GOLF - Golfers are well catered for in Balikpapan with two courses open to the public year round from sunrise to sunset. Pertamina Balikpapan Golf Course (PBGC) (Telephone 0542 766418) is centrally located on the main road Jl. Jend Sudirman, Stal Kuda, Sepinggan. Green fees on Weekdays for 18 holes are Rp 275,000 and Rp 450,000 for Weekends and Public Holidays. Caddie hire is compulsory and the minimum fee expected is Rp 150,000 to Rp 200,000. Golf carts are available at a cost of Rp 200,000 per round. The course length from the White tees is 6,435 yards. Just out of town off the Samarinda Road is Karang Joang Golf Club (KJ) (Telephone 0542 7239607) located at Km 5.5 on Jl. Soekarna Hatta, Kariangau. Green fees on Weekdays for 18 holes are Rp 150,000 and Rp 230,000 for Weekends and Public Holidays. The KJ published caddie fee is Rp 170,000. New golf carts are available for hire at Rp 200,000 during Weekdays and Rp 275,000 for Weekends. Balikpapan Best Bunch Golf Association (BBB) has a mainly Expatriate membership and runs two events each month at PBGC. The club was founded in 1989 and currently has a mixed membership of 80 golfers. BBB maintains an USPGA handicap for all members. Monthly Medals are held on the last Saturday in each month and Fun Events are run mid-month. Green fees for participants are discounted to Rp 250,000. Registration is between 11:30 and 12:30 with a registration fee of Rp 50,000. BBB welcomes new residents and guests. Just turn up and introduce yourself to the Tournament Organizer who will assign you to a group. Enjoy your golf in Balikpapan.
Balikpapan's Best Bunch Golf (BBB)
FISHING - Balikpapan has some great fishing! Check out www.borneofishing.com for pictures of some of the local catches! Whether want to bottom fish on the reef for large snapper and coral trout or troll for game fish like salefish and mahi-mahi, it's always a great day out on the water. You can also go up the rivers. Although there isn't as much fish to catch, it makes for a beautiful day on the water.
There are also fresh water fishing at local fish ponds. Drive to Windiri (past Manggar) and you can rent tackle and fish for the day. Pay for what you catch!
SANDBAR - You can also rent a boat (big boat or small speed boat from the water taxi jetty) to spend an afternoon on the sandbar if the tide is right. It's a great place for a picnic.
MUAY THAI - Muay Thai is quite popular for both male and female expats. There are a couple of places, but the one that draws the most foreigners is Balikpapan Muay Thai Camp which is located in Balikpapan Baru. There are lots of classes with day, evening, and weekend hours. Individual lessons or monthly packages are both affordable. Prices start at Rp 100,000 for one and a half hour classes.
YOGA - There are several yoga places in town (even swing yoga!) or you can find instructors to come to your home. Studio 19 is quite popular and offers per class, weekly or per month rates. Often ladies will gather together and organize special classes at compound gyms. Ask around!
ROCK CLIMBING - Located at The Dome, this is great for children's birthday parties or company teambuilding. They have quality equipment with trained staff.
GYMS - The more high end hotels have gyms with memberships available. Popular ones are the Jatra at BSB mall and Novatel. They also offer aerobic and yoga classes. Before joining a gym, ask around the expat community about discounts. Often if you belong to a club/group, ie, Balikpapan International Women's Association, you can get a discounted rate.
If you want a gym on the cheap, there are many local gyms where you can join as well. Most compounds offer full gyms with weights and equipment. In addition, there are many shops that sell quality gym equipment.
AIR SOFT - Located at JL Mulawarman Complek TNI Au Rt 041, Sepinggan Batakan Selatan. There's an indoor and outdoor area, with all rental of guns and safety gear available.
Contact Dedi at +62 82157826009 or +62 87875012009 to make an appointment. Rp100.000 for 1 hour of play and gear, plus Rp60.000 for a bag of ammunition (bag will last several players many games).
PAINTBALL - You can organize a game of paintball at Manggar beach, although it's a bit of a challenge. Best recommendation is to send a local to help organize it.
TENNIS - A few housing compounds have tennis courts (BDI, Palm Court, Chevron, The Hills, KBC, apartments at Aston, etc. ), but also there is a tennis stadium in town.
SQUASH - There's an indoor squash room located at Palm Court Housing Complex as well as at the Dome.
INDOOR SPORTS SUCH AS BADMINTON AND FUTSUL - Located at the Balikpapan Sports Center, Mt. Haryano #17, you'll find a range of teams and competitions. Futsal: rates start from Rp. 150,000/hour, Badminton: rates start from Rp. 50.000/hour and should be booked 3 hours earlier. Monthly payment in Badminton available for Rp. 400,000 to Rp. 500,000, Billiard: rates start from Rp. 28,000/hour.
CYCLING - Cycling is also very popular in Balikpapan. You can find those who go off trail on mountain bikes, or groups who stay on the main roads. Bikes are for rent in Balikpapan as well as decent bike shops to purchase a new one. Tour guides (We recommend Pak Yayan) can go with you for a nominal fee.
OFF ROAD ADVENTURES - Balikpapan is a great place for off-road biking. Although there is a contained track in Manggar, most of the group prefers to go off onto more remote tracks throughout the area. You'll find several expats who participate in the Enduro races in addition to the weekend fun.
Kids can also have fun on a small track at the Manggar Beach driving quad bikes and smaller dirt bikes. It's great place to practice and build skills.
MOVIES - There are 3 movie theaters located in Balikpapan - BSB mall, Balcony Mall (Cinemax Theaters with link here) and Hypermart Plaza (Blitz link here). They offer new releases, mostly in English with Indonesian sub-titles. Tickets range from Rp30.000 - 100.000 depending on weekday, weekend, or premium seats. They also offer cheap (and delicious) popcorn and snacks! The theaters have nice, big comfortable chairs with stadium seating. Bring a sweater as the theaters are often freezing! The premium theater offers blankets and meal services!
BEACHES - There are a couple beaches in Balikpapan, although none are particularly "pretty" beaches.
Manggar beach is where many families go on the weekends and you can take a ride on a banana boat or play in the water. In the main area of town is Kemala beach, where people also gather.
You'll find the locals have set up volleyball nets and vendors are selling kites and floats to rent. Pack a lunch and spend the day!
HIGH ROPES COURSE - Woody Park near Regency is a great place to take the kids or for a fun day out for corporate team building. With both an adult and children's high rope course, everyone can have fun. Great leaders who help you gear up and teach you all the safety basics. There are two flying fox zip lines to enjoy! Bring snacks/water.
WATER PARK - There are two main water parks and pools.
One of the better pools in town is Griya Permata Asri which has lots of fun slides for kids and adults. Located near Balikpapan Baru off Mt. Haryono.
Caribbean Water Park near Regency off Ring Road II. The water seems to be treated, although some days it looks better than others. Check the website (http://www.caribbeanislandwaterpark.itgo.com/) for specific times and prices.