Nusa Dua means ‘Two Islands’ in Indonesian which is something of a misnomer as if you come here you will find two non-descript headlands, each topped with a temple. Nusa Dua is widely known as the ‘upscale’ district of Bali and many of the high end resorts are located here. There is actually a dedicated tourist area in Nusa Dua which is gated and studded with guard posts and once inside you will find beautiful manicured lawns and not a leaf out of place. In short, it is a world away from much of the rest of Bali.
Most visitors come to Nusa Dua if they are looking for a relaxing beach holiday and you can spend your days swimming, enjoying the vistas across the water, and having dinner on the pretty beaches here. There are also a range of cultural activities in Nusa Dua although many tourists eschew these in favor of staying in the confines of their resorts, but if you are game for getting out and about then there is a huge amount to enjoy here in addition to the sea and sand.
Here are the best things to do in Nusa Dua:
1. Sunbathe on Pantai Geger
Pantai Geger is one of the public beaches in Nusa Dua which is not to be sniffed at as many of the other strips of sand belong to the various hotels they back on to.
This means that if you are looking to come to Nusa Dua and don’t want to stay in a resort then you can still come to the beach and explore.
You can swim here and there are a nice number of small local cafes called warungs dotted along the coastline, and you can also rent a sun lounger and spend the day relaxing and taking in the cool breeze.
2. Admire Water Blow
Water Blow is one of the best natural sights in Nusa Dua and as the name suggests this is a massive blow hole which means that you can watch the water erupt from the sea into the sky.
The hole is the result of a tight rock formation and sits on Nusa Dua Beach close to the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Make sure to keep your distance from the blow hole as it can be powerful and it can get dangerous if you get too close, but it is perfectly safe if you want to admire the rushing waves being squeezed out of the hotel from afar.
3. Go for a camel ride
Camels may not be the first thing that spring to mind when you think of Bali but that is exactly what you will find if you come to Bali Camel Safaris in Nusa Dua.
The camels will take you on a leisurely walk along the sand from the Nikko Bali Resort and you can take in the vistas over the water as the camels amble along.
There are different packages available and you can even opt for a walk that culminates in lunch or dinner at various spots along the beach and if you are looking for something unusual to do in Nusa Dua then this has got to be it.
4. Try the pork at Warung Dobiel
Bali is famous for its pork, which makes a change from the rest of predominantly Muslim Indonesia where it can be hard to find.
As Bali is a Hindu island however pork products abound and the most famous of these is Bali Guling which is suckling pig which has been spit roasted over coals.
One of the most famous spots to try it in Nusa Dua is Warung Dobiel where you can also get other pork dishes such as pork soup and side dishes like jackfruit curry.
5. Walk to Pura Gegar
Pura Gegar is one of the most famous attractions in Nusa Dua and lies to the south of the iconic Gegar Beach.
To get to this temple you will need to follow a path up a bluff from the beach and once there you will find a pretty Balinese temple surrounded by twisted tree trunks overlooking the sea.
The temple itself if small but one of the main reasons to come here is to take in the vistas over the water.
6. Have lunch at the Nusa Dua Beach Grill
The Nusa Dua Beach Grill is one of the most popular spots to eat in the area if you want to avoid the high priced restaurants in the resorts.
The grill is located on Gegar Beach and you can dine with your toes in the sand as you look across at the turquoise waters.
As you would imagine, being so close to the sea, fish is a popular choice here and you will also find toothsome crab dishes, spicy prawns, and even lobster depending on the catch of the day.
7. Visit Pasifika Museum
Pasifika Museum is a wonderful museum in Nusa Dua although unfortunately many people don’t even know it exists.
The museum is located close to Bali Collection and features the work of a number of European artists who moved to Bali and then made art on the island.
There are also galleries dedicated to local painters and you will also find an Indochinese gallery as well as a Polynesian exhibit.
As if that wasn’t enough you will even find pieces from greats such as Paul Gauguin, Rudolf Bonnet, and Emilio Ambron, and if you are an art lover then you definitely shouldn’t give this spot a miss.
8. Take a boat to Serangan Island
If you are looking for something to do around Nusa Dua then head for Serangan Island which is also known as Turtle Island.
