- Exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including in Bali, Surabaya and Jakarta, because of the high threat of terrorist attack. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor media for the latest information about safety or security risks.
- Reconsider your need to travel to Central Sulawesi, Papua and West Papua provinces because of safety and security risks. Example: Attacks have occurred around Freeport Mine in Papua Province. See Safety and security.
- Local elections will be held in multiple provinces across Indonesia on 27 June 2018. Extremist groups may view election activities as potential targets. Be aware of your surroundings and be particularly vigilant around polling centres and election activities. See Safety and security.
- We continue to receive information indicating terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia. Attacks could occur anywhere, anytime. Indonesian authorities continue to arrest terrorists in the advanced stages of attack planning. Be particularly vigilant at places of worship and during significant holiday periods. See Safety and security.
- There are ongoing demonstrations at US government diplomatic facilities throughout Indonesia in response to the US announcement on Jerusalem. Media has reported certain groups may agitate protest activities directed towards US interests. Be alert and aware of your own security; avoid protests and demonstrations. Monitor local media for the latest information on security. See Safety and security.
- Avoid protests, demonstrations and rallies, which can turn violent without warning. Be aware of your surroundings. See Safety and security.
- The Mount Agung volcano in Bali, has been active since September 2017. Volcanic activity may escalate with little or no notice. Ash clods from the volcano can affect flights and airport operations. Contact your airline or tour operator directly for up-to-date information. See Natural disasters.
- Indonesia has severe penalties for narcotics offences, including the death penalty. See Laws.
- Be conscious of your personal security. Be aware of risks, particularly in tourist locations such as Bali and Lombok, relating to violent and petty crime; sexual assault; drink-spiking and consumption of alcohol contaminated with harmful substances such as methanol; scams and credit card/ATM fraud. See Safety and security.
- Carefully consider risks involved in using motorcycles, including licence and insurance issues. See Local travel.
- See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
Entry and exit
You can visit Indonesia visa-free for up to 30 days. You can't extend your stay if you enter Indonesia visa-free.
If you intend to stay in Indonesia for more than 30 days, apply for a visa:
Free visas and visas on arrival aren't available at every land entry-point. If you're planning to enter Indonesia by land, contact the Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia to check whether you can get the free visa or visa on arrival.
Visas are non-transferable.
The period of your stay is calculated from the day you arrive. Part days are counted as whole days. You'll be fined for each additional day ynou stay in Indonesia beyond your visa.
Some airlines flying from Australia to Jakarta and Bali offer on-board visa processing.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia for up-to-date information.
You can't work in Indonesia unless you have the appropriate visa. If you breach Indonesian immigration regulations, you can be fined, jailed, deported or banned from re-entry.
If you have a criminal record, you may be refused entry to Indonesia, regardless of how long ago the offence took place. If you're concerned about being denied entry, contact an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia before travelling. Decisions of Indonesian immigration officials are final. The Australian Government can't intervene.
If travelling on an Emergency Passport, you'll only be allowed to enter Indonesia if you have a visa from an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia.
If you're staying in a private residence (not a hotel), you'll need to register with the local Rukun Tetangga Office and local police on arrival. If you plan to be in Indonesia for more than 90 days, register with the local immigration office and ensure you have the right visa.
More information: Embassy of Indonesia in Canberra
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia. Carry a recent passport photo in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
Declare cash in excess of 100,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) (around AU$10,000) on arrival and departure.
Safety and security
Exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali, Surabaya, Jakarta and Lombok, because of the high threat of terrorist attack.
We continue to receive information indicating terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia. Since January 2016, a number of threats have been received by Indonesian authorities from groups purporting to be planning attacks, including in Bali.
The terrorist threat level in Indonesia remains high. Attacks could occur anywhere, anytime, including at locations frequented by Westerners.
- In May 2018, several suicide attacks occurred in Surabaya and Pekanbaru targeting Police Headquarters and churches killing thirty people, including the terrorists.
