Indonesia Travel Advice and Safety

So, you’re off to Indonesia – a land of stunning beaches, ancient temples, and delicious street food. Exciting times! Just remember, before you chase those epic sunsets or surf those killer waves, it’s smart to be informed. That’s where our Indonesia travel advice comes in.

Here, Crown Currency Exchange will cover all the basic safety tips you need to know before travelling, as well as a few must-have items for your packing list. Let’s get started, shall we?

Safety

Adventure Activities

We know Indonesia is teeming with exhilarating activities that make your heart race. But before you go chasing that adrenaline rush, let’s talk safety.

Surfing

First things first, surfing. Those gnarly waves might be calling your name, but remember to always check the conditions and listen to local advice. Rip tides can be a serious hazard, so it’s best to stick to the popular spots where lifeguards are present.

Diving

On to diving. Indonesia’s underwater world is nothing short of mesmerising. However, strong currents can pose a threat even to experienced divers. Always dive with a buddy and stick to the depth limits set by your guide. And if you’re thinking about a night dive, ensure you’re well-equipped and trained for it.

Trekking

Next up, trekking. Whether it’s the volcanic landscapes or lush jungle trails, Indonesia offers a hiker’s paradise. But don’t let the beauty deceive you. Trails can be slippery, steep, and unpredictable. Always wear sturdy shoes, carry enough water, and never stray from the marked paths.

White-water Rafting

And let’s not forget about white-water rafting. It’s a thrilling way to explore Indonesia’s rivers, but not without risks. Ensure your tour operator provides safety gear like helmets and life jackets and that their guides are trained in rescue techniques.

Swimming

Swimming in Indonesia’s clear waters can be enticing. However, unpredictable currents, jellyfish and other marine creatures can pose risks. Always swim in designated areas, preferably where a lifeguard is on duty. Never swim alone or at night, and always let someone know where you’re going.

Respecting the Environment and Local Communities

Lastly, remember that safety isn’t just about avoiding physical harm. It’s also about respecting the environment and local communities. Leave no trace behind and always adhere to local customs and regulations.

Indonesia’s adventure activities can provide memories to last a lifetime, but only if they’re approached with caution and respect.

Civil Unrest and Political Tension

Let’s face it, when you’re planning a trip, dealing with civil unrest and political tension is probably the last thing on your mind. However, these issues can arise anywhere and being prepared helps.

With Indonesia’s Presidential election on the horizon, it’s likely we’ll see an increase in potential large-scale rallies and political protests. These events often spring up on short notice and can escalate quickly, so staying informed is essential.

Protests and large gatherings often take place in public areas like parks, university campuses and city centres. So, you should avoid these places if possible. And while violence is rare, it’s always best to stay on the safe side and keep your distance from any disturbances.

Other locations include Australia’s Consulates-General in Bali, Makassar, and Surabaya, the offices of international organisations, and government buildings in Indonesia.

Conflict Areas and Violence

Certain provinces, including Papua, Papua Selatan, Papua Pegunungan, and Papua Tengah, have experienced chronic unrest and violence from armed groups in the past. So, it’s important to note that some parts of Indonesia are dangerous and should be avoided altogether.

These armed groups have previously targeted foreigners, taken hostages, and executed violent attacks. More attacks are possible, especially in areas beyond Indonesia’s main cities and tourist destinations.

Protecting Yourself

To ensure your safety during these turbulent times:

  • Stay updated: Monitor the news before and during your stay.
  • Be alert of your surroundings: Be aware of any potential threats and avoid large crowds.
  • Don’t resist if confronted by criminals: Give up your belongings, and don’t be a hero.
  • Remain calm: Avoid panicking or taking unnecessary risks.

Climate and Natural Disasters

Weathering the Storms

Indonesia’s tropical climate can be as unpredictable as it is beautiful. The country experiences a range of natural calamities and extreme weather events, including landslides, floods, volcanic eruptions, smoke haze, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Dealing with Floods and Landslides

Got your eyes set on Indonesia between October and March? Just a heads up, it’s wet season, and heavy rains could cause flooding and landslides, especially in city areas like Jakarta. You might be tempted to explore these flooded areas, but let’s play it safe. Hidden drainage ditches beneath the water can turn your adventure into a risky situation.

