Family Adventure Holiday To Indonesia With Kids: Yogyakarta, Part 1 Of 3-Part Holi-Venture

Family Adventure Holiday To Indonesia With Kids: Part 1 Of 3-Part Holi-Venture – Yogyakarta
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HOLI-VENTURE: A holiday packed with adventure!

While I am pretty sure this word does not exist, but I can’t think of a better word to describe our recent holiday to Indonesia with kids.

Wanting to expose our children to a greater range of experiences as to what “enjoyment” means, we decided to embark on a holiday-adventure, or holi-venture as we like to call it.

Our travels brought us to places like Yogyakarta, Surabaya and more!

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Experiencing An Family Adventure Holiday in Indonesia with Kids 

You will be surprised by what Indonesia has to offer! She has mountains; she has rivers; she has ancient sights to marvel at; and she sure is prettier with the fam.

Our adventurous holiday to Indonesia with kids has also become a “daddy-approved” trip with many husbands and dads asking me for the itinerary.

Our holi-venture took us from Yogyakarta to Surabaya and Mount Bromo to Pangkalan Bun and finally Jakarta.

Ready to get some inspiration for a family adventure?

Yogyakarta Day 1: Pantai Timang & The Beach

Experiencing An Family Adventure Holiday in Indonesia with Kids 

Upon arrival at Yogyakarta (or commonly Jogja) in the central part of Java, we had a driver waiting to drive us to Pantai Timang.

It is a two-hour and 50-minute drive away and costs Rp 350,000 to hire a jeep with the driver.

Pantai Timang yellow gondola

One of the activities at Pantai Timang was the yellow gondola, which costs Rp 200,000 per pax.

The yellow gondola was originally used by lobster farmers. We saw it on a Running Man episode, and honestly, I did not expect to pay much for this as it was on a beach.

But since we were there, we decided to go for it!

The place was beautiful! The colours of this place are super vivid.     

As you can imagine, there are lobsters that you can enjoy as a meal around the area. However, after the super bumpy ride, our stomachs could not take a meal.

Instead, we went onwards to Nglambo Beach.

Nglambor Beach

Nglambor Beach

When planning the trip, we were trying to decide between Wediombo Beach and Nglamabor Beach. Eventually, we decided to go with Nglambor Beach because we could snorkel there.

However, I would not recommend this place for young children as it is rocky and the waves can be strong.

We had called ahead and arranged to go snorkelling. The kids were happy to be in the water after the bumpy ride. We would recommend bringing along wet shoes for children if you are going for this experience.   

After snorkelling, we got to shower with a bucket! Yes, that is the shower/ toilets that they have. It was clean but something we were not used to.

HeHa Sky View

We had originally planned to go to HeHa Sky View, a new attraction in Yogyakarta with restaurants that overlooks the city and that has awesome sunset views.

However, since we were really tired by the end of the day, we decided to simply drive past it instead.

Yogyakarta Day 2: Cave Abseiling and Cave Tubing

The next morning, we got up excited.

It was the day that we would go cave abseiling and cave tubing.

Abseiling at Cave Jomblang

Yogyakarta Day 2: Cave Abseiling

Cave abseiling was at vertical sinkhole cave, Cave Jomblang.

When we looked down, the sight was intimidating.

If you have a fear of heights, hmmm… tell yourself, “You just need to sit. You are just being lowered down.”

My husband, who has a fear of heights, found the experience intimidating.

First, we changed into boots and put on helmets and harnesses. Then it was off we went! 

Thankfully, we made it safely to the bottom of the cave!

Hiking at the Cave

When everyone had arrived, we went on a hike through the cave.

spectacular Ray of Light

This led us to the spectacular Ray of Light!

It is very muddy walking through the cave. If you are have slightly older folks with you, who have limited sight in the dark, keep a look out for them. I highly recommend bringing a torchlight or a headlight.

To go back up, 20 people pulled us up. After we returned the boots, there was a simple lunch waiting for us.

