Mainstream media is reporting that an Australian woman came close to death after she was stabbed multiple times with a machete, in a bag-snatching incident at Uluwatu.

According to reports on the Nine news website, the woman was standing near her motorbike in an Uluwatu carpark at about 7:30 in the evening on November 21, when she was intentionally parked in by Arjuna Wiranta, a farmer from West Nusa Tenggara (a group of islands to the east of Bali). In the struggle which allegedly ensued, she was stabbed multiple times, suffering deep wounds to her hands, shoulders, and arms.  

The woman, who elected to remain anonymous, was released from the hospital several days after the incident. Meanwhile, authorities captured the assailant on a different island and paraded him before the media today.

According to reports, he told police he needed the money to pay for a hospital bill associated with the birth of his child.    

Since it was first stumbled across in the early 1970s by Tracks co-founder, Albe Falzon, alongside Steve Cooney and Rusty Miller, Ulus has been a hallowed territory for surfers. For centuries it has also been the site of an important Hindu temple.   

The hypnotic Uluwatu lines were a feature of Falzon’s celebrated film, 'Morning of The Earth', which was released in 1972, and surfers have been under the wave’s spell ever since.

The stabbing incident casts a dark shadow over Uluwatu and while it’s most likely an isolated incident it points to the fact that tensions between travellers and comparatively poor Indonesian citizens (many of whom travel to Bali from other islands) still bubble below the surface in Bali.