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Everything you need to know about Bali

Must See 04/07/2018

The island of Bali, lying in the centre of the Indonesian archipelago, is a wildly popular tourist destination.

It's a place famous for lush beaches, iconic rice terraces and spectacular volcanic mountains.

Welcoming more than 4.5 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2016 - including over 40,500 New Zealanders - visitors are often drawn to the island's southern beaches. And it's no surprise.

Some of the best surfing locations in the world can be found here.

Just a short drive from Bali's international airport, Kuta is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world. You'll find a buzzing nightlife, delicious food and endless shopping in this once quaint fishing village.

Speaking of food, sunset drinks and amazing cuisine can be enjoyed at The Lawn. Located on the beach at Canggu, it's the perfect place to dine with friends and family as the sun sets.

Value-for-money luxury hotels and villas are dotted around the island. We stayed at the beautiful Kus Garden Villas - only a six minute walk from the beach tucked away in the heart of Canggu.

To get the full cultural experience, take a drive to Ubud - just an hour from Denpasar. Ubud is Bali's spiritual sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle. 

If you're keen on buying from local artisans, take a day to walk through stalls and galleries lining Ubud's footpaths and streets. A good deal is never far away if you know how to barter with the locals.

Another popular tourist hotspot is the sacred Monkey Forest, home to the long-tailed macaque. More than 700 monkeys live in 12.5 hectare forest.

The monkeys are friendly and not afraid to climb over you, but be warned - hats, sunglasses and other easily-grabbed personal belongings often go missing.

Ubud is where you'll also find the Tegallalang rice terraces. You've probably seen the photos - this is one of the most iconic locations you'll visit on the island. The traditional Balinese irrigation system, known as a subak, is used on the rice paddies here and make a great setting for photos capturing the dramatic vistas.

For Kiwis looking to beat the winter blues for an endless summer, it's now possible to opt in for an exotic excursion to Bali, flying on board one of the world's most popular airlines.

Emirates recently started operating its daily service from Auckland to Dubai, via Bali.

The airline says most interest in the new route from New Zealand is from leisure travellers, among them visitors seeking to explore the rich culture and surfers keen to try Bali's waves.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said Auckland and Bali are both "desirable destinations" in the eyes of its customers.

"We are very pleased to see the interest this new route has created since it was announced in mid-February, reflected in strong bookings from Auckland to Bali and beyond, as well as southbound from our global network."

So whether you're exploring Bali as a backpacker or a family looking for the perfect getaway, this enchanting island is now closer than ever.

Brin Rudkin travelled to Bali courtesy of Emirates for Newshub Travel.