Cave Tubing at Pindul Cave

Cave Tubing at Pindul Cave

Next was cave tubing.

We carried our tube from the car park to the river.   

Both kids gamely jumped into the river from a height of four metres while we cheered them on. Our kids were crazier than us!

Generally, it was a nice and relaxing ride tubing down the river.

Pindul Cave

After the river tubing, we went to Pindul Cave (Goa Cave).

We were amazed to discover that the colour of the water in the cave was aquamarine. We also saw stalactites and stalagmites.

Bohemian Jogja Villas

Bohemian Jogja Villas

This villa is not in the city centre, and the surroundings may not be the prettiest, but I loved staying here.  It was so pretty! Each family room comes with its own pool. A night’s stay costs between S$100 to $150.

Day 3: Borobudur and Other Sights


Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an icon of Jogja. It is a must-visit when in Jogja and best seen accompanied by a guide.

The site is very popular and so it is advisable to book ahead. There are limited tickets to go up the structure daily. Booking for your date is open seven days prior and you can book your tickets to Borobudur here.

We had booked an 8.30 am session and our admission came with bottles of water, slippers and a guide.

Inside Borobudur

Inside Borobudur, the trees are kept in neat rows allowing us to get a good view of the temple. On the other hand, this meant that we were right under the hot sun.     

The guided tour was informative but it can be a little long for young children, especially in the heat.

Be prepared for many souvenir sellers to approach you at the entrance and exit. You will be tempted by the interesting souvenirs there.

Use an umbrella

It is advisable to use sunscreen or rent an umbrellas from the many people who will be approaching you to rent their umbrellas.

If you want an Instagrammable “breakfast in the clouds” photos, check out Mata Langlit by Plataran. It is a 15-minute drive away.

Tamansari Water Castle

Tamansari Water Castle

The Sultan of Yogyakarta formerly used the Tamansari Water Castle to entertain himself with women. Yes, we were looking at a huge bath!

Tamansari Water Castle complex is inexpensive to visit and has five different structures. We initially thought that it was just one small structure with many little houses built around it. After the sultanate fell, people built houses inside the complex

It takes some time to explore the Tamansari Water Castle, and it helps to have a guide.


This ruin was where the sultan’s harem was kept.

Tamansari water castle tunnel

There was even an underground tunnel!

On hindsight, I should have allocated a separate day from Borobudur and Prambanan for this visit so that we would have had more time at the next destination.

Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple

While Borobudur is to the left of the city centre, Prambanan is an hour’s drive to the right from the city centre. Most people visit the Prambanan for the sunset.

Prambanan is a Hindu temple. It once housed over 200 separate temples.

You can book the tickets seven days prior here.

We arrived at Prambanan too late after the visit to Tamansari Water Castle.

This place is huge. There are four temple grounds that you can visit.

There are many activities that children can engage at Prambanan. Activities include a Segway ride, mini train, tight rope and archery.

Prambanan Temple list of activities

This board is one of the many that list the activities they offer.

Even though we went for the sunset, because we spent time exploring the structure, we missed it!

So yes, do go earlier!

Day 4 – Exploring Yogyakarta

Day 4 – Exploring Yogyakarta

We took it slow the following day to wind down before the next leg of our trip, which would take us to Surabaya and Mount Bromo.

We tried food and gelato recommended by our driver, Alex, and did a walk around Jalan Malioboro. I liked the artsy souvenirs and batik found in this area.

Train ride to Surabaya

In the evening, we headed to the train station for our ride to Surabaya! Lempuyangan Train Station is a short distance, just 5 minutes or less, from Jalan Malioboro.

You can book train tickets here.

The ride from Yogyakarta to Surabaya takes around five hours. Choose a Business Class ticket for more comfort. The cost is around Rp 250,000 to 330,000 per ticket.

Surabaya and Mount Bromo, here we come!

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Indonesian Holi-venture!

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