Oct 31 2012

How to get to Lombok

Published by at 3:10 am under Lombok


It seems Lombok is really starting to hit its strides popularity wise. Perhaps some travellers are being put off by the higher costs and larger crowds of Bali, while others are drawn to the increasingly lyrical reports from Lombok’s southern beaches. Whatever the reason, the best news is there are plenty of ways to get to Lombok. Here are some of the most popular.

A typically over-developed beach on Lombok.

A typically overdeveloped beach on Lombok.

Lombok airport
Lombok, after a delay or three, has a brand spanking new, very shiny airport towards the southern area of the island. It is located about 30 minutes from Kuta on the south coast, an hour from Mataram (the capital), 1.5 hours from Senggigi and roughly two hours from the boat landing to the Gili Islands. There is a 25,000 rupiah departure tax for domestic flights and 100,000 rupiah departure tax for international flights.

International flights to Lombok
If you want to head straight to Lombok, bypassing the rest of Indonesia, you have a couple of options. SilkAir flies three times a week from Singapore, with the flight taking just shy of three hours and costing around US$285, while AirAsia flies three times weekly from Kuala Lumpur for around US$350-450, taking four hours.

Next stop Lombok!

Next stop Lombok!

Domestic flights to Lombok
Lombok is much better connected domestically with most mainstream Indonesian carriers flying there. Garuda flies Bali to Lombok daily, Batavia Air has daily flights from Surabaya and Jakarta to Lombok, Merpati flies between the island and Bali, Surabaya, Jakarta and a selection of destinations in eastern Indonesia. LionAir flies from Lombok to Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya and Sumbawa. Transnusa flies daily to Bali, Bima and Sumbawa from Lombok.

Note that travellers without an Indonesian credit card may struggle to buy tickets online with some Indonesian carriers, so you may need to wait until you are in country to buy your ticket (or use a travel agent).

Boats between Lombok and Bali
Four main ferry routes run between Bali and Lombok, some to Lembar, south of the capital, and some direct to the Gili Islands.

Spend four hours taking arty photos on the Lombok car ferry.

Spend four hours taking arty photos on the Lombok car ferry.

Car ferry from Padang Bai to Lembar
This route runs 24 hours a day, with departures every hour. The trip takes roughly four to five hours depending on sea conditions. Padang Bai is 1.5 hours north of Kuta, and Lembar is about 45 minutes south of Mataram. A walk-on passenger costs about 35,000 rupiah, a car around 600,000 rupiah. If you are not in a hurry, this is the preferred route.

Speedboats
Many operators run the following routes; we do not recommend using them in bad weather as boats have sunk in the past and safety continues to be a concern with some operators.  Prices below are online prices but discounted fares may be able to be negotiated in person or with travel agents.

Speedboat from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan: Roughly 1.5 hours to Gili Trawangan and costs $68.

Speedboat from Serangan to Gili Trawangan: Roughly 2.5 hours to Gili Trawangan and costs $64.

Speedboat from Sanur to Gili Trawangan: Roughly 3 hours to Gili Trawangan (via Nusa Lembongan) and costs $60.

Speedboat from Amed to Gili Trawangan: Roughly 1 hour to Gili Trawangan and costs $53.

Not all boats are born equal.

Not all boats are born equal.

Commonly used speedboat operators include:
Blue Water Express
GiliCat
Scoot Cruise

Online price comparison site Gili Bookings is useful.

Boats between Lombok and Sumbawa
There is a regular (roughly hourly) car ferry service which takes 1.5 hours to travel between Labuhan Lombok on Lombok’s east coast and and Poto Tano on the west coast of Sumbawa. The service runs 24 hours a day.

However you get to Lombok, it is worth it.

However you get to Lombok, it is worth it.

Bus travel to Lombok
Any bus service to and from Lombok will use the car ferries to travel to the island. There are regular departures from Mataram to Denpasar (Bali), Sumbawa Besar (Sumbawa), Yogyakarta and Jakarta (Java).

Bus/boat tours
Aside from public bus services, Perama Tours also runs a variety of bus/boat combos and is the preferred operator among many backpackers and foreign travellers to Indonesia.

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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “How to get to Lombok”

  1. Theodoraon 31 Oct 2012 at 3:37 am

    Nice post — and good to see they actually opened the airport. I thought that would never happen.

    I’d add to your car ferry section that, certainly with motorbikes, you are required, in my experience, to show papers including the Blue Book — so, if you’re planning to take a typical Bali rental bike on the ferry, make sure you have permission and paperwork to get it off the island. According to my notes, it cost just over 100k rupiah for a bike with two passengers, but we owned the bike.

    Do they check paperwork on cars as well?

  2. adminon 31 Oct 2012 at 3:53 am

    Thanks – we’ve taken the car across 3-4 times never been asked for any proof of ownership (we don’t own it). Thanks for the info re motorbikes :-)

  3. sharon mceachenon 05 Nov 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I took the car ferry in 2007, and got to drive it for 20mins while the second mate was on a noodle break. Met a guy on Lombok who also got to drive. Do you think that is why a few ferries turn turtle?

  4. SleepyTouriston 14 Dec 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I was in Kuta, Lombok in oct 2012. I traveled from sanur to gili air by scoot cruise and spent a few days on gili air before taking the local boat to bangsal harbour on lombok’s west coast. I just want to say that if you want to buy a speedboat ticket, go to the main office of the company and ask for a discount. Chances are you’ll get one as everything is negotiable in south east asia! If you want to fly between bali (DPS) and lombok (LOP) you can buy your ticket at the airport, pay in cash and save on taxes/fees. Plus you can only use an Indonesian credit card on the lion air website.

  5. Lucianon 15 Mar 2013 at 12:06 am

    Hi Stuart,

    Please note that Batavia Air ceased operations on January 31, 2013. Probably you should remove this defunct airline from this blog post.

    Best Regards,
    Lucian (from LowCostRoutes.com)

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