Nungnung waterfall (Air Tejun Nungnung) is one of Bali’s best hidden gems and a must see on your next visit. This waterfall strikes the perfect balance between not being overcrowded with tourists whilst still being fairly easy to reach. Although it’s popularity is increasing, it still manages to fly under the radar as most of the locals we mentioned it too had never heard of it before!
Situated roughly an hour north of Ubud, Nungnung waterfall is often overlooked for the more popular ones such as Tibumana waterfall – but trust me, this one is worth it. At a height of 50 metres, the power of this waterfall will leave you in awe.
- Location: 1 hour north of Ubud (Badung Regency)
- Opening hours: 9am to 4pm
- Hiking track: 500 stairs
- Hiking time: 20 minutes down, 45 minutes up
- Entry cost: 20,000 IDR (foreigners) – roughly $2 AUD
- Parking: 2,000 IDR (per scooter) – roughly $0.20 AUD
- Toilet: Yes, at the top only
Getting to Nungnung Waterfall
By scooter: If you’re travelling Bali, it’s likely you’ll be renting a scooter to get around. The ride takes an hour to an hour and a half. Whilst this is the most economical way to get here, it can also leave you feeling a bit sore at the end of the day (if you know what I mean).
By car: You can either hire your own car to explore Bali or you can simply book a driver for the day. The roads in Bali are notoriously skinny, windy and full of randomly parked vehicles so my personal recommendation would be to book a driver if you want to travel by car.
Search ‘Nungnung waterfall’ in Google maps which will take you along various highways until you reach a sign directing you to turn right for Nungnung waterfall. Follow this road for roughly 5 minutes until you reach the checkpoint. Here is where you’ll pay your entrance fee (20,000 IDR) and parking fee if applicable (2,000 IDR for a scooter).
Then continue to drive a little further down the hill until you reach a grassy area outside the toilets. There is a small shop here if you want to buy drinks or snacks. Opposite the toilets is the start of the stairs. Begin your walk here and expect to reach the bottom in roughly 20 minutes.
The track is purely stairs, with a few flat breaks in between. The stairs get quite steep and tend to slope downwards. Be especially careful if it has been raining as the moss on the steps makes them really slippery!
It took 20 minutes to get down and we did it in thongs (flip flops for the non-Australians), although a pair of running shoes might have been more comfortable on the way up.
As you get to the bottom, you will see a gentle waterfall to your left. Don’t mistake this for the actual waterfall like we did. Coming to the bottom of the stairs, you will see Nungnung waterfall in all its glory.
To your left is a rickety old bamboo bridge that will get you across a stream so you can get closer to the waterfall. Be very careful as the rocks past this point are also extremely slippery.
There is a sand bank on the edge of the waterfall pool so you can wade your way in carefully.
Don’t underestimate the sheer power of this waterfall. Even standing a metre from it, my hair was blowing around wildly and the winds were constantly changing direction. The water is pretty cold, but not unbearable.
Best time to visit
As this waterfall isn’t overly popular (yet), you can visit pretty much any time of day and it won’t be too crowded. We went just after midday and stayed until around 4pm, seeing a total of 10 or so other people during our time there. However, it did start to get a bit dark for photos after 3pm so I would recommend coming between 10am and 12pm to get the best out of your time here.
Tip: if shooting on a tripod, use a small towel or some clothing to drape over your camera as it will get wet otherwise. And remember to keep wiping your lens!
Getting back up
The way up is definitely more painful and unless your a cardio-lover, I recommend taking it slow and using the seats to take breaks often. It took 45 minutes or so to get back up, with the downward slope of the stairs really working against us.
If you want to grab some food before or after your visit to Nungnung waterfall, check out Oman’s Warung (you can find this place shortly after you turn off the highway, on your left). It’s local food so very affordable!
What to bring
- Bathers/swimwear if you want to go for a dip
- Change of clothes/raincoat – even if you don’t swim, the spray from the waterfall is strong so you’ll likely get wet either way (rain is also common around the area)
- Dry bag to protect your gear
I opted not to bring the drone to this one and I’m glad I didn’t. If you do plan on bringing one, I would suggest flying from further up the track as the wind and water spray is pretty intense at the bottom.
I hope this guide inspired you to add Nungnung Waterfall to your Bali Bucket List! If you have any questions or comments, drop them below.