The central inland part of South Lombok is generally low-lying with undulating hills and is commonly utilised for rice paddies and growing tobacco leaf. Toward the southern coast it is dryer and more denuded with some undulating hilly areas of between 100 to 355 meters above sea level.
This part of the island remains essentially agrarian in activity. The central south is more fertile and productive and the southern coastal areas are less fertile due to lower rainfall, land clearing and soil degradation. Toward the south west coast it becomes a little less dry and a little more fertile than the south central coastal margins. Mount Rinjani supplies a rainfall catchment area to the north of the region and several rivers flow into central Lombok from the mountains southern slopes. Villages on the lower slopes of Rinjani support activities such as traditional weaving, pottery and handicraft production. The sea off Lombok's southern coastline supports a small local fishing industry, a fish market, a pearling industry and seaweed harvesting.
The south of the island is not heavily populated and many areas are quite remote and can be quite difficult to get to. The southern areas of Lombok are becoming increasingly popular with international visitors and the surf beaches of the southern coastline are popular with more intrepid international surfers as well as a growing number of local people on Lombok.
The language of the south of Lombok is a dialect of the indigenous Bahasa Sasak language of the Sasak peoples of Lombok. Bahasa Indonesian is spoken by many people especially the younger generations. In the tourism areas some people may speak limited English. In the larger Kuta hotels and tourism establishments there is more likelihood of English speakers being available.
Lombok International Airport (BIL) (IATA: LOP, ICAO: WADL) is south west of Praya in south central Lombok. This new international airport will provide facilities for wide bodied aircraft and more modern terminal facilities and cargo facilities.
Please see the main Lombok article for more details on the new international airport and connecting services to South Lombok.
Public buses and bemo run to and from the west coast and the city of Mataram. Similar services are available to connect through from the north of the island via Pusuk pass from Pemenang near the small Bangsal harbour that serves as the primary access point from Gili Islands.
If arriving at Labuhan Lombok by ferry from Sumbawa only limited services are available on the east coast to connect to Praya in Central Lombok, south toward Kuta or west toward the city of Mataram and West Lombok. To use public buses and bemo serving the southern region a traveller would need to have a good understanding both of the area and the vagaries of the interconnections and services. It would be far easier and more expedient to either use a taxi, rent a car and driver or to use a service such as that provided by Perama tours to access the south of Lombok.
Vehicle and passenger ferries: South Lombok is serviced from both the east and west coast of the island.
From the west coast Tanjung Lembar seaport provides facilities for the passenger ferries from Bali, passenger carrying ships visiting Lombok, small freighters and fishing boats.
Metered taxis normally operate in the southern area of Lombok however they will be hard to find in the more remote areas. Bookings can be made in advance by calling their radio despatch service.
Airport pick-up, the established hotels and resorts of the Kuta area may offer pick up's and transfers to and from the airport or other locations in Lombok. You will need to enquire at the hotels for this service and ensure you book ahead.
In 2010 the Kuta area had 16 hotels catering to domestic and International tourists. There are many places to see and visit and many people like to stay in the region either to relax or to explore the beaches of the southern coastline.
The south of Lombok features white sandy beaches, some of them quite isolated, remote and with limited access.
Surfing is very popular with local and international visitors and the south coast has some popular destinations for international surfers and travellers. Fishing villages, grouper fish cultivation, pearl cultivation, the traditional fish market and coral reefs also attract visitors to this part of Lombok.
South Lombok supports an industry of traditional weaving and handicraft production.
The south has quite a few restaurants, some catering to tourists, more so in the Kuta area. The region has many small warungs and local eating houses selling local food at very reasonable prices. Be cautious with hygiene and ensure you are clear about what you are ordering.
Licensed premises such as hotels and some restaurants may serve alcohol. Do not expect a bar service or alcoholic drinks to be served in other than the larger hotels and please respect local sensibilities by avoiding drinking openly in public whilst in Lombok. Local coffee, tea, fruit juices, coconut juice and softdrinks (sodas) are normally readily available.
Try to keep off the roads at night and avoid travelling in the more remote areas on your own.
Lock up your possessions and never leave your luggage or personal items unattended.
Please see the main Lombok article for more details on health and safety.
South Lombok has varying terrain from urban townships to remote valleys beaches and coastal bays. Accordingly mobile telephonary varies from reasonable to patchy to non-existent. The towns and built up areas normally have reasonable to good coverage from the two main operators.
Post office services are available in Mataram at the central post office. It may be prudent to use the the main office in Mataram at Jalan Sriwijarya, Mataram, ☎ +62 370 632645 if required.
Post offices are described as Kantor Pos in Indonesia.