it’s IMPOSSIBLE to see everything in one day. Generally, you can either see the east or west side of the island in one day, but even that is pushing it. If you book a Nusa Penida tour, keep that in mind. So without further ado; Nusa Penida in a day.
How to get there:
Nusa Lembongan/Nusa Ceningan – On Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan you can catch a ferry that leaves from the Yellow Bridge every 20 mins and will cost you about $4 AUD per person.
Bali – you can get to Nusa Penida from Sanur and a quick Google shows you a wide variety of companies that can get you there. Although we traveled from Ceningan, we used Rocky Fast Cruises to get us to Lembongan, and everything was just peachy. It was crazy watching the Indo workers go from the beach to the boat, loaded up with suitcases. One thing they don’t tell you is that you have to walk in thigh high water to get into the boat, so don’t wear pants. The boat ride will take up to 45mins and cost about $50aud return.
How to get around:
Scooter – by far the most uncomfortable, the most dangerous and the most bone jarring experience of my life. But yes, I would totally go via scooter again. The roads are more pothole than road. The gravel and hills make it hard to keep the bike upright. But man it was hilarious. Please note my lack of photo of “bad road”, because I was hold on for dear life. Wear a helmet for goodness sake and if you’re not insured to ride a scooter, just don’t bother. Prices around $7aud.
You can also get one of the locals to show you around on a scooter. Not sure how comfortable that would be though.
Car – a bit higher on the comfort scale, and a lot safer. Additionally, it’s just as fast as a scooter. You can find someone to dive you around for about $50aud. Split that between friends and you’ve got yourself a bargain.
Boat – You won’t see as much of the island, but your ride should be alot smoother. I’m not sure what the logistics are of getting to the top of Kelingking and that, so you’ll have to ask your guide. Prices are around $90aud.
What to see:
Take your pick of snorkeling or relaxing… or why not do both? Crystal Bay is a small bay where you can kick off your thongs (jandles, flip flops, whatever) and chill out for hours. I recommend a coconut! I did no snorkeling, but I’ve scuba’d here, and it was a wealth of marine life. Turtles, fish, morays… the jackpot!
Make sure you time it with the low tide if you want to swim here. We turned up to crashing waves and surging waters… not ideal for a relaxing float. The water still looked glorious though, and I spent some time staring longingly into its depths. I shall swim in you yet, billabong!
The power of the ocean displayed in a single archway. Conveniently located next to Angels Billabong, Broken Beach is a beautiful testament to ocean corrosion; a lagoon with a hole leading out to the ocean. You’re unable to get down to the lagoon, but you can sit and enjoy the view for hours.
Kelingking (T-Rex Head)
The one you’ve all been waiting for… the famous T-Rex Head. Seen in many instagram photos, you will know Nusa Penida for this famous rocky outcrop. You can walk down the T Rex spine and head down to the beach. There’s restaurants up the top too, so you can eat with a view.
Hot tip: If you hate people like I do, go PAST the car park for KelingKing and turn your first right. You’ll get a fantastic look out with ZERO people there. If you hit the temple, you’ve gone too far.
Now the majority of these places ask for a small fee. I’m not sure what they use it for (hopefully road upgrades), but just pay it and move on. It’s like .50c aud.
After all these spots we rode back to our ferry at ToyaPakeh. The entire trip took 8 hours – a pretty big day on the scooter. Like I said, Matt and I will definitely go back for all the things we missed.