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Bali Tourist In Horrible Accident Reminds Travelers To Get Insurance 

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The horror story experienced by an Australian holidaymaker in Bali serves as a timely reminder for all tourists heading to the island to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

56-year-old Catherine Curtis broke her leg in not one but two places during the descent from Mount Batur. 

Tourists Desend from Mount Batur Hike.jpg

Bali’s Mount Batur is the island’s most famous peak, while Mount Agung is the tallest volcano on the island, Mount Batur is by far the most popular hiking destination in the province.

Catherine Curtis was enjoying a vacation and huge family reunion on the island. She and eighteen other family members from Australia and the UK had traveled to Bali to enjoy some family time and fun in the shine. 

But the vacation took a dramatic turn for the worse when Curtis was hiking down after a successful summit of Mount Batur. She told reporters that she and her group had decided to take part in a Sunrise hike to the summit of Mount Batur.

Together they reached the 5,633ft peak of the volcano having braved the early start and hiking in the early hours of the morning. 

@travelwithrafa The locals in this area have basically a mafia around the mountain and they do not let you hike without a guide or paying a fee. If you try to solo hike they will become aggressive, give you wrong directions and even say they are part of the government which btw is not true. When my boyfriend asked a few calm questions, they started shouting and shoving him within literally several seconds. They say they do it because of the sacredness of the mountain but what they are doing is basically turning Mount Batur into a commercial site where you don't see or feel the real sacredness at all. The hike is packed. You are with more than a thousand people in an endless line going up to the volcano. The quietness, contact with nature and calm that you usually get from a hike are interrupted by all the groups with loud music, locals trying to sell their stuff and being pushy. Renting blankets, bracelets, food. It is basically a mall on a mountain. Watch my youtube video to see more details!!! #bali #balitravel #mountbatur #balilife #balireality #balitrip ♬ Epic Music(863502) – Draganov89

Curtis told reporters, “We stayed in Mount Batur overnight and got up at about three in the morning. We had a cup of tea and got ready to climb up the mountain. We managed to make it up there for sunrise and had a little breakfast.”

Curtis shared that even during the ascent, she had concerns about the conditions of the trail. This is a concern shared by many who hit Mount Batur.

While the route is well trodden and the most frequented hiking trail on the island, it is far from easy, or in many places even all that safe. The route is rugged, not always well marked and frankly treacherous in places. 

@immyts If you’re visiting Bali soon the early wakeup call for a sunrise hike up mount batur is so worth it, one of those views that just doesn’t feel real 🌅 #mountbatur #bali #mountbaturhike #ubud #balitips #balitravel #travel #traveltips #sunrise #sunrisehike #traveltiktok ♬ Let time pass – Melia

Curtis described to reporters how ‘out of nowhere’ she lost her footing on the trail and fell. She knew instantly that something was very wrong indeed.

She explained, “I had a massive slip on the gravel, and my leg went underneath me, and to my shock, I heard it snap. I was in a lot of pain, and when we looked at my leg, you could see the bone sort of sticking out.”

Perhaps the blessing in disguise was that the incident happened at a point on the trail where a motorcycle could reach.

In all too many cases where tourists get injured on Mount Batur, the incidents occur on parts of the trail that are totally inaccessible by vehicles of any kind. 

@xemmakleist Went to see Mt Batur 🌋 #mountbatur #batur #bali #expectationvsreality #indonesia #travel #traveltiktok #funny #fyp #mountainhike #balinature #fypシ ♬ original sound – Matthew Rincon

Curtis was helped by a group of local guides, hikers, and community members to get onto a motorcycle that was then slowly rolled down the remainder of the trail with the engine turned off.

The journey back to the trailhead took around two hours.

She explained, “There were about ten people helping all around the motorbike, stopping it from going too quickly. I was frightened that somebody else might slip or fall, and I think my fear overrode my pain at that time.”


Upon arriving at the hospital, initial investigations confirmed what Curtis was already feeling. She had broken her leg in two places and would require surgery to reset and pin the bone.

