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We were so pleased when the family at Rollin Adventures were nice enough to write a guest post on travelling to Nusa Lembongan with a wheelchair. We often get the question about travelling to Nusa Lembongan with kids, so this will be a great read to see different options of getting to Nusa Lembongan and exploring the island.
Guest post from Rollin Adventures
While pushing Morgan in her wheelchair throughout Bali, we spend most of our time on the road as the paths are generally difficult to navigate. The paving is often uneven or broken, and at times, the Balinese tend to park their scooters and cars on the pavement, which makes it difficult for a wheelchair user. Travelling to Nusa Lembongan with a wheelchair is no exception. Morgan has a few disabilities which make travelling a lot more difficult than for the average family.
Candidasa to Nusa Lembongan in a Jukung
We decided to head over to Nusa Lembongan again after a scary adventure last year. We didn’t get to see too much last time as Morgan had an epileptic seizure while in the back of a Bemo. We spoke to a local fisherman in Candidasa about the possibility of taking us to Nusa Lembongan in a traditional Jukung, similar to an outrigger. Nyoman had a fast, twin-engine powered Jukung that would get us all over to Lembongan in forty-five minutes.
Conveniently, we boarded the Jukung from Puri Bagus Beach, just down the road from our private villa. We placed Morgan’s wheelchair in the Jukung and lifted her into the boat, put the brakes on, and off we went. Morgan loved the sensation of scooting along the water.
Many companies offer fast boats and ferries to Nusa Lembongan from Sanur or Padang Bai. The journey across the Badung Strait is approximately thirty minutes from Sanur. Departure times and prices vary greatly, so do your research before deciding.
Arriving on Jungut Batu Beach – Nusa Lembongan
Nyoman anchored the Jukung at the beautiful, coral laden Jungut Batu Beach. This was in the northern mangrove area of Lembongan. The water was crystal clear with white sand. With help from some of the locals, we lifted and carried Morgan through knee-high water to the shore, plonked her in the wheelchair and organised a driver to take us to our private villa. The cost for drivers on Nusa Lembongan can be quite high, so get your haggling shoes on and do your best.
Our Private Nusa Lembongan Villa
The private villa we chose was at the southern end of Jalan Jungut Batu. This strip is long and narrow with lots of shops, restaurants, resorts and dive centres. The villa was lovely, but if we had our time over, we would have chosen different accommodation. The stairs leading up to the villa were very steep, which meant lots of lifting and carrying Morgan.
The staff at the villa were very accommodating. We asked about hiring a golf buggy which we saw as we drove through town. Travelling to Nusa Lembongan in a wheelchair is not easy. We had to think of how we were going to get around and see the island. The buggy seemed like the logical choice as the cost of tours around the island is hefty and time-limited.
3 Most Popular Areas for Stays in Nusa Lembongan
The three most popular areas for stays on Nusa Lembongan are Jungut Batu, Mushroom Bay, and Dream Beach. They each offer different qualities. From our experience, the mangrove end of Jungut Batu has fewer tourists and a more laid-back vibe than the other two options. Mushroom Bay is a lot more hectic. There are many day-trippers there, but still great. Dream beach is beautiful, more isolated, but the beach is quite rough. Not so suitable for families with young children. It all depends on what you are looking for.
Golf Buggies – Best Transport Option When Travelling to Nusa Lembongan in a Wheelchair
Komang from the villa made a quick call to a local regarding the golf buggy. Within an hour, he took us to collect the buggy. It cost us a cool AUD$120 for twenty-four-hours. Expensive, but a fantastic, independent alternative for getting around. As there were four of us, we needed a six-seater so we could fit the wheelchair in the back. Many of the buggies are electric, but the one we were given was petrol, which is more potent for climbing some of the steep, rugged coastlines around Nusa Lembongan. With Morgan’s wheelchair firmly anchored between the rear seat and the safety rail, it was time to explore.
Our Nusa Lembongan Highlights
We traversed the entire island and saw some great spots along the way. The mangrove end of Jungut Batu Beach was our favourite spot on the island. This long stretch of beach is much quieter than others, the water is protected by the reef with fewer tourists. We found the very cool Agung Beach Club along this beach. It’s very bohemian and full of comfy furniture and appealing timber structures. The wheelchair access was tricky as the beach club floor is all sand. Tilting the wheelchair on to the back wheels, and using a bit of muscle, is the only way to get through the sand.
Popular Mushroom Beach was beautiful but very busy. Many fast boats arrive at this beach packed full of tourists and day-trippers. Boats clutter the beach making it unpleasant for swimming. However, we had a yummy lunch at the Bar and Café Bali, which overlooks the water.
The more secluded Dream Beach is stunning with beautiful scenery, but a little out of the way and difficult to access with the wheelchair. We were initially going to stay at Dream Beach Huts, right on the beach, but we had to cancel because the Badung Strait was too rough for the Jukung on the day we had booked.
Sailing Back to Candidasa
Our return trip to Candidasa in the Jukung was hilarious. The Badung Strait crossing is usually more choppy on the way back depending on the tides. We all got soaked by the water spray and by the time we reached the beach in Candidasa, we all looked like drowned rats. Nyoman was able to drop us close to the stairs on the beach which led directly to our villa. Morgan loved the whole experience, you just don’t get the same thrill when travelling on a large passenger ferry.
Travelling to Nusa Lembongan in a wheelchair was fraught with difficulties. However, most of Bali is very similar. There are many things we cannot do with a wheelchair in tow, but we make the best of the situation. We don’t necessarily look out for wheelchair friendly accommodation or restaurants, we just wing it! Otherwise, we would all miss out on many wonderful experiences. We could travel to other more wheelchair friendly destinations, but we love the charm that Bali offers our family.
We are Daniel, Jodi and Morgan from Rollin Adventures. We travel, we laugh, we cry and love. Just living life and writing about our crazy wheelchair travel adventures with Morgan’s disabilities, and encouraging families in similar situations to believe that it is possible! Come follow us on our unique journey !