Volcanic Activity

With numerous active volcanoes, eruptions can occur unexpectedly in Indonesia. Recent volcanic activities include the eruption of Merapiin West Sumatra in January 2023 and ongoing activity in Mount Batur, Mount Agung, Mount Rinjani, Mount Semeru, and Mount Merapi.

Volcanic ash can cause respiratory difficulties, especially for those with chronic conditions. If there’s volcanic activity, follow local directives, take warnings seriously, and keep clear of the exclusion zones around craters.

Earthquake Safety

Indonesia is an active earthquake country. Every year, they experience up to 100 quakes with a magnitude of more than 5.5. While Kalimantan and southwest Sulawesi see fewer of these, earthquakes can happen anywhere and occasionally trigger tsunamis.

Smoke Haze and Forest Fires

Heads up if you’re planning an Indonesian adventure between May and November! It’s dry season, and forest wild fires can cause a smoke haze that might spoil your travel plans. This can affect the air quality across Indonesia, especially in the central Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Riau Islands.

Tsunamis

Indonesia’s location along ocean trenches and major tectonic plate boundaries makes it a bit of a hot spot for tsunamis. Storms and extreme weather conditions can sometimes cause high waves across coastal regions.

Preparing for Natural Disasters

In the event of a natural disaster, having these measures in place gives you the best chance of staying safe:

  • Stay Informed: Regularly check weather updates and disaster warnings from trusted local media and sources such as the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG).
  • Know Your Location: Be observant of the region you’re in and its susceptibility to certain natural disasters. For instance, areas near the Ring of Fire are at greater risk of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  • Follow Local Advice: Listen to local authorities and follow their instructions promptly and without question during disaster events.
  • Pack an Emergency Kit: Always have an emergency kit ready with essentials such as water, food, first-aid supplies, a torch, and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
  • Have an Evacuation Plan: Identify your nearest evacuation centre and have a planned route to get there. Know the local language for key phrases such as “Help!” or “I need a doctor!”.

Crime

Understanding the Risks

Just like any other destination, Indonesia has its share of crimes. These range from petty theft to more serious violent crimes and can occur anywhere, including popular tourist hotspots like Bali. But don’t let this deter you; being observant of your surroundings, understanding potential risks, and taking necessary precautions can go a long way in keeping you safe.

Theft and Robbery

Theft is common, with pickpockets and bag snatchers targeting crowded, touristy areas. Robbers on motorcycles target pedestrians, while others operate in public transport, traffic lights, upmarket shopping malls, nightclubs, and bars. Even when entering your accommodation, it’s essential to remain vigilant.

Always keep your valuables close, store any cash in a money belt or concealed pouch, and don’t carry large amounts of cash with you. Also, avoid carrying expensive items such as laptops or cameras on public transport.

Sexual Assault

It’s horrible to think about, but sexual assault can and does happen, even though it’s not rampant. If you’re ever in this awful situation, get medical help right away. Then, report it to the local police. Your statement and any witness accounts can serve as admissible evidence in court, regardless of whether you have departed from Indonesia.

You can contact your Australian Consulate or Embassy at any time for support if you wish to consult a counsellor.

Scams and Confidence Tricks

Scams can be a real pain. To stay safe, only swap your cash at legit money changers. And gambling? Big no-no in Indonesia. And one more thing, be a bit wary about inviting people you don’t know well to your hotel room. There have been some nasty stories about tourists getting robbed or even framed with drugs.

Credit Card and ATM Fraud

Just a heads up, this type of fraud is common in Indonesia. Always keep your PIN a secret, and don’t let that card leave your sight. Also, watch out for those sketchy links on WhatsApp or text messages, especially if you’ve got mobile banking on your phone.

Bars and Nightclubs

While enjoying the vibrant nightlife, stay alert. Instances of theft and drink-spiking are known to occur. Always refuse food, drinks, cigarettes, or gum offered by strangers and never leave your drink unattended.

If you plan on drinking, consider a pre-booked taxi or ride-sharing service to get home safely. Avoid walking alone at night and stick with friends who know the area.

