NUSA LEMBONGAN FOR FAMILIES
One of the most common questions we get asked seems to be variations along the line of "is Nusa Lembongan a family friendly destination"? In short yes, Nusa Lembongan is a wonderful destination for a family holiday with children of all ages, whether it be babies, toddlers, young kids or teenagers, there is plenty to do for the whole family. In this blog we discuss information particularly useful for families with children and we try to answer some of the more common questions. "Children" and "families" are quite broad topics and with us having guests from all over the world with different proficiencies and familiarities (particularly around water). We discuss topics relevant to a range of ages from babies to infants, to young children right the way through to adolescents and older teenagers, so as you read through, you will need to pick out the snippets of information relevant to your family. Why Nusa Lembongan is a great family friendly destination? Nusa Lembongan offers a very unique mix of characteristics that make it an incredible family friendly destination. 1. The island is not too remote and easily accessible. It takes approximately 30 minutes on the fast boat to get to Nusa Lembongan from Bali. Kids tend to find the boat ride quite an experience in itself! 2. The island is small, so no long car trips to go site seeing. There is hardly any traffic on the island, so getting around is either in a taxi (small trucks with bench seats in the back), or golf buggies are very popular for families. 3. The island is jam packed with activities and things to do for all ages - read on for more discussion on particular activities for kids. 4. There is a small community (almost country town) feel to the island. Everyone knows everyone. There is basically no crime on Nusa Lembongan and the locals are super friendly, welcoming and love children of all ages. This is great peace-of-mind for families with young children, and also families with older teenage children, where they are having a taste of freedom and might be doing some more exploring unsupervised. 5. There is decent access to medical in the event of the unforeseen.
The island offers excellent opportunity to introduce your children to new concepts, cultures, languages and activities that they may not have access or exposure to back home.
We've split this topic up into three sections: 1. Our properties with children 2. Activities for children on Nusa Lembongan
3. Getting around Nusa Lembongan with children 4. Safety precautions with children on Nusa Lembongan
This discussion is not supposed to be an exhaustive of every possible activity for children, or safety precaution (common sense always prevails), though a helpful reference point for your next family holiday.
Ohana's beachfront resort & beach club for families
Ohana is a Hawaiian word that means family. Naturally, our resort caters to families. The owners of the resort created Ohana's really as an extension of what they enjoy in life and as a place for them, and others, to share wonderful times with their families. The resort (whilst obviously very beautiful), has been purposefully designed to have an informal, casual and homely feel to it. Families of all ages, from the newborn to the grandparents can all feel comfortable, and there are areas and amenities for everyone. The location Being situated on the absolute beachfront in the heart of the main town, means you'll be hard pressed to find a better location on the island of Nusa Lembongan. For families this means we have a beautiful ocean and beach out the front, and within walking distance are dozens of restaurants, cafes, boutiques, spas and local stores. You pretty much never need to get transport unless exploring the island, and even then the longest ride is about 15-minutes to the opposite side of the island.
The amenity The property caters for children of all ages. We have high chairs in the restaurant and cribs available for the accommodation. There is a kids specific menu at the restaurant, though the main menu also is very accessible to children. The wood-fired pizzas are often a hit too with the kids. Youngsters also love that we light the bonfire each night and cook marshmallows at sunset. We have the world's biggest pool and playground at our doorstep (the ocean and beach), and two pools at the resort. Both pools have shallow ends. For teenagers, they will love exploring up and down the beach and the local shops, paddle boarding and swimming out the front in the ocean, we also have the best surf breaks on the island at the outer reefs directly out the front of the resort. Our team can help you in organising all activities, for example go snorkelling (get picked up by boat right from our beach), or hire a golf buggy to explore the island.
The rooms We have great options for families, and our rooms have flexible bedding configurations to accommodate families with different numbers of children, and children of different ages. The Suites and Junior Suites are very popular for families with children. In this set up, the parents are typically in the main bedroom, and the living room of the Suites or Junior Suites is converted with bedding for the children. The beds in the living room are proper sprung mattresses for the children. The floorplans on the individual room type section of the website have images to better illustrate this. Sometimes parents will choose to put older teenage kids in one of their own rooms, and that is also fine. Often parents will stay in one of the Suites or Junior Suites (as they are a bit more luxurious), and older teenage children stay in the Deluxe Garden Rooms. The rooms are close by (within 20m of each other), though also give everyone a little bit more space if that is what they are after. The 3-bedroom villa with private plunge pool is a great option for larger families or those again wanting more space.