- In May 2017 two suicide attackers detonated bombs at a police post in East Jakarta killing five people, including the terrorists.
- In January 2016, terrorists attacked a Starbucks Cafe and police post in Central Jakarta, detonating bombs and exchanging gunfire. Eight people were killed, including the terrorists.
Police have stated publicly terrorist suspects remain at large and may seek Western targets. Indonesian security agencies continue to conduct operations against terrorist groups. Extremists in Indonesia may carry out small-scale violent attacks with little or no warning. Groups linked to or inspired by conflict in Iraq and Syria have anti-Western motivations.
Since 2010, police have disrupted terrorist groups across the country, including in Bali, Java (including Jakarta), Sumatra, Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara.
Be vigilant during holiday periods, including:
- New Year
- Independence Day (17 August)
- Nyepi (Balinese New Year, 7-8 March 2019)
- Ramadan (5 May - 4 June 2019).
Be alert in places of worship, especially at gatherings during periods of religious significance. These have been targeted, particularly in places like Poso, Surabaya and Solo. They could be attacked again.
When planning activities, think about places that could be to be terrorist targets and the level of security provided at venues. Terrorists have previously attacked or planned to attack airports and airlines, bars and nightclubs, cafes, clubs, including sporting clubs, cinemas and theatres, international hotels, nightclubs, places of worship, restaurants, tourist areas and attractions, tour buses and tour groups.
Other possible targets include international fast food outlets, Western-branded venues, Jakarta's embassy district and diplomatic missions elsewhere, international schools, expatriate housing compounds, Western interests and businesses, places frequented by foreigners, central business areas, office buildings, banks, public transport and transport hubs, shopping centres, premises and symbols associated with the Indonesian Government and police and outdoor recreation events.
Suicide attacks have occurred in places frequently visited by foreigners, with many killed or injured. Examples: 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings; 2004 bomb attack outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.
Bombings have killed and injured Australians. Examples: 2009 bombing at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and JW Marriott Hotel in Mega Kuningan, Jakarta; 2003 attack on JW Marriott Hotel.
Attacks have targeted Indonesian government facilities, including police stations and checkpoints.
Additional acts of violence have been committed by supporters in response to high profile extremists being detained or killed.
What to do when there is an attack
- In the event of an attack, leave the area immediately if it's safe to do so.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Don't remain in an affected area or gather in a group in the aftermath of an attack or if you're evacuated from a building for security reasons (such as a bomb threat).
Staff at Australian Embassy and Consulates-General
Security at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and at the Consulates-General in Bali, Makassar and Surabaya remains at a high level.
Staff and families need to be careful when travelling to and from the Embassy.
Central Sulawesi Province
Reconsider your need to travel to Central Sulawesi where there are ongoing security operations by Indonesian authorities against terrorist groups and where terrorist groups have conducted recent attacks targeting civilians. Examples:
- August 2017, a farmer was killed by terrorists.
- May 2017, terrorist groups in Poso exchanged gunfire with security forces
- September 2015, two civilians were killed by terrorists in Parigi Moutong Regency
- August 2015, a policeman was killed in an exchange of gunfire with terrorists
- April 2015, two policemen were killed by terrorists
- January 2015, terrorist groups in Poso exchanged gunfire with security forces
More information: Terrorist threat worldwide
Civil unrest and political tension
Avoid political rallies, protests and demonstrations. They occur regularly and can turn violent with little notice. Most are publicised in advance. They're often held near the Presidential Palace, major government buildings and embassies in Jakarta.
There are ongoing demonstrations at U.S. government diplomatic facilities throughout Indonesia in response to the U.S. announcement on Jerusalem. Media has reported certain groups may agitate protest activities directed towards US interests.
Demonstrations are sometimes held around the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Expect traffic delays and restricted access to and from the Embassy. Phone ahead for an appointment before going to the Embassy. See Where to get help.
Demonstrations and acts of violence are sometimes prompted by trials and sentencing of extremists.