Using Taxis

When using taxis, stick to official companies to avoid incidents such as drivers making off with your luggage, robberies, or forced ATM withdrawals. Solo female travellers should be particularly vigilant.

Cybersecurity

In this tech-savvy era, we all need to be mindful about cybersecurity. It’s a global concern, really. So, when you’re using public Wi-Fi or linking up with Bluetooth, especially on public computers, be extra careful.

And one more thing: while you’re in Indonesia, it’s best to avoid commenting on political or local events on social media.

Kidnapping

In some parts of Indonesia, kidnapping can be a harsh reality. It’s not everywhere, but when it does occur, the reasons can be political or criminal. Sadly, foreigners can sometimes end up in the crosshairs.

We can’t stress enough how important it is for you always to stay aware of your surroundings.

Just a heads up, the Australian Government sticks to a firm policy of not giving in to kidnappers’ demands. The smartest shield is always being careful and staying aware.

Terrorism

The threat of terrorism in Indonesia persists. Attacks could occur anywhere, anytime – including places frequented by foreigners. It’s crucial to stay alert and take any official warnings seriously.

Continuous Efforts

Indonesian authorities are continuously working to investigate and disrupt terrorist groups across the country, including Bali. But remember, terrorists may execute small-scale attacks with little or no warning.

Places to Watch

Be particularly cautious in places of worship, especially during religious observances. Past incidents have occurred in Makassar, Surabaya, Solo, and Poso. Besides these, targets can include government facilities, police stations, bars, nightclubs, cafes, hotels, shopping centres, public transport hubs, major international brand outlets, tourist areas, and outdoor events.

Responding to an Incident

In the event of a terrorist attack;

  • Prioritise Your Safety: The first and foremost response to any terrorist attack should be ensuring your own safety. Take immediate action to keep yourself away from immediate danger.
  • Leave the Area: If it’s safe to do so, leave the area of the attack as quickly and calmly as possible.
  • Follow Local Authority Directives: Stay informed and follow all instructions issued by local authorities. They are best equipped to handle the situation.
  • Avoid Gatherings: After an attack, it’s best to avoid gathering in large groups or crowded places, which could potentially be secondary targets.
  • Remember Embassy Security: Keep in mind that security remains high at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the Consulates-General in Bali, Makassar, and Surabaya.

Piracy

Coastal areas of Indonesia have seen incidents of piracy. It’s not something you expect to encounter, but it’s a reality we need to address.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) issues weekly piracy reports. If you’re thinking about boating around in these parts, it’s smart to keep yourself on point for these updates regularly.

Precautions to Take

Also, don’t underestimate the value of local insight. Get advice from those in the know. And if possible, arrange for security measures. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?

Health

Health Risks

Let’s get straight to the point. Healthcare in Indonesia, even in popular tourist hotspots like Bali, often doesn’t measure up to Australian standards. If you get seriously sick, airlifting you out might not be an option.

Medication Restrictions

Now, about medication. The Indonesian Ministry of Health has put a stop to local pharmacists and health workers selling liquid or syrup medications, including those with cough syrups and paracetamol. This move comes after a sudden rise in Atypical Progressive Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) cases in kiddos under five.

Beware of Drink Poisoning

Contaminated drinks, including local spirits, cocktails made with spirits, and even branded alcohol, have led to serious illnesses and fatalities. Be mindful of where you consume alcoholic beverages and avoid homemade alcoholic drinks.

Dengue

Dengue is prevalent across Indonesia, in places like Jakarta, Bali, and other major cities. It tends to flare up during rainy season.

Interestingly, health authorities have noticed a spike in dengue infections from individuals returning from Bali recently.

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS poses a risk for travellers. Take precautionary measures to reduce your exposure to the virus.

Insect-Borne Illnesses

Insect-borne illnesses are a common concern all year round. So, how do you keep yourself safe? You’ve got to do a bit of homework before you head out.

  • Look up info about your destination,
  • Have a chat with the locals for some insider tips
  • Ensure your place is mosquito-proof.

Don’t forget to pack some insect repellent and go for loose, long, light-coloured clothes.