Activities for children on Nusa Lembongan
We offer a general age range for activities, though of course this also depends on your children's interests, and abilities (for example comfort with being in the water).
We talk about Lembongan specific activities for kids and mostly "outdoors" style activities and experiences that are a bit more unique to the island that your children might not be able to do back at home, though also have a look at the "activities
Snorkelling (all ages)
Snorkelling on Nusa Lembongan is a great activity for children of all ages and abilities.
The experienced tour guides have life jackets, safety equipment, goggles and snorkels, and will take your group to locations relative to the experience and abilities of who is on board the boat. So just communicate with the captain on your families level of comfort and abilities.
The captains will often through ropes out from the boat to hold onto if you or your kids want to stay "connected" to the boat, and younger ones can have added safety devices whilst snorkelling (wearing life jacket or other flotation devices). Swimming with the manta rays, seeing the bright corals and colourful fish is always a great talking point for everyone.
Obviously, if you're children are not able to swim, then snorkelling won't be a great activity for them, though, the snorkelling tours will take you around the island by water and the snorkelling locations are around the three Nusa Islands (Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan & Nusa Penida), so even if you're not big on getting wet, it makes for a great morning of site-seeing and seeing the tropical islands from a different perspective.
Beach days and beach club hangs at Ohana's (all ages)
As parents ourselves, something we really value is venues where parent can relax and enjoy some time to themselves, whilst knowing the kids are entertained and won't be nagging around our feet needing something to occupy themselves. Beach days at beach clubs are a great activity for the whole family; the perfect place for adults and kids alike.
Kids will love playing between the ocean, beach and pools at the beach clubs, whilst parents can enjoy relaxing and working their way through through the cocktail menu, whilst easily being able to see the children and the kids having plenty to occupy themselves. At Ohana's we have plenty to occupy the kids including: - Calm ocean for swimming or paddle boarding (in the natural lagoon formed by the outer reefs) - Surf right out the front (at the outer-reefs behind the lagoon)
- Beautiful beach for kids to enjoy
- Sunset bonfires (a favourite for children is cooking marshmallows on the bonfire)
- Two pools, both with shallow ends for toddles and young children
- Kids playground (conveniently in view of the swim up bar for parents to keep an eye on their children)
- Extensive food and drinks menu with lots of healthy options as well as snack food, pizza, and treats such as marshmallows or donuts
Buying knick knacks (ages 6+)
This is a highlight for kids from the age of about 6 and up, as they are starting to learn about money and understanding of purchasing decisions.
There are often vendors along the beach who are selling knick-knacks (bracelets, souvenirs etc.), and kids often really enjoy the experience of looking through these items and bartering for the first time.
Scuba diving (ages 10+, subject to comfort in the water)
Scuba diving is a much more accessible activity for kids than a lot of people realise, and like riding a bike, it's a life-long skill.
Introducing your children up to being able to scuba dive from a young age will open up a world of exploring for them for years to come, as well as an appreciation for the environment. The Nusa Islands are home to some of the best scuba diving on the planet. The diving instructors experienced, and your kids will be raving about seeing the underwater world.
Mangrove tour (all ages)
A visit to the Mangrove Forest is a fun and relaxing activity for the whole family. From Ohana's it's about a 10 minute drive to the Mangrove Forest.
Once at the Mangrove Forest the local tour guides will offer to take you for a guided tour in a traditional boat (pushed by a long stick, gondola style) through the hidden waterways the weave through the mangroves. These guided tours go for about 45-minutes, and you will often see lots of birds, fish and even sting-rays in the crystal clear water, as well as the local village and people getting along with their day-to-day life.
Golf buggy island tour (all ages)
Golf buggy's can be hired on Nusa Lembongan (just ask our reception to assist), and are a novel way to self-drive the whole family around the island.
Mini golf (all ages)
There is a mini-golf course located about 5-minutes drive from Ohana's at The Coconut Hut.
The course is 18-holes and designed around a traditional Indonesian theme. Great fun for the whole family.
Water park (all ages)
There is a water park located on Nusa Lembongan called Sunday's Water Park.
Okay, sure it's not the same as a big theme park elsewhere in the world, though there are a couple of larges slides, some equipment and also shallow areas to entertain the kids for a couple of hours.
Stand up paddle boarding (depends on level of comfort in the water)
Stand up paddle boarding is a great family activity, especially in the lagoon out the front of Ohana's.
You can paddle up and down the beach, in between the moored boats, and even out to the reefs to explore. There are half-a-dozen or more rental shops within a short walk of Ohana's to pick up stand up paddle boards.