You can take a boat directly from Nusa Dua or Tanjung Benoa and you will find a pretty conservation center here which is dedicated to taking care of injured turtles and releasing them back into the wild.
There is also a hatchery here and the baby turtles are then released onto the local beaches when they are deemed old enough to fend for themselves.
As well as turtles you will also find birds, snakes, and other Balinese wildlife here and this makes a great day out, especially for anyone interested in marine conservation.
Serangan Island is accessible from Nusa Dua via boat or the expressway and makes a great day out if you want to explore other areas. Be sure that you are visiting the actual Serangan Turtle Island Conservation Centre as there are other so called ‘conservation centres’ that focus purely on their own pockets instead of the environment.
Location: TCEC, Turtle Conservation and Education Center, location jalan tukad punggawa lingkungan Ponjok, Serangan 80229, Denpasar, Bali , Indonesia
9. Go shopping at Bali Collection
If you want to go shopping in Nusa Dua then you need to head to the Bali Collection.
Here you will find a huge number of shops as well as a department store and there are numerous outlets selling traditional Balinese souvenirs if you are looking to stock up on gifts to take home.
You will also find cafes and eateries here including international spots like Starbucks mixed with Indonesian style restaurants.
10. Visit Puja Mandala
Puja Mandala is a religious and cultural complex that stands in Nusa Dua and is meant to represent the five major religions in Indonesia.
Puja Mandala actually means ‘Hill of Worship’ in Indonesian and atop this pretty promontory you will find a Buddhist temple as well as a traditional Hindu temple.
There is also a Catholic Church here and a neighboring Protestant church, as well as an Islamic mosque.
The hill is meant to be a symbol of tolerance and religious equality in Indonesia and visitors here can also watch shows and festivals in line with the holy days of the different religions represented here.
11. Enjoy the water sports
Nusa Dua is famous for its water sports and you will find a huge selection of water-based activities to enjoy here.
These include jet-skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides, and you can also go diving off the coast.
All the hotels in Nusa Dua can organize water sports activities or you and prices are usually standard in the area.
When the winds are high you can also have a go at parasailing and kite boarding here.
12. Have a game of golf
Anyone who enjoys golf can make the most of it in Nusa Dua at the Nusa Dua Golf and Country Club.
The club is known for having one of the nicest courses in all of Bali and is conveniently located if you are staying in one of the neighboring resorts.
There are a range of packages that you can buy here which can save money if you plan to golf over several days but bear in mind that the course can get crowded so you will need to book in advance if you want to squeeze in a game.
13. Spend the day as a pirate at the Pirates Bay
Anyone who enjoys pirates needs to head to the Pirates Bay in Nusa Dua where you will find a pirate themed restaurant that also has a huge scale model of a wooden pirate ship.
As if that wasn’t enough you can also climb into a large wooden tree house or scale a lookout tower to take in the views.
You will also find rustic pirate inspired beach huts as well as tents and bonfires and you can even choose to dress up in pirate garb and go on a treasure hunt if you really want to get in the pirate mood.
14. Enjoy a spa session
Nusa Dua is famous for its spas and all the top-end resorts have their own in-house services.
These allow you to relax and unwind in the comfort of your hotel and you can choose from a range of traditional treatments such as Balinese cream baths, hot stone massages, and Balinese mandi lulur which is a mix of a massage and a body scrub.
There are also a range of independent spas on the roads leading out of Nusa Dua and these are often much cheaper than the resorts, so if you want to get the best deal then it is a good idea to explore and ask about the range of treatments at other places.
15. Go for a walk along the Nusa Dua Promenade
The waterfront in Nusa Dua makes the perfect place to go for a walk as it is lined with a walking path that means that you can skirt along the coast and take in the vistas over the Indian Ocean.
Many people choose to go for a ramble in the morning or the early evening when the sun is less fierce and you can walk for around 7 kilometers all the way along the path.
At one point you will find a fork in the road although both of these lead to two of Nusa Dua’s famous temples so you can’t go wrong whichever direction you choose to explore in.
16. Snorkel at Nusa Dua Beach
Nusa Dua Beach is actually called Pantai Mengiat although it is often referred to by its English name.
The beach is located in the center of the main strip of coastline in Nusa Dua and has a lovely reef that lies off shore which has some good waves during the surf season.
