Jimbaran Beach photographed by Coffs Coast Advocate journalist Bianca Clare in March.
Jimbaran Beach photographed by Coffs Coast Advocate journalist Bianca Clare in March.

Bali again!


AT LEAST one group of Coffs Coast residents travelling in Bali has confirmed they are safe after three bombs killed 25 people in Bali and injured more than 100.

Three almost simultaneous blasts ripped through three Balinese restaurants packed with evening diners on Saturday. Two were outdoor seafood restaurants on Jimbaran Beach and one was Raja's Restaurant, a steak bar at Kuta Beach.

At least three Australians are dead, while the wounded include at least 14 Australians, 49 Indonesians, three Japanese, six South Koreans and four Americans, with other nationalities unknown.

Late yesterday the Coffs Coast Advocate was unable to find anyone who had heard from Robyn Goddard's group in Bali.

Mrs Goddard is travelling in Bali with her husband Ron and their son.

It is understood Mrs Goddard, who is a Coffs Harbour real estate agent, was planning to inspect a house at Jimbaran Beach for a Coffs Coast client while in Bali, as well as visiting friends on the island. Two outdoor restaurants at Jimbaran Beach were bombed.

Coffs Coast Advocate staff member Kath Tucker is a member of a group of eight Coffs Coast travellers known to have escaped the blasts.

Ms Tucker left Coffs Harbour for Bali on Monday with her children James and Sophie, her mother Lee Brien, stepfather Dr Bob Brien, an aunt and uncle, and a friend, Barbara Hanna.

A work colleague said the group was apparently in a bus on the way back to their resort when they heard the bombs going off.

They had then followed advice from the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to return to their resort and stay there.

Barbara Hanna's partner, Paul Tobias, said yesterday he had spoken to Ms Hanna this morning at about 8am and she had confirmed they had heard the bombs and been stuck in the resulting traffic jams.

However he said at this stage the group did not seem to be planning to cut their holiday short.

Nikki Thomas, of Sawtell, who is planning her first holiday to Bali in November with three friends to celebrate her 20th birthday, said yesterday the quartet would meet today to review their plans.

"All our parents are worried," she said, "But if we cancel it will be a waste of money ? we got a really good package, 11 nights with all accommodation, flights and breakfasts for less than $1000 each.

"One of the girls said it wouldn't happen again so soon, but I didn't think it would happen this time."

Barry Booth said yesterday he believed at least 50 Coffs Harbour year 12 students had booked Bali packages as a 'schoolies' trip to celebrate finishing their Higher School Certificate exams.

Meanwhile Bianca Clare has been left looking at holiday photos which have become history overnight.

The young Coffs Coast Advocate journalist and her boyfriend ate at Raja's Restaurant every day of their Bali holiday in March. Raja's was one of the three Balinese restaurants destroyed by Saturday night's bombs.

"We deliberately avoided bars." Ms Clare said.

"The Balinese people who owned the restaurant were really nice," Ms Clare said.

But now their favourite island eatery is ashes.

Bob Costa, a keen surfer, returned to Coffs Harbour last week from a surfing trip to Lombok and Bali. The bombers changing targets is what worries him.

"Targeting bars is one thing, but the fact they targeted families in restaurants makes it a whole new ball game, said the Coffs Coast Advocate advertising representative.

"But it wouldn't stop me from going back."

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