Communal and sectarian conflict sometimes occurs in Indonesia, including in Papua and West Papua. Outbreaks of localised violence can also be directed at minority groups elsewhere, including on Java.
- Avoid protests and demonstrations.
- Monitor local media for the latest information on security.
- Plan your activities to avoid potential unrest on days of national or commemorative significance
- Be prepared to change your travel plans in case of disruptions.
- If you're affected by transport disruptions, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for assistance.
Papua and West Papua
Reconsider your need to travel to Papua and West Papua provinces where there are regular violent clashes between the police and military and armed groups. Many clashes have resulted in the deaths of the security forces, members of armed groups and, occasionally, civilians.
To travel to particular areas of Papua and West Papua, you may need a travel permit (Surat Keterangan Jalan). Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia to confirm if you need a permit.
A number of violent attacks have occurred in and around Jayapura, with people killed and injured, including a foreign national. There is a risk of more attacks.
Violent attacks have taken place in recent years around the Freeport Mine, Papua Province, resulting in deaths, including of an Australian. There have been attacks on vehicles using the road between Grasberg and Timika.
Ongoing violence in Puncak Jaya District, Papua Province, has led to deaths. Examples:
- February 2017 in Puncak Jaya regency, gunfire exchange resulted in an Army officer being killed.
- November 2017 in Tembagapura, a police officer was shot and killed
- 2014 in Kulirik and Lanny Jaya; Enarotali in Paniai regency
More attacks are possible in Papua and West Papua provinces, including against infrastructure and national institutions.
A range of crimes occurs in Indonesia, including in popular tourist locations in Bali.
Theft, robbery and bag snatching are common. Violence is sometimes used. Be careful of thieves:
- on motorcycles targeting pedestrians
- in upmarket shopping malls
- in crowded public transport
- at traffic lights targeting those in stopped cars
- who puncture car tyres as a means of targeting victims
- when entering accommodation, including villas in Bali.
If you're a victim of sexual assault, seek prompt medical assistance.
Make a full statement to local police in person so the police can conduct a criminal investigation. Local police can't investigate a crime after you've left Indonesia unless you've reported the crime. Your sworn statement, or statements by witnesses, can be used as evidence in criminal court proceedings. You don't always need to be in Indonesia for trial and neither do witnesses who live outside of Indonesia.
More information: Reducing the risk of sexual assault
Bars and nightclubs
Be alert in bars and nightclubs. Drink spiking and contamination of drinks with toxic substances occurs. See Health.
Be aware of the risks you may face and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
More information: Partying safely
Credit card fraud and using ATMs
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs frequently in Indonesia. Monitor transaction statements. Tell your bank when you'll visit Indonesia so your cards won't be blocked. Never let your card out of your sight, including for paying in restaurants.
Use ATMs within controlled and secure areas such as banks, shops and shopping centres. Shield your PIN from sight, when withdrawing cash. Be aware of hidden cameras and card skimmers.
Scams and confidence tricks
Beware of scams and confidence tricks. All types of gambling are illegal. Australians have lost large sums of money in card game scams run by organised gambling gangs, particularly in Bali. See Laws.
Some tourists have reported being robbed after taking new acquaintances back to their hotel rooms. In some cases, their drinks were spiked.
Legal disputes over the purchase of real estate (land, houses, holiday clubs and time share schemes) are common in Bali. Thoroughly research and get legal advice on any proposals before entering into an agreement or providing personal financial details.
More information: Scams
Only use official taxi companies you can book by phone, or from inside an airport or at stands at major hotels. Check your taxi is official. Unscrupulous operators can have vehicles that look similar to those run by reputable companies.
Examples of crime involving taxis include:
- taxis departing before you can retrieve your baggage from the vehicle
- being robbed or confined temporarily in taxis, including in urban areas
- taxi drivers forcing passengers to withdraw funds from credit or debit cards at ATMs before being released.
Lone female travellers can be vulnerable.
If caught in an incident involving a taxi, leave the taxi and the immediate area if it's safe to do so.
