The Ubud Writers Festival

Join acclaimed Australian writer and film-maker Robin de Crespigny for the 2017 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali, and explore also some of the wonderful temples and gardens of this island paradise.

Held annually in Bali’s artistic and cultural heartland, the Ubud Writers Festival has become Southeast Asia’s largest and most renowned cultural and literary event. This engaging four-day event brings together Indonesian and international writers on a world stage for conversation and connection across cultural divides.

Of course no visit to Bali would be complete without also exploring the island’s many beautiful temples and gardens. Discover some of the island’s most enchanting public and private gardens, including royal water gardens, traditional domestic compounds, botanic gardens and nurseries.


Depart Australia on Virgin Australia flights to Denpasar. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Sanur and join Robin and your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.


In the morning visit a selection of gardens designed by the late Made Wijaya, who lived in Bali since the early 1970s and is the island’s best known landscape architect. As well as designing several hundred gardens all over the world, he wrote several best-selling books on tropical gardening.

Continue to the Bajra Sandhi Monument in Denpasar, a monument to the struggle of the Balinese people, with a circular walkway containing dioramas of Bali’s history.

After lunch, visit a traditional compound garden. Many Balinese families still live in traditional walled compounds where the eldest son settles in the family home when he marries. The layout is strictly prescribed and includes a family temple, ceremonial building, honeymoon building, kitchen, rice drying building and other buildings within a combination of vegetable and ornamental gardens.

This evening is at leisure.


Enjoy a full-day excursion to the East of Bali where we visit the Tirta Gangga Water Palace. Meaning ‘holy water of the Ganges’ in Balinese, Tirta Gangga was created by the late Raja of Karangasem in 1946 after a visit to Versailles Palace, but it was destroyed almost entirely by the eruption of nearby Mount Agung in 1963. It has been lovingly rebuilt and restored and has an air of royal magnificence. The centrepiece of the palace is an eleven-tiered fountain, and many beautiful carvings and statues adorn the gardens.

Afterwards, visit Kerta Gosa Temple (the former Royal Courts of Justice) in Klungkung, and Besakh Temple at the foot of Mount Agung. Enjoy lunch in the attractive mountain village of Rendang before returning to Sanur through Bangli and the Kehen temple. This evening is at leisure.


Check out of your hotel and depart Sanur for Ubud. En route visit the Bali Orchid Garden stopping briefly at local nurseries on Jalan Hangtua. The hectare of landscaped tropical gardens of the Bali Orchid Garden provides a peaceful, relaxing environment where exquisite orchids bloom throughout the year.

Continue to the Pura Taman Ayun Temple (Temple of the Beautiful Gardens), dating back to 1634 and consisting of a forecourt, central court and spacious inner court. The temple is surrounded by a moat with lotuses, giving it the feel of a garden sanctuary.

After lunch, continue to Ubud, arriving in the mid-afternoon.

This evening attend the gala opening event of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival followed by an exclusive dinner with the authors participating in the festival.


Attend all four days of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. With over 200 events involving more than 170 speakers, 100 partners and supporters, and hundreds of spectators from all around the world, enjoy a range of in-depth discussions, lively panel debates, literary lunches, workshops, poetry sessions, film, and music and cultural performances.

Each morning of the festival join Robin for an early-morning discussion over breakfast of the previous day’s events and a preview of the events of the day ahead. Your festival pass will entitle you to join most of the events scheduled during the day, while there is also a range of optional ticketed events (additional charges apply).

On day 4 of the festival there is a festival closing party followed by a farewell dinner.

(B daily; D on 29 October)

Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax or join an optional day-time excursion. After a late checkout, enjoy dinner and then transfer to Denpasar Airport for an overnight flight to Australia on Virgin Australia.


Arrive in Australia in the early morning.

Per person, twin-share

AUD 4,850

Single supplement*

AUD 850

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Reduction without airfare

– AUD 700

Final payment due

15 August 2017

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see booking conditions for fitness level definitions.

Tour price includes

  • Return flights on Virgin Australia in Economy Class (Business Class upgrade available on request)
  • Eight nights’ accommodation including breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals (L = Lunch, D = Dinner) as per itinerary. Local beer and soft drinks included
  • Transfers on arrival and departure in Bali if travelling on group flights
  • Visa on arrival with customs and immigration assistance
  • Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • 4-day Festival Pass (includes access to all panels, conversations, discussions, talks and more)
  • Festival gala opening event followed by an exclusive invitation-only authors’ dinner
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person); airport porterage NOT included

Tour price does not include

  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure if not travelling on group flights
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Wines and other alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, mini-bar etc.
  • Airport porterage
  • Travel insurance


Your hotels
Sanur – Tandjung Sari****
Ubud – Honeymoon Guesthouse****

NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted