Escaping the Melbourne winter and heading across the seas to Bali is not a new concept for many Australians. The popular travel destination offers a tropical paradise for Aussies to experience a new culture, adventure and of course some amazing food, all made possible after a relatively short plane ride. It’s no wonder that this ‘island of the Gods’, is fast becoming a popular second home for many Australians. Bali offers a vast cultural experience with some intrinsic destinations to experience the new. There’s no denying some of the draw cards for Bali include the infinite art, culture, crafts, beaches, adventure parks, restaurants, natural landscapes and world-class poolside havens to simply relax and refine your soul.

I’ve travelled a little bit in my 27 years, and had the privilege of experiencing some of the best cities in the world including London, Paris, Rome, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Amsterdam, Austin, and San Francisco, just to name a few. However, I can honestly say that I never really had the dire urge to visit our Balinese neighbours. Having said that, I’ve just recently returned from a 9-day Balinese escape, and this place has something for everyone. I’m now officially hooked, and will no doubt be heading there as often as my heart desires. If you’re looking for a little getaway retreat, then I would suggest jumping on a plane and heading to Bali. So having said that, here are the top 10 experiences during my time in Bali.

1. The W Hotel & Retreat
This place is picture perfect, a landscape of free flowing pools, lounges and views of palm trees overlooking the beach. Spend an afternoon here and experience the ‘Mad Tea Party’. It includes a birdcage filled with miniature sweet and savory delights made by Adriano Zumbo, delicious!


2. Ubud
Experience the real Bali with breathtaking landscape views from the top of the rice terrace, along with traditional aspects of culture, art, crafts, temples, and local treats like Kopi Luwok Coffee or a ‘Cat-poochino’ as my tour guide called it. Visit the Agrotourism coffee plantation to try a selection of local coffees and teas.


3. Kudeta
Located on the beach this place is simply stunning! Treat yourself to a nice dinner and enjoy the beachside sunset, the DJ plays some nice tunes too.


4. Potato Head
A slightly more relaxed vibe, with an infinity pool overlooking the beach, this is a great place to spend an afternoon sunbaking, or having a drink whilst watching a picturesque sunset on the grass.


5. Mama San
I loved this place, a modern twist on Asian cuisine, but the food is so delicious. Try the lemongrass crispy chicken and the crispy pork. Superb!


6. Sardine
For those who like seafood, this place is a must. An amazing dinning experience overlooking the rice paddies in Seminyak. I had the pan-seared snapper and it was mouth-wateringly delicious. Make sure you leave room for desert! Salted caramel, pana cotta and homemade chocolate mouse, need I say more?


7. Sisterfields
Grab some breaky or lunch at this place, it’s a must. Located in Semiyak Square, it’s busy for a reason. Must try the polenta chips and a fresh coconut!


8. Revolver Coffee
A Melbournians saving grace for a home-style brew. It’s a little tricky to locate, but here’s a tip, it’s across from the Bali clinic about 5 steps down the laneway. You can thank me later.


9. La Plancha
I really liked this place it had a great vibe, with deep house tunes and acoustic sessions, you can simply grab a beanbag, a Bintang or a cocktail and chill at the beach. You can’t really drink on the beach at home, so this place is great to park your backside for a while, chill out and enjoy the view.


10. Cool Spa
This place gets a special mention because you can’t go to Bali and not treat yourself to a massage…or 10. Cool Spa offers a safe, tranquil and relaxing place to unwind. Go across the road to Sistefields after a massage and fuel your body for the day. Thanks Bali, until next time.