Traffic can be extremely congested and road users often drive in an unpredictable or undisciplined. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) you're almost three times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Indonesia than in Australia. Drive defensively.
To drive in Indonesia you need an Indonesian licence or International Driving Permit (IDP) appropriate to the type of vehicle you're driving. Your Australian licence isn't sufficient. Your travel insurer will deny your claim if you're unlicensed or don't hold the correct class of licence in Australia for the vehicle driven.
A number of foreigners, including Australians, have been killed or seriously injured in motorcycle accidents in tourist areas, particularly in Bali. In the event of an accident, it will often be assumed you are at fault and you will be expected to make financial restitution to all other parties.
If you hire a motorcycle:
- check with your travel insurer whether your policy covers you when riding a motorcycle and confirm what restrictions apply (such as cover if you're not licensed to ride a motorcycle in Australia)
- wear, and ensure your passenger wears, a correctly fastened and approved helmet.
More information: Road safety and driving
Transport by bus can be crowded, particularly around public holidays and peak commute times. Safety standards, usual in Australia, may not be observed.
Inter-city rail networks operate on the islands of Java and Sumatra. Commuter trains operate in Jakarta. Transport by train can be crowded, particularly around public holidays and during peak commuter times.
Tourist areas, including Bali
Rough seas and strong currents have led to drownings in coastal areas, including in Bali. Local beach rescue services may not be of the same standard as in Australia.
- Take warnings seriously.
- Consult relevant local information sources about potential water hazards.
There have been reports of violent crime in Bali. Exercise caution. See Safety and security.
- Be aware of your surroundings and conscious of potential crime risks.
- Reduce the risk of thieves on motorcycles snatching your bag or valuables by ensuring bags or valuables are not visible when cycling or motorcycling.
- Stay on footpaths (where available) if walking, and away from the curb with your bag held on the opposite side to traffic.
- Remain alert in crowded areas.
Safety standards you might expect of service providers, such as hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, transport and tour operators, including for adventure activities (for example, bungee jumping, rafting, scuba diving, surfing), aren't always met in Indonesia. If you plan adventure activities, ensure your insurance policy covers the activity. Don't hesitate to ask about, or insist on, safety requirements with tour operators.
Travel between islands
Travel between the islands of Indonesia by ferry or boat can be dangerous. Passenger limits aren't always observed. Sufficient lifejackets aren't always provided. Lifejackets for children aren't likely to be provided.
- Ensure any ferry or boat you board has appropriate safety equipment and life jackets.
- Ensure you, and those with you, wear life jackets at all times.
- Take your own lifejackets if travelling with children in your party.
- Check with your tour operator or crew to determine whether safety standards are appropriate.
- If appropriate, safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
- Avoid travelling by water after dark unless the vessel is equipped appropriately.
More information: Travelling by boat
Travelling in other parts of Indonesia
Trekking and climbing
Mountain treks, including some on Mount Rinjani in Lombok, suit only experienced climbers. Travel with a guide and check out the level of difficulty beforehand.
Mount Rinjani is an active volcano. Check local conditions before climbing.
Piracy occurs in the coastal areas of Indonesia.
The Australian Government doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has certified Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia Air Asia and Batik Air to operate flights between Australia and Indonesia. CASA doesn't assess the safety of Indonesian carriers operating within Indonesia or to countries other than Australia.
The European Union (EU) has published a list of airlines, including Indonesian airlines, subject to operating bans or restrictions within the EU.
More information: EU list of banned airlines
Fatal air crashes involving the Indonesian carrier Susi Air occurred in April 2012, November 2011 and September 2011. Australian officials in Indonesia don't use Susi Air for official travel.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
More information: Arrested or in prison
Drug laws include the death penalty
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include the death penalty. Penalties for possessing even small amounts of 'soft' drugs, such as marijuana, include heavy fines and imprisonment.
Police target illegal drug use and possession across Indonesia, particularly in popular places and venues in Bali and Jakarta.
Magic mushrooms are highly illegal. Indonesia police work to prevent their distribution.
Some prescription medications available in Australia are illegal in Indonesia. See Health.
