Erupting Bali volcano 'bad news' for New Zealanders' travel plans

Thousands of New Zealand travellers have been affected as Mt Agung erupts in Bali.

Indonesia has extended the closure of an international airport as ash from the volcano sweeps the island.

Flight Centre's Sean Berenson says its "definitely bad news" for Kiwis' travel plans.

"At the moment [you] definitely cannot travel. They've closed the Bali Airport," he says.

"Certainly for those people going in the next few days I'd urge them to contact their travel expert."

Frustrations at Indonesia's second-busiest airport were starting to boil over, with an estimated 2000 people attempting to get refunds and reschedule tickets.

"There are thousands of people stranded here at the airport," says Nitin Sheth, a tourist from India.

"They have to go to some other airport and they are trying to do that, but the government or authorities here are not helping."

Mr Berenson says the volcano is causing disruption to the holiday plans for thousands of Kiwis.

"There are a lot of Kiwis that love Bali, so we've got for our company alone over 1000 customers that are either in destination or due to travel in the next few weeks."

He warns that New Zealanders need to look at changing their destination and dates, and check if they have flight insurance.

Ten alternative airports have been prepared for airlines to divert inbound flights.

The airport on Lombok Island, to the east of Bali, has been reopened, authorities say, as wind blows ash westward, toward the southern coast of Java island.

Mt Agung towers over eastern Bali to a height of more than 3000 metres.

On Tuesday, however, life went on largely as normal in villages surrounding Mt Agung, with residents offering prayers as the volcano sent columns of ash and smoke into the sky.

On Monday, authorities said 100,000 residents living near the volcano had been ordered to get out of an 8-10km exclusion zone, warning a larger eruption was "imminent".

While the population in the area has been estimated at anywhere between 63,000 and 140,000, around 29,000 people were registered at emergency centres, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the Disaster Mitigation Agency.

Reuters / Newshub.