Nusa Dua: Turtle Island Tour
Get There: Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua
Cost: 250 000IDR (25AUD)
For around 250 000 rupiah (give or take 200 000 depending on your bartering audacity) you can buy an activity package to Turtle Island located off Nusa Dua – about a 25-minute drive from Kuta. However, seeing as this is roughly the Bali equivalent of six backstreet massages, your week’s worth of meals or 13 taxi rides, you might want to think carefully before you hand over your hard-earned cash. My activity package included transport from Kuta, a glass-bottomed boat ride to the island, a snorkelling stopover, entrance to the turtle park and lunch, but others are available that include more adventurous shit like banana boating, scuba diving, parasailing and jetskiing. Like anything purchased in Bali, the quality of the tour was pretty poor, but still worth the trip if you’re there for a while and are into doing activities other than hitting on 17-year-old schoolies at The Bounty and vomiting up eight-shot Long Island ice teas.
This is what my trip included:
1.Glass bottomed boat
Something definitely went awry here in the translation of the boat’s main feature from Indonesian to English. A more accurate translation would be something like semi-opaque Perspex 60cm x 40cm window-bottomed dingy. However, the translucency of the boat’s floor did not really matter in the end, given that the murky seawater beneath it was about as lively as a wet noodle (which incidentally is what we were given for the included “gourmet lunch”).
A great way to explore Bali’s pollution first hand. The sea we initially parked at was pretty dismal, but we managed to convince our driver to take us a little further out to an area with a slightly lower litter-to-marine-life ratio. The fish, mind you, were of the grey and uninteresting variety, especially when compared to the flamboyant pink Samboy Salt & Vinegar chip packets they flitted in and out of.
3.Turtle Island (AKA Serangan Island)
It’s no surprise that Bali lacks any discernible RSPCA; however, it at least seems to treat its animals slightly better than its convicted drug traffickers. As soon as you arrive, you are carelessly thrown 20kg turtles by the turtle enclosure staff (admittedly, you’ll get some pretty cool photo ops). You’re even allowed to get into the pools and feed them sea-grass. There’s also an assortment of other animals to pat and photograph, each with varying degrees of carnivorous tendencies. At least the staff had taken safety precautions and taped the resident snake’s mouth shut before allowing it to twist its two-metre long body around the eager tourists’ necks.