The death penalty exists for many crimes in Indonesia.
Local labour laws can change at short notice if you're living and working in Indonesia. This can have implications for expat workers.
Under Indonesian law, you must always carry identification, (an Australian passport or Resident's Stay Permit).
Gambling is illegal.
It's not always legal to take photographs in Indonesia. Obey signs banning photography. If in doubt, get advice from local officials.
If you're considering buying real estate, including land, houses, holiday clubs and time share schemes in Indonesia, get legal advice before you commit.
More information: Scams
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you can be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:
- bribery of foreign public officials
- child pornography
- child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- money laundering
More information: Staying within the law
Conservative standards of dress and behaviour apply in many parts of Indonesia. Find out what customs apply at your destination. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Information for LGBTI travellers
Homosexuality isn't illegal in Indonesia (noting information on the exception of Aceh below). However some laws and regulations, for example on pornography and prostitution, are sometimes applied in a way which discriminates against the LGBTI community. Example: In May 2017, police raided an all-male venue in Jakarta and detained 141 men on suspicion of committing offences under Indonesia's pornography law. Ten men were jailed for two years and fined $100,000.
Homosexuality is illegal in the province of Aceh and can be punishable by corporal punishment. Example: In March 2017, two men found guilty of violating Aceh province's Shariah laws on 'homosexual acts' were sentenced to 80 lashes of the cane.
More information: LGBTI travellers
Balinese New Year (Nyepi)
Balinese New Year (Nyepi) will be held from 6am on 7 March 2019 until 6am the following day. It is a national holiday that is traditionally a time for quiet reflection. The island will observe a Day of silence. If you'll be in Bali at that time, be mindful of local customs. Harbours and airports will be closed, and services may be disrupted.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to occur between early May and early June 2019. During Ramadan, respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. Don't eat, drink or smoke in public or in front of people who are fasting.
More information: Ramadan
Aceh province has a degree of special autonomy. It upholds some aspects of Sharia (Islamic) law, including punishments that don't apply in other parts of Indonesia.
Sharia law can be applied to anyone in Aceh, including travellers, non-Muslims and foreigners. It's enforced by local Sharia police.
Sharia law doesn't allow gambling, drinking alcohol, prostitution, homosexuality or extra-marital sex. Certain standards of dress are required. Inform yourself about the laws. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Information for dual nationals
Indonesia doesn't allow dual nationality for adults.
Children of Indonesian and Australian parents can maintain citizenship of both countries until their 18th birthday.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government won't pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and aren't covered
- that you're covered for the whole time you'll be away.
More information: Travel insurance
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
If you need counselling services, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Take prescription medicine so you remain in good health. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you take and that it's for personal use only. If you're caught with illegal medication, you can be detained, fined or face harsher penalties, even if an Australian doctor prescribed the drugs to you. This includes some medications used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Before you leave Australia:
Poisoning from alcoholic drinks
Cases of poisoning from alcoholic drinks contaminated by harmful substances, particularly methanol, have been reported, most notably in Bali and Lombok. Locals and foreigners, including Australians, have died or become seriously ill.
Cases usually involve local spirits and spirit-based drinks, such as cocktails, but brand name alcohol can also be contaminated. Deaths have also been reported after drinking contaminated arak, a traditional rice-based spirit.
Consider the risks when drinking alcoholic beverages, particularly cocktails and drinks made with spirits. Drink only at reputable licensed premises. Avoid home-made alcoholic drinks. Labels on bottles aren't always accurate.
Symptoms of methanol poisoning can be similar to the effects of drinking too much (fatigue, headaches and nausea), but are usually more pronounced. Vision problems may include:
- blurred or snowfield vision
- changes in colour perception
- difficulty looking at bright lights
- dilated pupils
- flashes of light
- tunnel vision.
If you suspect that you or someone you're travelling with may have been poisoned, act quickly and get urgent medical attention. It could save your life or save you from permanent disability. Report suspected cases of methanol poisoning to the Indonesian police.