Legionnaires’ Disease

If you’re travelling to the Kuta region of Bali, be aware that cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported. Should you experience flu-like symptoms within 10 days of leaving Bali, seek medical help.

Malaria

You should know that malaria, including strains resistant to chloroquine, is typically common in the rural areas of the country.

So, what’s the plan? Consider getting some preventative medication. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Measles Outbreaks

Measles outbreaks in Indonesia are still occurring periodically. Make sure you receive full vaccination against measles, with two doses of the vaccine administered four weeks apart.

Polio Outbreak

There have been reported cases of poliovirus in various provinces of Indonesia. Ensure you’re vaccinated against polio before travel.

Rabies Risk

Rabies is a concern all over Indonesia, especially in places like Bali and East Nusa Tenggara. To keep yourself safe, steer clear of direct contact with dogs and other critters, including monkeys and bats. If an animal manages to bite or scratch you, give the wound a good wash and get medical help immediately.

Zika Virus

Zika virus is also a thing in Indonesia. The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care suggests that pregnant women should consult with their ob-gyne or personal doctor about their travel plans and maybe think about putting off non-essential trips to those areas with Zika outbreaks.

Other Health Risks

Infectious diseases, including the ones you get from water, food, parasites, and others like hepatitis, cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, and COVID-19, are potential health risks in Indonesia. It’s best to take all necessary precautions to avoid getting ill during your trip.

To keep yourself safe, stick to boiled or bottled water for drinking, and give ice cubes and raw foods a pass. Make sure any meat you eat comes from trusted places. And if you think are dealing with diarrhea or fever or you’ve got food poisoning, don’t waste time – get medical help immediately.

Medical Care

What to Expect

First off, it’s worth noting that Indonesia’s healthcare facilities are usually not up to the standards we’re used to back home in Australia. You’ll find that many hospitals in regional areas have just the basic amenities.

The norm is that hospital staff anticipate families to be there for their patients, including providing financial assistance. And when it comes to psychological and psychiatric services in Indonesia, they’re limited.

Payment and Insurance

Just so you’re aware, there’s no mutual healthcare deal between Indonesia and Australia. What this means is that hospitals normally ask for proof of medical insurance, a payment assurance from their closest family member or the patient, and a deposit paid in advance for services before they admit patients.

It’s important to remember that these guarantees or deposits aren’t something that Australian Government can provide.

Check Your Insurance

Should you fall seriously sick or get injured, the situation might demand your evacuation to a location with superior medical care. Bear in mind, medical evacuations can be heavy on the pocket, so do give your travel insurance policy a thorough read before travelling.

Medication

Not all medications available in Australia can be accessed in other countries. Some may even be illegal or controlled substances abroad, despite being prescribed in Australia. For example, certain drugs used for ADHD are illegal in Indonesia.

If you plan to bring medication, it’s crucial to check its legality in Indonesia. Contact the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra well ahead of your travel dates for information.

Pack Smart

When travelling, it is crucial to pack enough medication for the entire trip and keep it in its original packaging. Additionally, carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor explaining the medication dosage and that it is for personal use.

Getting caught with illegal medication can result in detention, fines, or more severe penalties, even if prescribed by your personal doctor in Australia.

Cannabis-Based Products

Products like creams, cannabis oil, hemp, hash, edibles, CBD, and THC are strictly prohibited in Indonesia. Whether for medical purposes or with a prescription, bringing, buying, or using these products can result in severe consequences such as arrest, deportation, fines, imprisonment, or even death penalty. Exercise extreme caution.

Mental and Physical Health

Health First, Travel Second

When planning your travel adventure, it’s crucial to put your physical and mental health at the forefront. This is especially important if you have an existing medical condition.

Pre-Travel Check-Up

It’s a good idea to schedule a visit with your doctor or travel health professional for a basic health check-up. This should be done at least 8 weeks before you leave. During this visit, discuss your travel plans and any potential impacts on your health. It’s also the perfect time to plan any necessary vaccinations.

Emergency Assistance

Remember, if you’re ever in a situation where you’re concerned for your welfare or that of another Australian, help is available. Reach out to the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre at +61 2 6261 3305. Alternatively, you can contact your nearest Australian High Commission, Consulate, or Embassy to discuss available counselling hotlines and services.

