Indonesia has fast become a popular destination for family holidays due to its affordability and mix of outdoor activities. Lombok is a great choice when choosing a destination to travel with kids due to its stunning beaches and tropical rainforests. Activities like snorkelling, surfing, and learning about local villages will keep the whole family entertained.
Begin by choosing where you'd like to base yourself. There are two main locations that families opt to travel to in Lombok: Senggigi (west) and Kuta (south). Each of these towns brings a choice of hotels, restaurants and activities to keep the kids entertained. Our top location for basing yourself in Lombok would be in Kuta, due to the beautiful beaches surrounding the area and the array of restaurants and accommodation options.
Surfing lessons are a great way to get the whole family outdoors. The waves in Lombok provide a variety of conditions, perfect for learners. Across Lombok, you will find surf lessons and surf shops at Senggigi Beach, Kuta Beach and the Gili Islands. Start by determining your skill level, to figure out precisely what type of class you're looking for.
Lombok is home to colourful fish and coral reef, making it the perfect place to jump in and snorkel. Many shops around the beaches rent snorkel equipment, otherwise, ask your hotel too. Some tours will also take you to the best snorkelling spots in the Gili Islands. Or for a view from above the water, stand up paddleboarding is also a relaxing and fun day out on the water, and the boards are available to hire around Kuta Beach.
Just to the west of Lombok are the Gili Islands, and these islands have well and truly transitioned away from being a backpackers hub and into a family-friendly hotspot. Take a boat from Senggigi's Bangsal Harbour to reach the Gili Islands. Out of the three islands, Gili Air would have to be the pick for families, which is not as busy as Gili Trawangan, but with more happening then Gili Meno. You can purchase tickets at the harbour directly or at many other locations nearby. One thing to be mindful of is that the Gili Islands have no motorised transport. However, due to the island's size, you can easily walk everywhere. Stay for a couple of nights and enjoy the pristine beaches and quiet island life.
Beyond the ocean, and back on land, take some time out to visit the traditional weaving villages; Sukarara and Sade. Here you will see locals hand-making beautiful woven goods and have the opportunity to purchase the items too. Visiting these villages is an excellent opportunity to see how different cultures make a living, and you can even organise to learn how to weave.
To get around Lombok, hiring a car would have to be the most comfortable option; otherwise, organise a driver through your hotel. If you prefer to plan activities once you've arrived, Senggigi and Kuta have a choice of tours, and transport operators scattered throughout. But remember that Indonesian's are open to negotiating; so don't be afraid to bargain for a better price.