The water close to the shore is also great for those who want to swim or snorkel and if you prefer to do something a little more relaxing then you can take a tour with one of the local fishermen here who will take you out on their wooden boats.
There are also glass-bottom boat rides available that allow you to take in the best of the marine life in Nusa Dua without having to get your hair wet.
17. Have high tea at the St. Regis
Nusa Dua is covered in high end resorts but one of the most famous of these is the St. Regis which is known for its delectable high tea.
The spectacle takes place in the main salon and you can enjoy finger food, cakes, and dainty sandwiches, all while listening to dainty songs played on the piano.
The high tea is served buffet style so you can go back as many times as you desire and if you prefer you can pair the delicious bites with a cocktail or some champagne as opposed to the more traditional tea.
18. Sign up for a tour
Tours are big business in Bali but one of the best places to sign up for one is in Nusa Dua.
Many of the resorts here have some of the most comprehensive tour packages on the island and they will take you all over Bali to explore its main sights.
Some of the operators here such as Bali Indo tour offer over 50 different activities, so whatever you want to do there will be something on the itinerary for everyone to enjoy.
Many of the tours are day excursions and last for around 10 hours with lunch and dinner included.
19. Go seawalking
One of the main attractions in Nusa Dua is the chance to go seawalking which is perfect if you don’t like swimming or diving.
You can sign up for a seawalking tour at many of the hotels which will take you out to a designated dive site and you can then don a helmet that will let you look around without even getting your hair wet.
You can then walk along the sea floor and check out all the pretty aquatic life and even feed the fish as you go.
Make sure to also look out for the exquisite coral here at the same time which is made up of colorful fans and gardens.
20. Watch the Devdan Show
A main attraction in Nusa Dua is its nightly Devdan Show which is a cultural dance performance that is unique to this part of the island.
The reason for this is that the show lasts some 90 minutes but instead of being exclusively dedicated to Balinese dances it will take you on a whistle-stop tour of different kinds of music, costumes, and traditions from all over Indonesia.
The performance is high energy and you can also expect aerobics and other athletic feats, all of which take place under the stars.
21. Have dinner at Bumbu Bali
Bumbu Bali is one of the most famous restaurants in Bali and is known for its upscale takes on traditional Indonesian food.
What makes it different however is that this is some of the most authentic Balinese fare on the island and is a mile away from some of the dishes masquerading as typical Indonesian food that you will find in some of the hotel restaurants in Nusa Dua.
As you would imagine seafood features prominently on the menu and you can expect to find the kinds of meals traditionally served at Indonesian ceremonies and festivals.
They also have a cooking school if you want to learn to make some of the dishes yourself.
22. Try flyboarding
Water sports abound in Nusa Dua but the newest craze here is flyboarding.
This means that you can strap on a pair of fetching boots which are attached to a surf board and that also have a motor with a water pump attached to them.
When the water pressure gets high enough it will push you up into the air and you will feel as if you are flying above the water.
Fortunately there are dedicated instructors on hand to make sure that you whizz around safely but if you are feeling adventurous then this is one of the best ways to experience the sea around Nusa Dua.
23. Learn how to DJ
Any budding DJs who are visiting Nusa Dua can take the opportunity to sign up for a class here at the DJ Music School Academy Bali.
There are a range of different classes available here including learning how to DJ using vinyl or CDJ and you can also study the art of scratch and turntables as well as uncover the art secrets of music production.
24. Explore Gunung Payung Beach
Gunung Payung Beach is not particularly well known in Nusa Dua as many visitors usually flock to Pantai Gegar instead.
This is a shame however as Gunung Payung Beach lies at the end of a marked trail from Denpasar and you will be rewarded on a trip here with beautiful vistas across the ocean.
You can also go swimming and snorkeling and watch the seaweed farmers at work as they collect the long, emerald green reels of seaweed which are destined to end up in a range of Asian cosmetics.
25. Try out the Surf & Turf Surf Rider
If you want to try flow riding then you need to head to Nusa Dua where you will find the Surf & Turf Surf Rider.
This flow rider emits a jet of water which forms artificial waves and plucky visitors can use a surfboard or a sponge board to try and ride the currents.
There are fortunately dedicated instructors on hand to coach you but if you want to ride the waves in a more controlled environment than the open sea then this is hard to beat.