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CrossFit Wanderlust & Cocktails in Bali

Written by Kristine Beissner

January 2, 2020


On a recent trip to Bali, Fitness Institute’s General Manager, Philip Sherriff took the opportunity to mix business, fitness and leisure into one big adventure….

Now in recovery mode, we asked Phil to share his thoughts about his trip…

Tell us about the CrossFit workouts!

It’s so great to see trainers traveling and working all around the world and see just how portable a career in Fitness can be!

First on the bucket list was CrossFit Wanderlust. This gym, or “box” as they’re known in CrossFit circles is owned by Dave Driskell, an American Ex-Pat who has set up an amazing business in Bali that attracts local athletes and a huge amount of international drop-ins!

Dave was crowned the fittest man in the Asian region for the 2017 CrossFit games, 35-40 year masters division.

We also got to meet Sarah Signmundsdottir who was also there as a drop-in. Sarah is currently the 3rd fittest female athlete in the world and it was great opportunity to get a photo!

After this, we dropped in to CrossFit Seminyak. We had a lovely coach, Tui from Finland who put us through our paces.

I have to say as well, I recommend the hike up Mt Batur. You will need to get up at 12:30am (I think that’s the earliest I have ever risen). 1.00am pickup for a 3am start/breakfast.

Then hike from 3:30 – 5:30am to take in an amazing sunrise over Mount Agung.

After you hike back down the mountain and through the farming villages, I suggest going to the Toya Devasya Hot Spring – I’d take a guess the water was about 35 degrees Celsius, and a very manageable temperature compared to the 42 degree hot springs in other countries….

Hennie Melbourne, Ellen Delany & Philip Sherriff

Were there other highlights…?

Bali definitely comes with my recommendation – the CrossFit workouts, hiking, shopping and the mix of healthy eating and a few treats make for a good balance.

Most pictures of people holidaying in Bali seem to show bars and drinking, but there is also a huge focus on fitness and even more reasons to head to Bali.

Bali always seemed like a convenient tropical destination to go to, but unfortunately, media attention since the 2002 bombings seemed to focus on the negatives, such as drunken Australians in Kuta, safety issues, scooter crashes, Bali Belly, volcanos and  earthquakes – there was even a report of “Japanese Encephalitis outbreak” the day before we left…

I got to travel with a great group of people, and we were there to celebrate a milestone for Nutritionist and Fitness Institute Guest Presenter, Ellen Delany. Our whole crew are CrossFitters, and along with fellow adventurer’s Debra Saville, Hennie Melbourne & Jason Godwin, we did manage to share the love between up-market bars including La Favela, Mrs Sippi, Omnia and La Plancha with some great fitness adventures.

The places most Australian’s visit are out of the reach of most Balinese people. Tourism and agriculture are the two largest employers for locals.

The Balinese people are very friendly and it was good to see how relaxed they were over things most Australians would get angry at. The traffic is busy and it’s common to see T-Intersection traffic sneaking in and being given a path to cross to allow everyone to get where they are going.

Any other recommendations?

If you want to get a massage or treatment at Toya Devasya (which is a great idea after a hot soak), it costs about $30 AUD for a 1hr treatment from an accredited therapist.

For food, one top spot was at Teba Sari on the way out to the rice terraces in Ubud. There is a great mix of Asian and Western tastes at this place and there was plenty of staff on deck to ensure we enjoyed our meal.

Buy a LifeStraw drink bottle to filter the tap water when needed or find a Villa that provides a filtered water fountain and provides included bottled water. Locals drink the tap water, but Aussies find themselves sick if they have it.

To get around, consider hiring a driver each day for about $50 AUD or 500 000 IDR. Tips are always very well received, but not expected.

A few blocks back in the Villas give you much better taxi prices. Taxis around more expensive areas such as Double Six beach tend to charge prices the same or higher than back in Australia.

Check out the BlueBird Group, they have an app that works like Uber and they also use meters so there’s less chance of being ripped off. The BlueBird Group are not the Blue Taxis, which sounds confusing as they seem to have the same logos. The BlueBird Group Uber was listed on the internet to work, but seemed to be blocked in most of the areas I was in, so don’t rely on the internet.

Do you have any travel tips?


– There is free Wi-Fi just about everywhere in bars and restaurants, so you can get by without a Sim card. Many Australian providers now include a small amount of roaming (best to check your provider on what your plan includes)

– Don’t forget to save your location at your Villa into your favourites….

– If you don’t want to do any roaming or get another sim card, download and cache your google maps before heading out and getting lost.

– Register your travels on Smart Traveller

– Get all recommended vaccinations. Some should be completed months or weeks in advance and require multiple visits, so best to talk to your Travel Doctor. You might want to ask your doctor what you should include for preventative medication or what you should have on you if you do get sick such as hydralyte and anti-nausea medications.

Happy Travels!

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