Rollin Adventures – Gili Air, Lombok

Posted by Accessibleindonesia Jul 6, 2020 3 min read
Gili Air view to Lombok

Daniel from Rollinadventures shared with AccessibleIndonesia their experiences with

travelling on the small island GILI AIR close to Bali.

Thank you so very much, Daniel, Jodi and Morgan!

Holiday on Gili Air

Bali and the surrounding Indonesian islands hold a special place in our hearts and entice us back again and again. Our travel-loving family frequent Bali for a minimum of eight-weeks every year. Morgan is our eldest daughter and the inspiration behind Since her traumatic birth, she has multiple disabilities, including Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Epilepsy, Intellectual Impairment, and is Legally Blind. Despite her conditions, Morgan leads an exciting, fun-filled life with many wonderful travel experiences while using a wheelchair for mobility. You will be able to make the best use of your Nikon D5300 if you have a few solid lenses in your collection, all you need to do is check out and find your best for your Nikon.

Beach Gili Air

Travelling from Bali to Gili Air – a small island off the coast of Lombok was never going to be easy.

Departing from the port town of Padang Bai, the wheelchair access to the Ekajaya Fast Boat is fraught with difficulty. Without a ramp, we had to lift Morgan across a scary gap between the pier and the ferry with water beneath, and the entrance is very narrow. However, the staff on board were excellent help. Morgan can walk a few steps with assistance, so this allowed her to walk to her seat while her wheelchair went into storage. Upon arrival at Gili Air, we transferred from the Ekajaya ferry to a small tender boat, which then leads to the jetty.  Once again, we lifted Morgan down to the tender boat as the drop is approximately half a metre. There were no ramps to assist the transfer from the tender boat to the flat, accessible jetty, so again, we lifted Morgan into her chair and headed to the beautiful island.

Rollinadventures on Gili Air

We HIGHLY recommend taking an all-terrain and beach wheelchair to maximise the experience

Some parts of the island are wheelchair accessible. Some of the paths around the island are solid, but not all. Our accommodation was at the northern tip of Gili Air at Pelangi Cottages & Restaurant. As we approached our accommodation, the stable path ended, and we had to navigate hot, thick sand. Without the large balloon beach wheels on the Hippocampe wheelchair, we couldn’t go any further without lifting Morgan the rest of the way!

Pool at Pelangi Cottages

We spoke to management before arriving about the accessibility of the bungalows. They assured us they would have a ramp constructed with timber and they didn’t disappoint! Later, we discovered some solid, inland paths behind the accommodation, which were easier to navigate than the sand out the front. We used these paths to connect to solid surfaces allowing us to explore the island further.

The bungalow was spacious enough for three of us, but the bathroom was two steps down from the main room. While the bathroom was flat, there were small pebbles on the roll-in shower floor. We asked for a low stool to shower Morgan, and this made things manageable. The grounds around the resort were accessible enough for us with concrete paths and a lovely swimming pool. 

Pelangi Cottages is renowned for having the best sunset views on Gili Air, and they were magnificent.

Sunset Gili air

We spent three magical days exploring the island with plenty of time to relax by the beautiful, warm, crystal-clear water. There is a multitude of dining options with spectacular views of the surrounding islands, some accessible, while some not. We could easily have stayed for a week. All three Gili Islands – Air, Trawangan, and Meno have no motorised vehicles. Apart from some business owners with electric scooters, the only means of transport is via the horse-driven Cidomo’s or pushbike. Depending on individual abilities and preferences, the activities on the island include swimming, scenic walks, scuba diving, snorkelling, island hopping via traditional Jukung, horse riding, full-moon parties, bars, and live music venues.

Gili air beach
Horse cart Gili air
Morgan with beach wheelchair

We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Gili Air. For Autistic people, it is a much quieter option than many areas of Bali. For that reason, Morgan immensely enjoyed the island experience. We did not want to leave!

Morgan at the beach

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