Periodic outbreaks of measles continue to be reported in Indonesia, including Bali.
Full protection for measles requires two doses of vaccine four weeks apart.
If you have symptoms of measles, seek medical attention. Measles is highly infectious, so call before attending a health care facility.
Don't consume magic mushrooms. They are highly illegal. Australians have been injured, fallen sick and been in trouble with local police after taking magic mushrooms, particularly in Bali.
Magic mushrooms can cause major health problems, including:
- erratic behaviour
- severe hallucinations.
Several mosquito-borne and other insect-borne illnesses are common throughout the year. Research your destination and seek local advice on the situation in the area in which you're travelling.
Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses by:
- ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof
- taking measures to avoid insect bites, including using insect repellent and wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing.
Indonesia is experiencing sporadic transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
The Australian Department of Health advises pregnant women to discuss any travel plans with their doctor and consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas.
Malaria (including chloroquine-resistant strains)
Malaria, including chloroquine-resistant strains, is widespread in rural areas, but not common in Jakarta. Consider taking prophylaxis for malaria where necessary.
Dengue fever occurs throughout Indonesia, including in Bali and other major cities. It's especially common during the rainy season. In recent years, Australian health authorities have seen an increase in dengue virus infections in returned travellers from Bali. There's no vaccination or specific treatment available for dengue.
Japanese encephalitis and filariasis
These are present, especially in rural agricultural areas. Japanese encephalitis has been detected in Australian travellers returning from Indonesia, including Bali.
Rabies is a risk throughout Indonesia, especially in Bali and nearby islands and Nias (off the coast of Sumatra). Rabies is almost always spread by an animal bite, and can also be contracted when a rabid animal's saliva gets directly into the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin. People with rabies-like symptoms have died in recent years after being bitten by dogs.
Avoid direct contact with dogs and other animals, including monkeys. Don't feed or pat them. This includes monkeys in popular markets, tourist destinations and sanctuaries where you may be encouraged to interact with them.
If bitten or scratched, immediately use soap and water to wash the wound thoroughly. Seek urgent medical attention.
Post-exposure rabies treatment in Indonesia may be limited, and bite victims may have to return to Australia or travel to a third country for immediate treatment. If staying in Indonesia for a long time or to work with animals, consult your doctor or travel clinic about getting a pre-exposure rabies vaccination.
HIV/AIDS is a risk for travellers, particularly in Bali. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Other diseases and health issues
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including cholera, hepatitis, measles, tuberculosis and typhoid) are widespread with serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.
- Boil drinking water or drink bottled water.
- Avoid ice cubes.
Avoid uncooked food.
Minimise the risk of food poisoning by ensuring meat is sourced though a reputable supplier. Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning. Also seek medical advice if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.
Illness caused by naturally occurring seafood toxins such as ciguatera, as well as scombroid (histamine fish poisoning) and toxins in shellfish, can be a hazard. More information: Ciguatera (Queensland Health)
Avoid temporary black henna tattoos which often contain a dye that can cause serious skin reactions.
The standard of medical facilities in Indonesia is generally low by Western standards. Many regional hospitals only provide basic facilities. Psychiatric and psychological services are limited in Indonesia.
There's no reciprocal medical agreement between Australia and Indonesia. Before admitting patients, hospitals usually need:
- guarantee of payment
- confirmation of medical insurance
- upfront deposit for services.
Decompression chambers are at Bali's Sanglah General Hospital and hospitals in Jakarta and Manado.
Natural disasters occur in Indonesia. Follow the advice of local authorities. Monitor media reports for up-to-date information.
Floods and mudslides
Floods and mudslides occur regularly throughout Indonesia during the wet season, from October to March, and have caused deaths and displaced people.
Heavy rains often result in wide areas of the greater Jakarta region being significantly affected by flood waters. Key services, such as emergency and medical care, telecommunications, transport, and the supply of food and water are often disrupted during floods and mudslides.
Walking and driving in flooded areas can be dangerous due to uncovered drainage ditches obscured by water.