Curtis revealed to reporters, “I got two long screws on the inside of my ankle and nine screws and a titanium plate on the right-hand side of my ankle. I’ve got some significant scars to show off now.”

Amidst the whole saga, there was one big saving grace. Prior to departing for Bali, Curtis had taken out a travel insurance policy that covered her entire medical bill.

The policy cost just under AUD 400, and the medical bill she would have faced without the policy would have cost a whopping AUD 24,323. 


Curtis shared “It would have been horrendous. I would have had to borrow money and go into debt and so on to get myself through it. It was a real comfort knowing that I had travel insurance.”

This is a story that is all too familiar to Bali lovers, and is backed up by data from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which shows that one in six Australians travel abroad without any kind of travel insurance. 


Natali Smith from 1Cover told the media, “Too many Aussies are still traveling without insurance. For just a few hundred dollars, travel insurance can save you from enormous financial burden and provide peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your holiday to the fullest.”

To get travel insurance of your own, check out our top picks here.

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Saturday 6th of July 2024

For hiking in difficult terrain it makes sense to carry a hiking pole that can be use for steadying yourself in awkward spots or crossing creek with slippery rocks. No sign of anyone with a pole in the pics above.


Thursday 4th of July 2024

"The medical bill she would have faced without the policy would have cost a whopping AUD 24,323".

If the surgery was done in Bali for AUD 24,323 then Bali prices are on or above Singapore private hospital level. This suggest Bali no longer offer "competitive or affordable" healthcare.

If possible first flight to Singapore to ensure correct diagnosis and correct treatment. Never do non-urgent or elective procedures in Bali as to my fist hand experience inaccurate or wrong diagnosis will cost much more later on. Based on diagnosis and proposed treatment patient can then shop around at reputable hospitals for quote.

In Singapore all surgeries have specified max prices range by Gov. All info available online.


Monday 8th of July 2024

@Randy, Not sure what you are on about as my comments are based on first hand experience.

At least 3 times in Indonesia the doctor/surgeon has suggested operating theatre was ready for me. My answer: Seeking second opinion and every time I just needed standard medication to overcome the acute pain.

As such our family are set up with international medical insurance and obviously travel to Singapore and home country as needed for diagnosis and treatment at private hospitals. Bali is waste of valuable time and money when serious issues arise.


Sunday 7th of July 2024

@Exp, that’s a general bullsheet as always. If wrong diagnosis was to be the case in Bali, half of Bali would be dead. Well if you feel strongly that medical healthcare is far worst than Australia, by all means, no one is holding you up in Bali. Home is where is best. But many ungrateful expats are here in Bali to enjoy the low cost of living especially for those retirees from Australia who could not afford to retire in their own comfort zone. Sad.


Friday 5th of July 2024


You've broken your leg in two places that needs surgery to reset and pin. So you go online hospital shopping in Singapore, then fly there?

Get real.

I've had treatment at, and in both Kasih Ibu and Siloam. The expertise and care were 1st class.

I've friends who've had hip replacements, plated and screwed leg breaks, prostate surgery, acute dengue needing extended hospitalisation...treated with the same care at those hospitals.

In 2023 my son had a bike accident and broke all the metatarsal bones in his right foot. They were plated, pinned and wired at Kasih Ibu. When he went back to Oz he saw the orthopod the family has been using for years. The orthopod praised the work. He's a commercial diver, avid board rider and gym junkie. Back at it after a month.

Re the price and cost. If you're insured it's immaterial.


Friday 5th of July 2024

@Exp, first hand not "fist hand" -- crazy typo


Thursday 4th of July 2024

For the life of me I can't figure out why in the world anybody in their right mind would want to climb that dangerous piece of rock. Nothing pleasant about it, should close it down or make it safe. But as enough stupid tourists are willing to risk their life and limb and are willing to pay, that will never happen.


Monday 8th of July 2024

@Firechef, Wouldn't it be a boring world if people only did what you approve off.