Travel Insurance

Before you travel abroad, it’s vitally important to secure comprehensive travel insurance. This isn’t just a suggestion, it’s absolutely essential.

What It Should Cover

Your policy should cover all overseas medical costs, including the hefty price tag of medical evacuation. Let’s be clear – the Australian Government won’t foot these bills. If you think travel insurance is expensive, consider the potential costs of not having it. Medical care abroad can run into thousands of dollars; without insurance, those costs come straight out of your pocket.

Can You Afford Not To?

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” It’s as true as it gets. This applies to everyone, regardless of how fit or healthy you might be.

Check, Double-Check, and Confirm

So, what should you be looking for in a policy?

  • Firstly, confirm what activities and care your policy covers.
  • Ensure your insurance covers you for the entire duration of your trip, including all forms of transport you plan to utilise.
  • Also, check if the policy includes coverage for medical evacuation in case of hospitalisation or injury.

It’s always better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Remember, travel insurance isn’t just about protection, it’s about peace of mind. So, equip yourself with a comprehensive policy and enjoy your travel adventure to the fullest!

Local Laws

Australian Laws

Did you know that there are criminal laws in Australia apply to us even when we’re overseas? Yes, you heard it right. Even while you’re soaking up the sun in Indonesia, certain laws from back home still have jurisdiction over you.

So, if you trip over these laws while away, don’t be surprised if you face prosecution once you’re back on Australian soil. We always encourage being mindful of your actions and staying on the right side of the law, no matter where in the world you are.

Dual Citizenship

Here’s a crucial piece of information – Indonesia doesn’t allow dual nationality for adults. So, if you’re found to hold valid passports of two nationalities, you could face prosecution by Immigration authorities.

An Exception: Kids

On the bright side, there’s a silver lining for kids. A child born to Indonesian and Australian parents can maintain citizenship of both countries until they turn 18. Just something to keep in mind as you plan your family travel adventure!

Local Customs

Behaviour and dress

In most parts of Indonesia, they stick to a more conservative style in terms of conduct and dress. It’s very important to keep this in mind so you don’t unintentionally ruffle any feathers. Not quite sure about the customs where you’re headed? Don’t sweat it – just reach out for some local advice.

LGBTQ+ Information

While same-sex relations become generally legal in most parts of Indonesia, they could lead to corporal punishment in places like Aceh. Unfortunately, some laws aren’t as inclusive and might discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community, so it’s essential to be aware and cautious.

Ramadan Observance

When Ramadan starts, it’s important to show respect for cultural and religious customs. If you don’t plan to participate in the fast, try to avoid smoking, munching, or sipping in public areas during fasting hours.

Aceh: A Unique Territory

You should know that Aceh has a bit of a unique status. It’s a special territory operating with some autonomy, including the enforcement of certain Sharia law aspects. Keep in mind, these laws aren’t just for locals – they apply to everyone in Aceh, even foreigners and non-Muslims.

Activities like enjoying a drink, gambling, same-sex and extra-marital relationships, and prostitution are a no-go under Sharia law. Also, remember to dress conservatively. When you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to ask for local advice.

Local Law

When travelling to Indonesia, it’s important to be aware of local laws and penalties, which may be stricter than Australian standards. Take the time to research and understand these laws before your trip.

In January 2026, revisions to the criminal code will be implemented, including penalties for cohabitation and sex outside marriage.

In case of arrest or imprisonment, the Australian Government can offer assistance under the Consular Services Charter, although they cannot guarantee release from trouble or jail.

Drug Laws

Indonesia takes drug-related offences very seriously. They’re not messing around – even the smallest amount of drugs, like marijuana, cannabis oil, THC, CBD, hemp, edibles, and hash, can land you in hot water. We’re talking hefty fines, time behind bars, deportation, or even worse.

The bottom line: don’t mess with drugs. Ever. It’s not worth it! Penalties for drug use or possession in Indonesia are very severe, so stay safe and stick to the law.

Other Laws to Keep in Mind

Gambling is a big no-no, and property regulations are stringent. So, it’s important to talk to a legal expert before getting any property.

