Want to get muddy in a Bali buggy?

February 18, 2016 Explorer Gabor 0 Comments


Holidaying in Bali - you love it or hate it.  It's either full of Aussie bogans, terrorists-in-waiting and pickpockets, or is a shopping, spa and relaxation haven.  I'm the latter with a family twist.

Bali is a great place to holiday with young kids, providing just the right mix of cultural difference to open the kids eyes to the new whilst still having some sense of comfort and familiarity.  It's also a place that caters to the adventurous, which is what I was looking for.

My kids are young, so we can't do anything extremely adventurous, that requires too much coordination or has height restrictions.  After trawling the web, I stumbled upon quad bike and buggy riding in the mountains.  Buggy riding in the mountains sounded ideal for a family adventure.

Buggy riding with the kids!  Hubby was not as enthusiastic.  The tracks would be dangerous, there won't be any safety equipment and the buggies probably never get a service.  To ease his concerns about safety, I did some research before settling on Bali Quad Discovery Tours. Their buggies and quad bikes are of a high standard, fairly new, have seatbelts and include helmets. Plus there were good reviews on TripAdvisor from other families.

Whilst not the cheapest ride around, about US$300 for the four of us, it was great fun and everything was provided, including transfers and lunch.  Picked up from our hotel in a private car (with seatbelts!) around 7.30, we were test driving our buggies by 10am, just outside the town of Payangan in Bali's highlands. Picturesque, cool, not too sunny, it was the perfect spot to explore.

Prepare to get muddy...
Be prepared to get wet and muddy as the buggies don't have a solid floor or a roof. We ended up really muddy, especially our pants that were wet, sticky and black, which was from mud, not fear! Showers are available at HQ so you can clean up & change into dry clothes before lunch.

Given it was a weekday and outside Australian school holidays, we scored a private tour with just our two buggies and guides on quad bikes taking up the lead and rear.

Initially we drove through small villages and fields before heading into jungle-like territory with steep muddy tracks and great views.

Exploring a Bali village enroute to the jungle track

It rains a lot in the mountains and the tracks are not only muddy but slippery.  The lead guide bogged his quad in a big muddy puddle, which resulted in the rear guide bogged in the same spot when trying to get him out! It was like watching a comedy and our buggies cruised through the mud easily.

My buggy almost rolled over going up a steep hill when it became stuck in a deep crevasse in the track. The guides pulled me out and the kids showed no fear, squealing with delight.

Quad bike bogged and muddy
Despite complaining about the early morning rise, we were glad to have chosen the morning tour as it started raining at lunchtime, just as the afternoon tour left HQ.

The best bits:  opportunity to see another side of Bali and it's great fun.  If the kids were older, we would have chosen a quad bike each, though they do tend to get bogged more than the buggies.

The so so bits:  the drive from the coast to the mountains can be a bit long for little kids and if you're a fussy eater you might not like lunch as it's local food, which is actually very nice.

Buggy riding in Bali...it's fun, wet, muddy and worth exploring further.

Planning a holiday to Bali and looking for something different?   Read about my family's experience enjoying an African Safari in Bali.

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