Twenty Whanganui wedding-goers have escaped Bali and the looming eruption of its petulant volcano.

Just days before airports closed stranding thousands of tourists the group left the island and are safely back home.

Dan Matthews and Amy Searle were married with a small gathering of friends and family about 80km from the explosive mountain.

Mrs Searle said she saw the smoke billowing out and heard the warnings.

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"I did feel a bit nervous before the wedding. It was a bit scary to think if it all blows up then our wedding couldn't have happened."

Bali's Mt Agung spews smoke and ash as fears remain over another blow.
Bali's Mt Agung spews smoke and ash as fears remain over another blow.

But an eruption was the last thing on her mind, she had a wedding to get ready for.

"We had an awesome time considering we got out literally five days before it all let loose."

A guest of the wedding, Brian Colcord, was counting his blessings for the second time.

"I was actually in Bali's Surry Club exactly a week before the 2002 bombings hit and now a week before the volcano eruption - pretty crazy stuff really," Mr Colcord said.

Brain Colcord soaking up the sun just days before Bali's volcano eruption. Photo/ supplied
Brain Colcord soaking up the sun just days before Bali's volcano eruption. Photo/ supplied

The Bali-regular travels there twice a year for business and is friends to many of the locals who live not far from Mt Agung.

"I've been receiving regular updates from a couple of friends over there- it sounds like it's really starting to boil," Mr Colcord said.

He said villages in the inland were being evacuated and refugee camps had been set up for people to stay.

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"I'd say there will be a lot of panic in the inland area - but the friends I know live about 60kms away and seem more concerned about the financial impact its having or going to have."

The wedding goers took a day trip inland and this is what they saw. Photo/ supplied
The wedding goers took a day trip inland and this is what they saw. Photo/ supplied

Mr Colcord said Bali relies on tourism and this is usually their peak time of year.

"Usually when I go over the streets and beaches are packed but when we were over there for the wedding you could throw a stone on the road and hear it - it was pretty dead."

He said one of his friends who owns a bar on the beach sold one bottle of beer the other day.

"Other friends are being told not to come to work for week and then they'll been on standby because there is just no work.

"I think they are just so worried it will have as much of a financial impact as it did when the bombings hit and that they won't be able to feed their families."

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Mr Colcord said they were lucky they had booked their flights back in July before the warnings so they were still able to get travel insurance.

"A lot of people had cancelled their trips or were not getting insurance to cover it which is having a massive impact on locals over there."

Mount Agung began belching ash on Tuesday November 21, forming a 700m ash cloud, which authorities said was "steam driven".

On Saturday an ash column from Mount Agung rose 1,500m following an eruption that began about 5.30pm and continued for several hours. Villages close to the volcano were coated in a thin layer of ash.

More than 400 flights to and from Bali have been cancelled and nearly 60,000 travellers have been stranded after the airport was closed yesterday, AAP reported.