Keep in mind that taking photos might be a big no-no in some situations. It’s smart to follow signs that say no photography and ask the local authorities if you’re not sure.

Most importantly, always keep your ID handy, like your Australian passport and Resident’s Stay Permit. It’s also wise to carry a photocopy of your passport when travelling in Indonesia, just in case it gets lost or stolen.

Travel

Visas and Border Measures

e-Visa and Visa on Arrival

Planning your trip to Indonesia? Just so you know, you can get an e-visa on arrival up to 48 hours before your adventure begins. But if you’re the type who loves a last-minute plan, don’t worry. You can grab a regular VOA at specific entry points, like Surabaya, Bali, Jakarta, and more.

These visas cover a wide range of purposes – from tourism to business meetings, official duties, or even just passing through Indonesia. If you’re travelling for government duties, there are some additional requirements you’ll need to sort out.

What’s the Cost?

Both the VOA and e-VOA come with a price tag of Rp 500,000, which is around AUD $50. The e-visa on arrival has a small processing fee attached to it as well.

If you’re opting for the visa on arrival, remember that some airports, like Jakarta’s, are old-school and only accept cash payments. So, don’t forget to keep enough money in your wallet.

Visa Validity and Extension

Here’s the deal – your visa is good for a month’s stay, and if you’re having too much fun to leave, you can get it extended once by visiting the immigration office around Indonesia. But hey, don’t forget to do this within the first 30 days.

We don’t want you to overstay your visit and end up dealing with fines or even deportation. So, keep an eye on that calendar!

Applying for a Visa on Arrival

Applying for a Visa on Arrival, you’ll need your standard-issue passport with no less than six months of legal validity left from your travel date, and don’t forget about that return flight ticket.

Other Visas

Visiting an airport or port that doesn’t do the whole visa upon arrival? You’ll need to obtain a visa. And remember, if your stay permits or visas have expired, they don’t get automatically extended anymore. You’ll need to consult with the Directorate General of Immigration to authenticate your permit’s validity and renewal possibilities.

Overstaying Penalties

Overstaying can lead to some serious headaches like detention, fines, and even deportation. If you’ve got plans to head back to Indonesia, but your stay permit has expired, it’s time to get in touch with the Directorate General of Immigration or your closest Indonesian Embassy to get the details on what you need to do next.

Working or Researching in Indonesia

Are you thinking about working or doing a little research in Indonesia? That’s great, but remember, you’ll need to get permission from the Indonesian authorities first – and most importantly, the right visa. If not, things could get a little dicey – we’re talking jail time, fines, getting deported, and even bans on coming back. So, let’s make sure all the paperwork is in order.

Criminal Records and Entry

Here’s something important to note – if you’ve got an existing criminal record, it might affect your plans to enter Indonesia. It doesn’t matter how far back the incident happened. If this could throw a wrench in your travel plans, it’s a good idea to reach out to a Consulate or Embassy of Indonesia before you pack your bags.

Crossing Borders

When travelling to Indonesia, make sure to complete the e-customs declaration upon arrival. You can do this up to two days before your departure. Remember to verify the requirements for entry with the nearest Consulate or Embassy of Indonesia or your travel provider beforehand.

Leaving Indonesia

If you’re returning from an incredible trip from Indonesia, remember to clean any items exposed to animals before your flight back to Australia.

Due to an ongoing foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, it’s best to leave behind any meat products or dairy treats. Declare any animal, dairy, or meat products on the Incoming Passenger Declaration. Also, mention if you’ve been around animals or within rural areas. Stay informed with Smartraveller’s article on biosecurity and border controls.

Passport

Validity and Passport Types

Indonesia has a firm rule – your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your flight back to Australia. This applies even if you’re only stopping over. So, check your passport’s expiry date before your journey. If it’s cutting it close, it might be time for a new passport.

Remember, your emergency passport won’t be enough here. You’ll need a diplomatic, official, or valid ordinary passport to enter Indonesia.

Keeping Your Passport Safe

Your government-issued passport is more than just a travel document. It’s your identity while you’re abroad and can be a target for those with nefarious intentions. Always secure it and be wary of anyone asking for it. If your personal passport goes missing within Australia’s borders, notify the Australian Passport Information Service immediately. Now, if you are overseas, you should reach out to the nearest Australian Consulate, High Commission, or Embassy as soon as possible.

Dealing with Damaged Passports

Indonesian authorities don’t mess around when it comes to this. Even a little water damage, a small tear, or a mark across your photo could be seen as damage.

To avoid any hiccups, ensure your passport is in good condition:

  • No cuts or tears: Having a damaged passport isn’t just inconvenient – it could keep you from getting into the country.
  • No missing pages: Make sure all the pages are intact. A missing page might seem insignificant, but it could lead to a denial of entry.
  • Visible security features: The laminate that displays your photo and personal details must be clear and unaltered. Any scratches, marks, or removal of security features might be construed as tampering.
  • No water damage: Ensure your passport hasn’t been exposed to water or moisture. A water-damaged passport can be grounds for refusal at customs.
  • Free from markings: Avoid any unnecessary markings or notes in your passport. Additional text or drawings, other than the official stamps and annotations, might lead to complications.

If there’s any doubt about your passport’s condition, get in touch with your nearest Australian consulate or embassy overseas or the Australian Passport Office.

Passport with ‘X’ Gender Identifier

While Australian passports meet the international standards for gender identifiers, it’s not a given that all countries will accept passports with ‘X’ gender markers. If your passport has ‘X’ listed in the gender or sex field, we’d recommend contacting the high commission, consulate, or embassy of the country you’re heading to before you set off on your journey.

Local Travel

Travel Permits

Visiting the Papua provinces? You might need a Surat Keterangan Jalan or a travel permit. Reach out to the nearest Indonesian Consulate or Embassy or your travel provider to know if you need one.

Driving Permit

You’ll need to have an International Driving Permit or an Indonesian licence when cruising on Indonesian roads. Your Australian licence won’t cut it here. And remember, it’s crucial to have the right license or permit for the vehicle type you’re using. If you don’t, your travel insurer might not be so accommodating if you need to make a claim.

Road Travel

Traffic in Indonesia can be a challenge, with congestion and unpredictable road users being common. In fact, the risk of a motor accident is higher here compared to Australia. So, stay alert and drive defensively. Alternatively, consider riding a taxi familiar with the local roads.

But don’t worry, since Indonesia is an LHT country (left-hand traffic), you might find it a little easier and more familiar if you’re coming from Australia. Just remember to keep an eye out for vehicles that might not be following the rules – like scooters or motorbikes overtaking on the wrong side of the road.

Air Travel

Indonesia has a solid aviation network, with airports across the country. Safety standards might not always be observed. If you’re travelling by air within Indonesia, fly with reputable operators and take note of their safety record. Checking reviews on sites such as Skytrax can help you make an informed decision about airlines to use or avoid.

Rail Travel

Inter-city rail networks are up and running on Sumatra and Java islands, and you’ll find commuter trains zipping around in Jakarta. Be prepared though; trains can get a bit packed, especially around holidays and during those peak commuter hours. So, if you’re not a fan of crowds, you might want to plan accordingly.

Public Transport

Just a word of caution – if you’re planning on taking the bus, prepare for a bit of a crowd, especially during public holidays and peak commute times. And let’s just say, not all buses are as committed to safety standards as we’d like them to be.

Motorcycles

Riding a motorcycle in Indonesia can be risky, especially in popular tourist areas like Jakarta and Bali. Foreigners, including Australians, have been involved in serious accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities.

In the event of an accident, you may be presumed at fault and required to compensate all parties involved. Prioritise safety by wearing a helmet and ensuring your insurance policy provides adequate coverage.

Becak – Bicycle Rickshaw

Hopping on a becak, Indonesia’s bicycle rickshaw, can be a unique and fun way to explore the local area. But remember, safety first! Hold on tight and always choose a driver who seems responsible. Bear in mind that traffic can get a bit wild, and becak rides are open-air, so you better keep your belongings secure to prevent theft or accidental loss.

Taxis

Now, when it comes to taxis, let’s stick with the official taxi companies. You can easily book them by phone, at stands at hotels, or from inside airports. There are unlicensed operators with taxis that bear a resemblance to those operated by reputable taxi companies.