Banana boat and donut rides (depends on level of comfort in the water)
Zipline (flying fox)
There is a zipline (flying fox) on Nusa Ceningan that is popular for families.
Cliff jumping (depends on level of comfort in the water)
At Mahana Point there are cliff jumping opportunities at different heights.
The best time for cliff jumping is at high-tide.
Sightseeing and day trips (all ages)
Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida are fantastic places to site-see with the whole family. Part of what makes sightseeing so accessible on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan in particular is just how close everything is.
You don't need to sit in the back of a car for hours to get to the next destination, most places are 5 or 10 minutes away, which is great for keeping young kids entertained. In our other blog posts you'll find guides for sightseeing and suggested itineraries for exploring Nusa Lembongan and the other Nusa Islands.
Exploring the beach at low tide (all ages)
On the low tides along the front of Jungut Batu beach is the time to go for an explore in the beach and see what you can find. Beautiful shells, small crabs, starfish and other exposed sea critters, or even see the seaweed farms. Just remember, looking only, and try to minimise your impact on the local ecosystem. It's a good idea to wear foot protection as there can often be dead coral or sharp shells.
Playing with the local children
Along the beach, especially at sunset you'll find the beach becomes a hive of activity as the temperature drops and a lot of the local community heads down to watch the sun say good-bye for another day. Often local children will come down with their kites, start games of soccer or be playing in the water and love interacting with other kids on holidays so get your kids to join in on the fun!
A fishing charter is often a lot of fun for older children. Go out for the day and catch a feed! The fishing around the Nusa Islands is excellent!
Getting around Nusa Lembongan with children
The main ways to get around Nusa Lembongan are either on a truck transport, in a golf buggy or on a scooter when on the land, or boats for water activities.
Truck - taxi
In the back of trucks, particularly if you have little children, be mindful for them to keep their arms and limbs inside the truck, as some of the laneways can be quite narrow. That's actually pretty sound advice regardless of age! There are no seat-belts in the back of these trucks, so be mindful to remind your children to hang on to the railing. We often will put our children closer to the cab of the truck so the adults are a bit of a barrier to the back of the vehicle.
Golf buggy - self drive
Golf buggies are a great way for families to get around the island and self-drive, especially if not comfortable on a scooter.
Scooter - self drive
If you are taking children on a scooter, anyone on the scooter should be riding appropriate safety gear (including helmets for children).
Remember, take it slow on the roads, there is no need to get anywhere in a rush and part of the adventure of getting from point A to point b is enjoying the scenery and things there are to see.
Safety precautions with children on Nusa Lembongan
We were a little bit reluctant to include this section, as we are not able to provide an exhaustive list on child safety, and common sense prevails, though there are possibly some things to highlight that might not be as relevant back in your home country (if you are an international guest).
There is lots of water around
Be mindful to keep an eye on children, as whether it be the pool or the ocean, water is never far away on the Nusa Islands. Most pools in Bali and Nusa Lembongan will not have a pool around them, as is standard practice in other parts of the world. If you are renting a property with a pool, you can often arrange for a temporary fence to be put around the pool at additional cost.
Give street animals their distance
There are local dogs and cats that roam the streets on Nusa Lembongan (no different to Bali).
Whilst there is no need for your children to be fearful of these animals, we'd also suggest not approaching them unless they are with an owner and you ask the owner. The animals for the most part will simply ignore you unless they are provoked or engaged.
Traffic can be unpredictable
There is less structure to the road rules on Nusa Lembongan than in some western countries, there are also no marked pedestrian crossings where you can expect traffic to give way to pedestrians. Parents and children alike need to be mindful around roads.
Wear helmets on motorbikes - even if you're not the one driving
Despite the maximum speed your likely to ever find yourself travelling on Nusa Lembongan 50km/h (and more often than not only 30km/h), you should not be dismissive of the risks involved of riding a motorbike/scooter.
Keep an eye on kids around power points and electricity
This is pretty common sense anywhere in the world, though in Bali you will often find a lot more cables around the place that might usually be hidden or buried underground.
There are less warning signs and regulations - common sense prevails
In Indonesia in general, you will find less "nannying" regulation than other parts of the world; rather more of an approach that people are responsible for their own safety.
Don't expect there to be a warning sign saying "do not swim here" or "check for traffic" or "don't pat the dogs" or "parental supervision required", what this means is that everyone needs to have a heightened sense of responsibility for making safety judgements for themselves and their families.