A high risk of contracting a water-borne disease can persist after the water recedes.
Indonesia's active volcanoes can erupt at any time and cause widespread loss of life and destruction. Volcanic ash can cause breathing difficulties, particularly for people with chronic respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
Alert levels can be raised and evacuations ordered at short notice. Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders. Take official warnings seriously.
Mount Agung on Bali has shown increased volcanic activity since late-September 2017 and began small scale eruptions in late November 2017. Ash from the volcano disrupted flights and airport operations. There is an exclusion zone around the crater which can change at short notice. Contact your travel insurance provider directly to ask if your policy is affected by the Mount Agung volcanic activity.
- Mount Merapi (near Yogyakarta) has erupted many times. Following an eruption in May 2018, people in the area were evacuated by local authorities.
- Mount Rinjani, on Lombok (near Bali), has erupted numerous times in recent years causing flight disruptions in Bali and Lombok.
- Mount Sinabung, North Sumatra, has been erupting frequently since October 2013, causing deaths, injuries from fast-moving rock and gas flows, eruption-related illnesses and prolonged evacuations of nearby communities. An exclusion zone remains in place around the mountain.
If you're planning to travel to an area near an active volcano, check:
Volcanic activity can disrupt domestic and international flights, including for Bali.
- Make contingency plans in case you're affected.
- Ensure you have access to enough money.
- Contact your airline or travel insurer for assistance.
More information: Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (Bureau of Meteorology, Darwin).
Indonesia is in an active earthquake region with a high level of earthquake activity, sometimes triggering tsunamis. There are approximately 4,000 earthquakes across the country per year, with approximately 70-100 of them over 5.5 on the Richter scale. Deaths, injuries and significant damage can occur.
Strong earthquakes can occur anywhere in Indonesia, but are less common in Kalimantan and south-west Sulawesi.
More information: Indonesian Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (Bahasa Indonesia)
Smoke haze is typical across much of the north-west part of the archipelago, mainly from July to October. Kalimantan and Sumatra are generally the worst affected.
Smoke haze could affect your health and travel plans.
More information: Haze Action Online for a current smoke haze map.
The Indian and Pacific Oceans experience more frequent, large and destructive tsunamis than other parts of the world because of the many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches.
In the event of a natural disaster, follow the advice of local authorities.
More information: Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Emergency phone numbers
- Police: 110/112 (SMS 1717)
- Ambulance and rescue services: 118
- Firefighting: 113
- Medical emergencies: 119
- Tourist Police (Bali): (0361) 759 687
- Tourist Police (Jakarta): (201) 526 4073
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
More information: Police stations in Bali
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Pension or social security payments
Contact Centrelink directly on 001 803 61 035.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to assist Australians overseas.
Australian Embassy Jakarta (by appointment only)
Jalan Patra Kuningan Ray Kav. 1-4
Jakarta Selatan 12950 INDONESIA
Phone: (+62 21) 2550 5555
Fax: (+62 21) 2550 5467
Facebook: Australian Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia
An appointment for consular services can be made online or by calling (+62 21) 2550 5500 or (+62 21) 2550 5555.
Australian Consulate-General Bali
Jalan Tantular 32
Denpasar Bali 80234 INDONESIA
Phone: (+62 361) 2000 100
Fax: (+ 62 361) 2000 195 (general enquiries)
Australian Consulate-General Makassar
Wisma Kalla Lt. 7
Jalan Dr Sam Ratulangi No. 8
Makassar South Sulawesi 90125
Phone: (+62 411) 366 4100
Fax: (+62 411) 366 4130
Facebook: Australian Consulate-General, Makassar, Sulawesi
Australian Consulate-General Surabaya
Level 3 ESA Sampoerna Center
Jl. Dokter.Ir. H. Soekarno No. 198
Klampis Ngasem, Sukolilo, Surabaya
Phone: (+62 31) 9920 3200
Check the website of the Embassy or Consulates-General for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you're unable to contact the Embassy or Consulate in an consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.