THE Indonesian island of Bali has long attracted sun-seeking Australian tourists but there’s a lesser-known gem luring travellers away from Seminyak’s busy streets and onto its untouched jungle-clad shores.
Located between Malaysia and Borneo in a marine conservation zone, you'll find Indonesia’s remote Anambas Archipelago, made up of five lush islands, three lagoons and 13 white sand beaches.
At the heart is Bawah Reserve, a relatively new private-island resort surrounded by blue lagoons and coral reefs.
Given the eco-luxury resort’s remote location in the middle of the South China Sea, access is by private seaplane – an 80-minute journey from Batam Airport, which is just a short ferry ride from Singapore - which only adds to the Bawah experience.
The hand-built eco lodgings include tented safari and deluxe suites, garden suites or 11 spectacular overwater bungalows set above a turquoise lagoon.
Days can be spent kayaking and snorkelling, swimming, trekking in the forest, taking cooking classes and enjoying world-class spa treatments.
Not only is Bawah Reserve spectacular to look it, sustainability is at its heart and the team is committed to leaving as little environmental and social footprint as possible.
There are no plastic bottles on the island, the villas are made from natural materials such as bamboo, driftwood and recycled teak and conservation regulations mean that anchoring and fishing are forbidden up to 500 metres from the house reef.
Responsible travel never looked so good.