North Lombok

North Lombok General Information

North Lombok District

Dominated by the majesty of Mt Rinjani and the surrounding mountains, the north of the island offers stunning landscapes and long curves of deserted beaches. Jungles and rain forest, with towering plantations of mahogany, teak and other native trees provide opportunities for trekking and ecotourism. The many waterfalls, rivers and unique flora and fauna of the region make the north coast an ideal area for those who appreciate true natural beauty.

North Lombok is a fairly new regency and was officially formed in 2008. The regency has 5 districts, including the Gili Islands, 33 villages and 332 hamlets, with a total population of around 199 000 people.

North Lombok is reached by two main roads, both in good condition and providing different scenic routes. The coastal road that runs from Ampenan all the way up the west coast to the north provides stunning views of the many beautiful bays and beaches that line the west coast, as well as vistas over the Gili Islands and Bali to the west.

The Pusuk Pass, a winding mountain road that starts at Gunungsari and runs through the mountains inland, terminates at Pemenang in the north. The drive up the pass provides wonderful views of valleys and gorges, with rivers running through the tropical forests and small villages dotted among the trees. Families of grey monkeys live in the jungle and come down to the road to beg for food from passing motorists.

Bangsal is at the crossroads where the coastal road meets the Pusuk Road, with Jalan Raya (the main road) continuing north all the way around the island to the east coast. The road to the west only runs about 1 km to Bangsal Harbour, which is the main point of departure for public boats out to the Gili islands.

Bangsal is a pretty village with a large Balinese Hindu population, surrounded by rice fields, temples, and close the ocean and the mountains. There are a few small home-stays and Bangsal makes a good base for exploring the north.

Further north, a small sign-posted road branches off from the main road to Pantai Sira, a beautiful white-sand beach with good snorkelling on the offshore coral reef. This is also the site for the Kosaido Golf Course: a stunning world-class 18-hole golf course with magnificent views from the manicured greens. The architecturally stunning Hotel Tugu is perched on the pristine white beach here.

On the tip of the next peninsula north is a small temple, Pura Medana, with wonderful sunset views and a peaceful atmosphere. On the road out to the temple is the lovely Medana Resort and, at the very end, the luxurious Oberoi Resort, in a breathtakingly beautiful location right on the beach.

To the right is the wide sweep of Medana Bay. There is a boat marina here with safe anchorage for boats and a small pier, as well as basic facilities for the boating community. Every year Medana Bay Marina hosts visiting yachts participating in the Sail Indonesia Rally and the facility is set to expand in the future. On the west end of the beach is Lombok Lodge, a small boutique hotel with luxury villas overlooking the beach.

The large town of Tanjung is about 5 km north of Bangsal. It is the administrative capital for North Lombok province and has numerous warungs and shops, and one of the few public telephone offices (wartel) on the island.

Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists live here and there are many different ceremonies originating from the area. Tanjung has an interesting market every day and on Sunday, a cattle market, where cows, goats and horses from all over the island are bought and sold.