For many years, Southwest Lombok has been the cheap and remote destination of choice for free spirited adventure travellers, including surfers and divers. Some of the island’s most spectacular coastal scenery can be found here.
With easy access from Lembar Harbour and Lombok’s international Airport, Southwest Lombok has plenty to offer, from some of the best surfing spots in all of Indonesia to the 12 Southwest Gili Islands favoured by divers and island hoppers. Sekotong, the southwestern peninsular of Lombok, is the gateway to these secret and scattered gilis, which include: Gili Asahan, Gili Tangkong, Gili Sudak, Gili Nanggu, Gili Gede, Gili Kedis and Gili Poh. Yet Sekotong is not just visited for its offshore islands, the area is also home to Desert Point Beach, locally known as Bangko-bangko. This challenging surf destination, included in the world’s Top 10 favourite surfing spots, is famous for its huge waves that generally don’t break until the shore. Additionally, Sekotong offers many snorkelling and dive sites, suitable for both beginners and experienced divers, complete with well-preserved coral reefs, manta rays and sharks. Some of the beautiful white-sand beaches around the Sekotong Peninsula include Mekaki Beach, Batu Surat, Elaq-Elaq, Buwun Mas, Teluk Panggang, Belongas Bay, and Pandanan.
The 5-star, all-suite Wyndham Sundancer Resort opened in Sekotong last year, while 4-star accommodation includes The Suites Lombok and Cocotinos Sekotong, all on Sekotong’s north coast. Gili Gede is the largest of the southwest Gili Islands, it already has 12 different accommodation options including the high-end Ko-ko-mo Resort and Villa Selalu, with more luxury resorts and villas under construction. The new Lombok Marina del Ray on Gili Gede is the latest draw; with its port clearance facilities and 165-metre marina pontoons with a depth of 15 metres, it is capable of mooring 300-metre super yachts, and is already attracting yachts and boating enthusiasts from around the world.
Lombok is often described as being the Bali of 30 years ago, and now it has been branded as one of the “10 new Balis” by the Indonesian government in its effort to drive economic growth, boost visitor arrivals and unlock its extraordinary tourism potential. Yet labelling it as a new Bali does the island a disservice. It’s unmistakably Indonesian but with an identity all of its own. Furthermore, it has proved itself to be one of the best retirement locations in Indonesia. The cost of living is highly affordable and the island is culturally harmonious and proud of its heritage. Many expats choose to live in Lombok while doing business in the tourism sector.
The government has been intensively improving Lombok’s infrastructure and connectivity. After the initial decline in visitors following last year’s devastating earthquakes that hit the north and northwest of the island, tourist arrivals are increasing again. AirAsia presently operates a daily service to Kuala Lumpur, and is basing two Airbus A320s at Lombok, allowing it to double its services. The airline is also looking to turn Lombok into its next major hub and Indonesia’s fifth hub, with plans to launch services to Perth on June 9th. This initiative is expected to increase international arrivals massively and exponentially, sparking a new investment boom for Lombok, with the aim to accelerate post-earthquake recovery efforts, expand the market and drive a greater demand for Lombok as a singular destination. Additionally, there will be domestic AirAsia Indonesia flights to Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Denpasar. Meanwhile, SilkAir (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) operates flights four times a week from Singapore. Last year, Lombok Airport had a Rp 200+ billion injection of funds for service improvements. Some major renovations have already taken place and work is progressing on the construction of the new terminal expansion, which is designed to handle the growing number of passengers using the airport each year. It will measure 20,000 square metres when complete. Expansion to the airport aprons is also underway and eight new aircraft parking areas are being constructed on the east and west sides of the terminal.
With the advent of this improved connectivity, Southwest Lombok is already gaining traction, and with land prices just one tenth of Bali prices, there has never been a better time to invest. The significant potential for profit, driven by unique market circumstances, makes this area one of the most lucrative investment locations in any current market. But you need to be quick because the pace of investment and growth is expected to accelerate rapidly. Eight hectares of development land is currently available on Sekotong.