Getting there & away
Mandalika terminal in Mataram is the departure point for the major cities in Sumbawa, Bali and Java, via inter-island ferries. For long-distance services, book tickets a day or two ahead at the terminal, or from a travel agency along Jl Pejanggik/Selaparang in Mataram. If you get to the terminal before 8am, there may be a spare seat on a bus going in your direction, but this is by no means a certainty.
Sample fares are Bima (economy/luxury 110,000/135,000Rp, 12 hours), Denpasar (luxury 110,000Rp, seven hours), Sumbawa Besar (economy/luxury 60,000/77,000Rp, six hours), Jakarta (luxury 375,000Rp, 38 hours), Surabaya (luxury 179,000Rp, 20 hours) and Yogyakarta (luxury 272,000Rp, 30 hours).
Ferries travel between Padangbai (Bali) and Lembar (Lombok) every 90 minutes around the clock. Fares for foot passengers are 21,000Rp, for motorcycles 65,000Rp and for cars 450,000Rp. The trip takes four to five hours.
The luxury catamaran Mabua Express (Lombok 0370-681225, Bali 0361-721212) connects the Pelni port at Lembar with Pelabuhan Benoa (Bali) but has a reputation for cancelling, and as the fare (from US$28) exceeds the price of many flights between the islands it’s not popular. It’s scheduled to depart Bali at 8.30am and Lombok at 2.30pm, and takes 2½ hours to complete the trip.
Ferries travel between Labuhan Lombok and Poto Tano on Sumbawa every 45 minutes (passenger 12,500Rp, motorcycle 32,000Rp, car 253,000Rp). They run 24 hours a day and the trip takes 1½ hours.
Pelni ships link Lembar with other parts of Indonesia. The Awu heads to Waingapu, Ende, Kupang and Kalabahi; the Kelimutu goes to Bima, Makassar and Papua; and the Tilongkabila goes to Bima, Labuanbajo and Sulawesi. Tickets can be bought at the Pelni office (0370-637212; Jl Industri 1; 8am-noon & 1-3.30pm Mon-Thu & Sat, 8-11am Fri) in Mataram.
The Bali-based company Perama (www.peramatour.com) has tourist shuttle bus/boat services between the main tourist centres in Lombok (Senggigi, the Gili Islands and Kuta) and most tourist centres in Bali (Ubud, Sanur and the Kuta region). A few other companies offer similar services at similar prices. Tickets can be booked directly, or at any travel agency in Lombok or Bali, and include ferry charges.
There are daily flights to/from Denpasar and Mataram on Merpati (seven daily), Wings Air (four daily) and GT Air (two daily). Merpati also has limited flights to Sumbawa Besar (from Mataram) and to Bima on Sumbawa (from Denpasar and Mataram).
The departure tax is 10,000Rp for domestic flights and 100,000Rp for international flights.
Offices for the airlines currently represented in Lombok:
GT Air (0370-634935) At the airport.
Wings Air See Lion Air.