Nusa Penida Island Bali
Nusa Penida is an island southeast of Bali island, Indonesia. Administratively, the island is a subdistrict of Klungkung regency. There are two small islands nearby: Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. The Badung Strait separates the island and Bali.
Nusa Penida is a small island located just off the south-east coast of Bali that largely remains in its natural state, relatively untouched by tourism development. Clearly visible form Bali, Nusa Penida lies across a deep straight of ocean subject to heavy swells that frequently hinder boat passage. The ride across to the island takes less than an hour by by public ferry from the port of Padangbai, while traditional boats regularly leave; weather permitting, from Sanur beach for a much slower journey.
Due to its isolation most goods and commodities have to be transported across the stretch of water to Nusa Penida and resold at a reasonable profit for village consumption. In fact the isle was once used as a penal colony for criminals and misfits banished from Bali’s powerful kingdom Klungkung.
Nowadays the island has a prominent Hindu population, but many of the youngsters make their way to Bali to complete their education and seek employment opportunities. The landscape of Nusa Penida is generally dry and highlighted by a series of limestone cliffs that provides rugged scenery for visitors. Rainfall is minimal and the central part of the island bears meagre crops of cassava and beans farmed to supplement the fresh supply of vegetables that are ferried from Bali daily.
Rice plantations don’t particularly flourish on Nusa Penida due largely to the lack of fresh water and thin topsoil. Economically the entire island struggles and the village lifestyle borders on being described as primitive.
As part of Bali’s district, Nusa Penida Island is under the Klungkung regency. If you want to go to Nusa Penida Island from Bali, you need to go to Padang bay to take a ferryboat crossing from Bali to Nusa Penida Island. The only ferryboat available is called as Roro-Nusa Jaya Abadi.
This boat will take you crossing the Badung Strait (located between Bali Island and Nusa Penida Island), and the trip will take around one hour to get to the Toya Pakeh Harbor in Nusa Penida Island. After you have reached the island, you can continue the trip by having a modified pick-up car or known as “omprengan”.
The divesites around Penida can be challenging. Upwellings from the deep can cause thermoclines and let the temperature drop to 20 degrees celsius. Currents running between the Nusa Islands and Lombok Strait are most of the time southward, but can be influenced in direction and strength by the monsoon seasons.
The three islands, Nusa Penida Island, Lembongan Island and Ceningan Island are situated at the Wallace Line which lies at the middle of Bali Island and Lombok Island. This Wallace Line is a separation line between the eco-zones of Asia and Australasia. To the west of the Wallace Line, Asiatic species and organism live, while to the east of the Wallace Line, Australian species and organism exist for living.
According to the scientist, these boundaries have been existing for 50 million years. They are predicted to be the south-western edge of Sunda Earth Crust Shelf which are believed to link some main islands in Indonesia, such as Java, Sumatera, Borneo, Bali to the Southeast Asia’s mainland.
Nusa Penida covers a wide area of diving locations. They are Penida Bay, Manta Point, Batu Meling, Batu Lumbung, Batu Abah, Toyapakeh and Malibu Point. The flow through the Lombok Strait is, overall, south-tending, although the strength and direction of the tidal streams are influenced by the monsoon seasons.
During the southeast monsoons, the tidal flow tends south; during the northeast monsoons, the tidal flow tends north. In the area of the strait north of Nusa Penida, the pattern is relatively simple, with a flow, at peaktide, of about three-and-one-half knots. Tidal streams in Badung Strait are semi-diurnal, but the character of the stream is very complicated because its direction runs obliquely to the general south to north direction of Lombok Strait, and the channel has a curved shape.
Toyapakeh has a stretch of reefs, and in the southern part of the bay there is a similar area of rugged bommies, rich with color and fish. Big schools of fish, sea turtles, and occasionally molas are highlight of Toyapakeh diving. Toyapakeh is special for its pillars of coral.
- Malibu Point
Malibu Point is a diving site with gray reefs, reef white tips, silver-tips and numerous sharks. While Penida Bay is another anchorage, and the rocky islands have an interesting forms; something like an old resting elephant. The bay is vulnerable to swell, creating-up-and-down-currents. Then, Manta Point is a limestone rock off Pandan cafe. The swell is relatively strong.
- Nusa Penida/Lembongan
Nusa Penida/Lembongan is a diving site with vast spread of coral reefs and good visibility. Big fishes are frequently observed at the area. Manta rays or sunfishes appear in the certain season.
The site is also known of the very strong currents requiring divers some skills.
- Crystal Bay
Crystal Bay is calmer than outer shore. There are many Antheases. A school of batfish comes around periodically. A bat cave is located nearby.