Information before you go
Dreamland beach, located at the south of the Bukit (as the Balinese call this area) used to be one of the most pristine beaches on the island, where together with a handful of locals you were the only ones riding the waves or walking down the beach. Nowadays it's called New Kuta Beach and it has changed dramatically.
So what happened to this once amazing place?
Despite the changes, this beach understandably still attract a crowd
Great place for surfers and nudist
Like many beaches on Bali, this beach was discovered by Australian surfers who just needed great waves, basic accommodation and simple food such as BBQ's. They called it Dreamland beach because of its white sandy sand, limestone cliffs, great surfing waves and stunning sunset. Occasionally nudists came here because you could easily hide behind the many small cliffs and have a small strip of beach to yourself.
You can still surf here with some short right handers, some longer lefts and if you're lucky you'll find yourself in one of the barrels.
Bought by Tommy Suharto
During the 80's this beach area came under the attention of Tommy Suharto (official name Hutomo Mandala Putra), the youngest son of Suharto who was the President of Indonesia. He wanted the entire Dreamland area and also the Nusa Dua area to be controlled by him through his company PT Bali Pecatu Graha and used the Indonesian army to evict all locals who opposed him.
With intimidation he could buy their land at a cheap price and now the Nusa Dua land is leased to hotels such as the Westin Resort, the Laguna Resort, the St.Regis, the Nikko Bali resort and the list goes on and on. The same soon started to happen at Dreamland too.
A huge statue welcomes you at the entrance of
the formerly known 'Dreamland Beach'
Financial crisis hits Dreamland
In the 90's Tommy Suharto had big plans of changing Dreamland beach area into a golf course with villas and a hotel but then the Asian financial crisis put a hold on his ideas.
In 2002 Tommy Suharto was convicted of ordering the killing of Supreme Court Judge of Indonesia, Syafiuddin Kartasasmita and was sentenced to 15 years in jail of which he only had to sit 4 years.
The hottest golf course on Bali
After release from jail the construction of the area started with the building of a 4 km long road all the way down to the beach. The little warungs (Indonesian styled restaurants) and massage ladies were closed down only to be replaced by an ugly concrete building containing shops and other overpriced restaurants.
Luxury resorts and villas are being built on the remaining open spaces
Subsequently they started to build the 18-hole golf course, which is the hottest golf course on the island as you will have a hard time finding trees. A desalination pipe which leads into the surf at Dreamland brings water to the golf course to keep it green.
Not only the New Kuta golf course but also the New Kuta 'Green' Waterpark for kids, an ugly Jakarta-stye condominium, luxury villas, flashy restaurant, a club and the Pecatu Indah Resort are looming over what was once one of the best beaches on Bali.
The name was changed to New Kuta Beach in order for PT Bali Pecatu Indah to put their stamp on the place.
Ugly construction has ruined the look of Dreamland beach
So is it still worth going?
Not if you've been there before. The change would be too shocking and would ruin your good memories of the beach. For those loving to surf you can still go out to the reef and have good time and occasionally you can jump into the turquoise waters and have a swim but the laid-back atmosphere has changed forever. There are better and cooler beaches such as Balangan, the famous surfing point at Uluwatu and Niang Niang beach.
Now Dreamland only attracts travellers from Java island, Indonesian celebrities from Jakarta and other types who shoot their commercials with the sea as their background.
Besides Dreamland, the Bukit area has other amazing beaches which are mainly popular among surfers. Uluwatu, Balangan and Padang Padang are the most popularRead more
If you have never surfed before, then the beaches along the Bukit area isn't an option for you. Instead head to Kuta beach and take a lesson at the many surf schools.Read more
The best way to go exploring is by motorbike, however with the increase of traffic on the island it is pretty uncomfortable. Other options are luckily available too...Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.