Island Hopping

Thinking about island hopping? Travelling by boat or ferry between islands can have its own set of challenges. It’s not always guaranteed that the appropriate safety equipment is up to par, and sometimes, they play fast and loose with passenger limits. If you decide to hit the high seas, double-check that the vessel has life jackets and all the necessary safety gear.

Money

The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the name of the game when it comes to currency in Indonesia. Whether you’re haggling at local markets or dining at a fancy restaurant, it’s all about the IDR.

Cash Declarations

Here’s something important: if you’re carrying more than IDR 100,000,000 – that’s around AUD 10,000 – you’ll need to declare it when you arrive and leave. This isn’t just limited to cash; it covers all forms of currency. So, count those traveller’s cheques too!

The Need for Cash

While plastic money might be your go-to back home, having cash on hand can make your Indonesian experience smoother. Many local businesses prefer cash transactions, so keep some IDR handy.

Crown Currency Exchange – Your Go-To for Foreign Exchange

When it comes to exchanging your AUD for IDR, Crown Currency Exchange has got you covered. Rated as the #1 foreign exchange in Australia, they offer competitive rates that will have your wallet feeling heavier. And the best part? No hidden fees or commissions. Just transparent, friendly service.

Visit Crown Currency Exchange today for a smooth foreign exchange experience.

Local Contacts

Consular Contacts

Before you pack your bags, take a moment to review the Consular Services Charter. It outlines what help the Australian Government can and can’t provide abroad.

Australian Embassy, Jakarta

Need to get in touch with the Australian Embassy in Jakarta? You can find them at Jalan Patra Kuningan Ray Kav. 1-4, Jakarta Selatan 12950.

Here are the contact details:

Phone: (+62 21) 2550 5555

Website: indonesia.embassy.gov.au

Email: consular.jakarta@dfat.gov.au

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Australian Consulate-General, Bali

The Australian Consulate-General in Bali is located at Jalan Tantular 32, Renon, Denpasar Bali 80234.

Here are the contact details:

Phone: (+62 361) 2000 100

Website: bali.indonesia.embassy.gov.au

Email: bali.congen@dfat.gov.au

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Australian Consulate-General, Makassar

Head over to Wisma Kalla Lt. 7, Jalan Dr Sam Ratulangi No. 8, Makassar South Sulawesi 90125, to find the Australian Consulate-General in Makassar.

Here are the contact details:

Phone: (+62 411) 366 4100

,Website: makassar.consulate.gov.au

Email: consular.makassar@dfat.gov.au

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Australian Consulate-General, Surabaya

The Australian Consulate-General in Surabaya is situated at Level 3 ESA Sampoerna Center, Jl. Dokter.Ir. H. Soekarno No. 198, Klampis Ngasem, Sukolilo, Surabaya.

Here are the contact details:

Phone: (+62 31) 9920 3200

Website: surabaya.consulate.gov.au

Email: consular.surabaya@dfat.gov.au

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24-Hour Consular Emergency Centre

For any consular emergencies, if you’re unable to reach an embassy, dial the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre’s number on 1300 555 135 if you’re in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas.

Emergencies

In an emergency, don’t hesitate to contact your family, friends, insurance provider, travel agent, airline, or employer. They’re your first line of support.

Emergency Services

For fire services, dial 113. Medical emergencies and ambulance services can be reached at 119. Need search and rescue services? Call 115.

Police Assistance

Reach out to the police at 110 or SMS 1717. In Bali, contact the Tourist Police at (+0361) 759 687 and in Jakarta at (+6221) 526 4073. Make sure to secure a police report if you’re reporting a crime.

Insurance Support

Remember, your insurer likely provides a 24-hour emergency number. Use it when needed.

The content of this article is general and provided for information purposes only. Crown Currency Exchange (CCE) doesn’t guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or currency of the articles.

This article may contain hyperlinks to other websites owned or operated by third parties, or references to third party products or services. CCE is not responsible for, and makes no recommendation about, the content or accuracy of any third party website, or for the suitability or performance of any product or service. The inclusion of a link in this article doesn’t imply that CCE endorses the website or third party product/service.

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