UluWatu, Bali

For the photographer Uluwatu offers great, seascapes, rock platforms, reefs,action shots of the surfers, local culture, fantastic sunsets and the gardens of the Blue Point Resort offers the iconic shot of their pool and superb tropical gardens. ULUWATU is located about an hour drive south of Kuta. It is on the most southern tip of Bali. It is the most famous surfpoint in this area, with waves surfable up to 20 feet. This surfpoint is for intermediate to experienced surfers only. The only entry and exit is through a cave located at the base of the cliffs.

Special Photographic Features

Follow the path through the warongs and it leads to a steep set of concrete stairs which takes you down into a cave located at the base of the cliff. This is the only access to the water. At low tide you can access the sandy beach, the rocks and reef. There is a step wooden ladder that you can climb that takes you to the most unusual warong in the area. It is worth the climb to reach it and capture the view. At high tide be very careful.The area is set on a high cliff, at the top the main feature is the Blue Point Resort and a number of warongs (local cafes).  You walk thru to the end  of the street and turn right behind the resort and a track and steps takes you to the next level  through more warongs and shops. Here there is a tower, where you get nearly 180 degrees view of the ocean overlooking the main surf breaks. You can also sit in a number of the warongs and capture the surfing action while enjoying something to drink and eat.

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From the Blue Point resort above you can capture all the action in the surf, overlook the warongs and capture the view to the south  and north as well as capture their pool which appears to be built over the ocean.  The gardens are fantastic and attract lots of  butterflies and dragon flies.  There is also a glass chapel overlooking the pool and ocean and the “over the top” Japanese weddings are worth capturing. The restaurant has superb views of the ocean and a small deck to capture the sunset.

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Night Photography

At night, there  is a continuous line of lights from the fishing boats and you can see the lights of Kuta in the distance.

Special Equipment

A Tripod is  handy, filters etc…

A super zoom  is handy to capture the surfing shots
Reef booties if you wish to explore the reef and rocks at low tide.
Dangers – this can be a dangerous place. Access to the beach is only safe at low tide unless you are an experienced surfer. Watch the tide.
The pathways and stairs can be slippery in the wet and the wooden ladders are step.

Best Time of The Day

Not really a good spot of sunrises as it faces west,  but you might capture some monkeys early in the morning. The  sunsets are superb.

Getting there

Best way is to hire a car and driver, most drivers know the location.  The Blue Point resort is worth staying in for a few nights. The accommodation varies from stand alone 2 story villas with pools to “cheaper ” hotel type accommodation.  The resort also offers a good deal, where you get access to the pool, towel, lunch and a drink for the day.  This allows you the day to explore the area below and enjoy the pool and the views.  They may stop you from wandering around the resort, capturing the gardens, but the views from the pool area are magic.

The map below is very old and looks like it was taken as the resort was being built, the best google could do, the road is not correct and there are more building there now but the red line shows the path through the warongs to the cave on the beach. Just follow the people with surf boards.

Author Bio

Graham Grocott

I live in Bundeena Australia, which is a small village south of Sydney. It is enclosed by the Royal National Park , the Pacific Ocean and the Port Hacking river. The area provides unlimited opportunities to take photographs. I have a website nationalparkphotography.com.au and I am a member of the Sutherland Shire Amateur Photography Society. My wife and I have been going to Bali for several years where we spend most of time traveling and taking pictures.

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