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Travel guide

Indonesia: it’s way more than just Bali (although Bali's a pretty good place to start). Made up of nearly 18,000 islands, this country is an adventure for the senses. There's pristine beaches and lush orangutan-inhabited jungles, vibrant coral reefs and sacred ruins and temples, spicy and exotic food and jaw dropping volcanic landscapes. Theen there's the cosmopolitan cities, crazy nightlife, and the some of the best surfing in the world. When it comes to travel, Indonesia delivers the goods.

Indonesia: Fast facts

Languages spoken in Indonesia

There are more than 700 local dialects spoken in Indonesia, but the official language is Indonesian.

Currency in Indonesia

Indonesian Rupiah
10,000 IDR is approx 89c

Indonesian time zones (there are three!)

Indonesia has three time zones:
Indonesia Western Time Zone (UTC+07:00)
Indonesia Eastern Time Zone (UTC+09:00)
Indonesia Central Time Zone (UTC+08:00)

Indonesia's best islands

Don't know where to start? We get it. Here's our four favourite places: first, there's Bali, Lombok and the Gilis (otherwise known as the Lesser Sunda islands) for culture, surf and zen, Java and for incredible volcanic landscapes, and Borneo and Sumatra for tropical vibes and the best wildlife encounters. Explore below...

Bali & the Lesser Sunda Islands


Java & Jakarta


Borneo (Kalimantan)



Map of Indonesia

Thinking of taking a month out and doing an epic Indonesia trip? Then take a look at our map of Indonesia to better visualise your route. We recommend working your way from one side to the other via bus, boat or a mixture of both, on a tour!
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The cost of travel in Indonesia



The local beer is Bintang (you’ll see backpackers walking around wearing the singlets) and a bottle costs around 22,000IDR (approx $1.96) – in a restaurant it can cost a little more.



A plate of nasi goreng from a local food cart or cafe can cost as little as $1.75. It can be every bit as delicious, if not better, than in some restaurants. For a sit-down meal somewhere midrange, expect to pay between 54,000 IDR ($5) to 127,000 IDR (around $12).

cost of accomodation in thailand


A dorm bed or simple hut outside of Bali will set you back $5-10. Expect to pay more in Bali and on the beautiful beaches of the Gili Islands, where the most popular hostels can cost around $20 per person per night.

Indonesia hotel cost


For a mid-range room for two people in a hotel in Bali, you'll pay upwards of 270,000 IDR ($25) per room. Fancier hotels can cost around $40-70 on the island, but if you're off the beaten track (eg. Sulawesi), you'll be able to find a bargain hotel room for next to nothing. Book in advance with STA Travel to bag the cheapest rates.

taxi cost Indonesia


A taxi in Jakarta costs around 8,000 IDR (less than $1) per kilometre. A taxi ride from Jakarta's airport to the city centre should cost less than $20 - make sure you ask for the meter to be turned on at the start of your journey. Expect similar taxi or rickshaw fares in Bali, but haggle for much cheaper ones in other parts of the country, away from the tourist rates!

transport cost Indonesia

Public transport

Public transport in Indonesia comes in all forms, depending on the island you're on. Squeeze into a tiny bemo or angkot (minivan) for longer distances, or take a three-wheeler, similar to the tuktuks you'd find in other parts of Asia, for around 3000 IDR (35 cent) per kilometre. Boats and ferries between islands are super affordable - visit our Bali page to find out more about the cost of island hopping.

How to get around Indonesia

First of all, get in. You can easily fly into the capital Jakarta, in Java, or straight to Bali from all Australian international airports. Domestic flights around Indonesia are super affordable. The popular route from Java, to Bali, Lombok, the Gili Islands, Komodo and Flores can all be done by ferry and boat rides. So stretch those sea legs!
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Indonesia's travel highlights


The Gili Islands

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Bromo, Ijen & Rinjani

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Wild orangutans

Sumatra & Borneo

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Komodo & Flores

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Indonesia adventure tours

Bromo Java

Indonesia on a Shoestring: Java to Bali | 15 days

Weave your way across Java, home to some of the most epic volcanoes on Earth, cities packed with culture, and the mysteriously alluring Borobudur, overlooked by the mighty Mount Merapi. You'll end your adventure in Bali - that's the perfect blend of action, culture and beach time!

Highlights: Sunrise over Mount Bromo, Borobudur temples, Red Island surfing, blissing out in Bali



Indonesia on a Shoestring - Sumatra to Bali | 28 days

Want more? Add Sumatra onto the start of Indonesia on a Shoestring and explore truly untouched wilderness. Bukit Lawang in northern Sumatra is one of the last two places left on the planet where you can meet wild orangutans. Pay a visit to your ginger relatives before heading to Java and Bali for non-stop temple, volcano and surf-spot hopping.

Highlights: Orangutan spotting in Sumatra, Mount Bromo, Yogyakarta, Borobudur, Ubud


Islands of Indonesia

Islands of Indonesia | 22 days

Starting and ending in Bali, you'll soak up the island's best bits before hopping over to untouched paradise in Lombok and the three fabled Gili Islands. Then it's on to Komodo, home of the dragons, and the island of Flores for some volcano action - Kelimutu's craters are unmissable!

Highlights: Tegalalang Rice Terraces, snorkelling with turtles in the Gili Islands, Komodo, Flores


Do I need a visa to travel to Indonesia?

Australians travelling to Indonesia for less than 30 days don't need a visa - win.

Backpackers with no set plan, trust us - you'll end up wanting to stay much longer than a month! There's so much to see in Indonesia, we recommend up to two months). In order to qualify to stay in the country longer than a month, you'll need to apply for a visa from the Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia, which can be done online before you go, or pay for one on arrival in Indonesia, for $35. These visas are still only valid for one month but can be extended for another month, meaning you can spend a total of up to two months in Indonesia. 

If you enter the country on the 30-day visa-free scheme, you'll not be able to extend your stay, so plan ahead!

What should be on my Indonesia packing list?

It's easy to get carried away with your packing list when you're taking a trip to such a jam-packed country, which offers volcano and jungle trekking, beaches and crazy nightlife you'll want to dress up for. Alongside the usual essentials, we'd recommend taking deet to keep mosquitoes at bay, comfortable walking shoes - you'll need them for all of Indonesia's best sights, and clothes to cover your legs, chest and shoulders for all of the temples you'll be visiting. 

Also, don't forget to ask one of our Travel Experts about travel vaccinations and insurance, which is essential for any activities you'll be partaking in.

Want more inspiration? Visit the travel blog!

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