Indonesia is an archipelagic country of 17,508 islands, of which 6,000 are inhabited. The country’s strategic sea-lane position fostered international trade, and the boundaries of Indonesia represent the 20th century borders of the Dutch East Indies. The country covers 1,904,569 square kilometres, making it the 15th largest country in the World.
It has 300 distinct ethnic groups who collectively speak 742 languages and dialects. The largest ethnic group are the Javanese, who make up 42% of the population. Indonesia is home to approximately 258 million people (the 4th most populous globally). The vast majority of the population are Muslim.
The Head of State is his Excellency, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Tropical, with two distinct monsoonal wet and dry seasons. Humidity is general high, although the wettest regions tend to be the mountainous areas of West Sumatra, West Java, Saluwesi and West Papua.
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Modern, high quality system, especially in urban areas. The international code is +62 and the internet code is .id
Medical services in Indonesia are less developed than in Thailand and Malaysia. Whilst major cities and tourist centres have public and private Hospitals, the standard of treatment is below what is available in Australia. More information is covered in our healthcare section.
Capital – Jakarta
Indonesia’s capital is located on the Northwest coast of Java, the World’s most populous island. Jakarta is home to over 10 million people (with 28 million in the greater metropolitan area). It is the country’s economic, political and cultural centre.
The city is served by two airports, one international, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK), the other domestic, Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (HLP). Whilst Australia has regular direct flights to Jakarta, the main gateway for most Australians to Indonesia is through Denpasar, on the Island of Bali.
Garuda and Qantas fly from Sydney directly to Jakarta around 4 times a week. Garuda fly from Melbourne and Perth directly 4 times a week. All other Australian cities access Jakrta indirectly.
Key Retirement Locations
One of Australia’s favourite tourist destinations is increasingly becoming a favoured place for retirement. Retirees have the full spectrum of options, whether it’s a sea change along a multitude of glorious beaches to a tree change in around cultural heartland of Ubud.
Bali covers an area of 5,780 square kilometres, and is home to over 4.2 million people. Over 83% of the population adhere to Balinese Hinduism, followed by 13% Muslim and around 2% Christianity.
80% of Bali’s economy is tourism related, which has made it one of Indonesia’s wealthiest regions.
The Balinese capital has a population of around 800,000 people and is the island’s commercial hub. It is the primary gateway for Australians into Indonesia, who arrive through Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS). The surrounding tourist areas, which hug the coastline, are home to a vast array of resorts, hotels, restaurants and entertainment. For those retirees who dream of a beach lifestyle close to the action, there are a multitude of options. To the north there is Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. To the east there is Sanur and to the south, the newer developments of Nusa Dua and Pecatu.
The popularity of Bali means that Australians have a broad selection of transport alternatives. Garuda, Air Asia X, Virgin Australia and Jetstar have daily direct flights from Sydney to Denpasar. Garuda, Tigerair, Jetstar and Air Asia X fly from Melbourne daily. Virgin Australia and Jetstar fly daily from Brisbane. Tigerair and Jetstar fly daily from Adelaide. Jetstar and Indonesia Air Asia fly from Darwin approximately 3 times a week. Jetstar fly 3 times a week from Cairns and Townsville, Virgin Australia fly once a week from Port Hedland, and finally Jetstar, Garuda, Indonesia Air Asia and Tigerair have daily flights from Perth.
Ubud is located amongst rice paddies and steep ravines in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. Approximately 24kms from Denpasar (1 hour drive), it has a population of 30,000 people and is a highly popular tourist destination, based not only its beautiful surroundings, but also on culture and spirituality. The town has developed an active arts and craft community, and the cooler mountainous environment makes for a wonderful tree change retirement.
Lombok is an island that forms part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok strait separating it from Bali. It has a total area of 4,514 square kilometres, and a population of 3.3 million people. The west coast is home to most tourist destinations and its beautiful beaches, culture and mountains make it a favourite amongst more adventurous retirees.
The island has regular flights between itself and Denpasar (40 minutes), plus Fastboat services and Public Ferries to Bali.