I owe so much to this beautiful island and all that it has offered me..

Ziji emerged alongside my love for music and arts festivals in Australia, known as 'bush doofs'. I was both awe-struck and inspired by these adult playgrounds of radical expression and deep human connection. After experiencing my first Rainbow Serpent festival, I was quickly attending any bush doof I could get to and creating costumes with any and every leopard print item I could get my paws on. 

During this time, I noticed a real gap in the market for feminine and petite bum bags. I wanted something that was not only functional and kept my hands free whilst I danced all day long, but also a bag that was feminine and fashionable to match my outfits. So when on holidays in Bali, I decided to have some belt bags made (designs that I had dreamed up on dusty dance floors, inspired by the outfits I had created and also witnessed on others) by a tailor whose work I admired. I had just 1 of each of my 2 designs made for my own personal festival tool kit. The tailor planted the seed that these were unique designs and that I should make more and sell them in Australia. I was studying Psychology at the time and initially thought ‘no, I can’t do that’. But this comment (albeit a clever business move of his) turned out to change the trajectory of my career.

And this gorgeous tailor is still the man behind each and every Ziji leather product that we offer. 

No matter how many times I travel back to Bali, stepping off the plane and soaking up that warm, incense infused Bali air, always has such a soothing effect on my heart and my being.

And every time I am here, something expansive, something creative and something truly limitless is always unlocked within me. It has been this feeling that has motivated me to continue producing on this beautiful island and to move through the many road blocks and challenges that emerge when creating a product in a different country. I am continually drawn back to this place and to this feeling that is awaked within me when I am here. 

I have had many Balinese adventures over the years for Ziji. Many solo, being a young, naive and excitable woman starting production in a foreign country. Always managing to meet the right people and learn the lessons I needed at that time. I love my solo trips to Bali, and how connected to me and my sense of aliveness I always feel whilst on them. I usually plan my trip so that I can meet with my tailors and work on new designs, then pop off to an island and have some zen time whilst samples are being made. I love the juxtaposition of Bali with equal parts chaos and calm. The beautiful slow and devotional way that the balinese move about their days, amongst the hustle of this popular tourist destination and the chaos of the streets (with motorbikes zipping about one another, carrying whole families of humans or dogs). 

Last year I had the special opportunity to spend a month solo in Bali, followed by a month with my partner. He actually arrived on our 2 year anniversary which was quite special - we did lots of the touristy romantic things that I’d never done whilst in Bali - like soaking in a flower filled bath, having couples massages & dining in a cave. I loved being able to show him around my second home and some places that are very close to my heart. 


One of my absolute favourite places on earth, and favourite islands in Indonesia, is Nusa Lembongan. So this was naturally on our itinerary. We spent a beautiful and very slow week floating ~ on both water & zen vibes ~ our way through this island. 

We stayed at a small family owned and operated boutique cottage accomodation called Darsan. We chose this place as it was close to Song Lembong Beach ~ the best area to stay IMO. It also had availability for our last minute style of travel. You could also stay at Song Lembong Beach Huts which is closer to the water or Lembongan Cliff Villas, which have a great view over the water. 


When on Lembongan you absolutely must go snorkelling! The marine life is absolutely beautiful. Mangrove Point was our favourite spot, and we recommend requesting this as part of your snorkel trip if you go. We got dropped here & given bread to attract the fishies and were overwhelmed by the amount of tropical fish that swarmed us. We then floated with the current for quite some time, spotting many species of fish and corals as we cruised along. We also visited two more spots for snorkelling (you can choose to go see and swim alongside the manta rays too) and had a little tour of the islands boat ride home.

We went out with a man named Agus - who has the most infectious smile and warmest heart, and the sweetest family to support. You can find him on Song Lembong Beach or you can book ahead by contacting him on WhatsApp (+6281238630976). 


Another favourite moment we shared was at the new Spring Spa. In all honesty, you should move mountains to gift yourself some pamper here if you get to Lembongan.

I highly highly recommend the Deep Sea Purification treatment. It was INCREDIBLE. A 2 hour treatment including a foot soak, a full body scrub & exfoliation, plus an hour deep tissue massage - all whilst looking at this view. They actually have mirrors so you can still see the view when laying down for your massage!! We left that hut absolutely glowing, inside and out.

We loved having our treatment from 4-6pm, and then walking (or floating) to dinner at one of the spots on the boardwalk / cliff for sunset. 


Scooting off for a day to Ciningin island was another highlight, where we crossed the famous yellow bridge to explore this adorable neighbouring island.

On this adventure day, we loved going to Mana Point and sitting at the restaurant for lunch, whilst watching the surfers catch some very impressive waves. You can jump off the deck here into the ocean and amongst the waves, if you're game!! We chose the more gentle option of a swim at Secret Point Beach (best on a higher tide).

Riding right up to the top of the island was well worth the bumpy ride and sore bottom, for the views at the top and the little restaurant with an infinity pool for a refreshment and a swim.

If you’re on Ciningin, Sea Breeze is a great spot for a feed (you should absolutely try the satay!). We loved spending the afternoon here, watching the seaweed farmers go about their business whilst playing cards and enjoying a delicious dinner.


The power of beautiful humans!! We were lucky enough to experience something super special when we were on Lembongan this time around. One Australian man (Richard) made it his mission to help a local family and their warung get back on their feet post COVID whilst he was here. He organised a fresh coat of paint and recruited passers by to help transform the warung (a travelling French arist volunteered her time to paint a new sign for them). 

Richard also decided to organise a fundraiser night to help raise enough funds for a new thatch roof. He told everyone who passed by about the Sunday feast and its mission. We joined in and ended up on the beach on that Sunday with roughly 40 people, sharing life stories, bintangs and a huge spit roast feast. People volunteered to take payments, serve drinks and play music. This warung had never been so pumping on a Sunday evening! 

We met some really beautiful humans on this night. It was so nice to feel connected to community and learn more about the island and the locals experience. Aside from their very modest income from seaweed farming, the locals were given 1kg of rice for every 7kgs of plastic they collected. This is how they survived during COVID. As well as going out fishing to catch their meals. 

It felt so nice to be a part of this night and to contribute what was small to us all, but collectively made a huge difference for this family. 

If you’re on Lembongan, make sure you go have a meal or a drink at sunset at Nila’s Warung on Song Lembong Beach. She might even have the thatch roof now! 


Stand up paddle boarding is also a fun activity when on Lembongan, or surfing at one of the surf breaks. The small break behind Song Lembong Beach was nice for us as beginners.

A yoga class at the shala above Ginger and Jamu is also a luscious activity with an epic view of the ocean. They do YTTs, so it depends if one is on as to whether they have classes running. If you do a class you can also stay for a yummy healthy meal at Ginger & Jamu after.

Otherwise, being as slow as you can, exploring the island and eating at the local warungs is how you best enjoy this beautiful island. You can head to the Deck for a beautiful sunset and cocktail. Bali Eco Deli for a delicious and nutritious smoothie. And soaking up the sun, the slowness and the uniquely wide smiles of the locals.

Enjoy. X