Visit Saparua Island

>> Oct 20, 2009

Saparua is a small island east of Ambon. It takes two hours by ferry from Tulehu (Ambon) to Haria, the main harbour of Saparua. There are also speedboats going up and down, it takes less time but it is less comfortable.
Saparua is a coral island and has the shape of a butterfly. It is quiet and small, the main "town" Saparua is the center of the island. Outside Saparua town are the sago palm, nutmeg and clove plantations. The harvest of the cloves is from august till January. During the harvest the air is filled with the smell of the drying cloves. It is nice to see, all the mats full of cloves laying in the gardens and on the streets. In early days there were some bloody fights because the property of some trees was disputed. Since the goverment has transmigrated hundreds of families to Ceram, there is less tension.

On market days, Wednesday and Saturday, the sleepy town is full of life. It starts early in the morning and from all over the island and from the neighbor islands: Pulau Haruku and Nusa Laut, sellers and buyers are coming. It is also the only time that the mini-buses are going up and down to all the other villages on the island. Special is the variation in smoked fishes. Early in the afternoon the market is over and Saparua is as quiet and empty as always.

In Saparua-town is Benteng Duurstede (an old Dutch fort) a few years ago the restoration of this fort has started. Next to the fort is a museum, which shows the history of the rebellion of Thomas Matulessy alias Pattimura. The rebellion was a reaction on the return of the Dutch. After an incident in Porto and Haria in May 1817, the population under the leadership of Pattimura stormed the fort and killed all the people there, except the 6 years old son of the Dutch resident. The saving of this child gave Matulessy the name Pattimura which means "big of heart". In December 1817 after the Dutch has send a large number of soldiers from Java to break the resistance, Pattimura was executed. the saved boy named himself later on "Van den Berg from Saparua". His descendants still have the same family name.
Other places to visit on Saparua are Booi, a village in the southwest, you can only go there by foot because you enter the village by large stairs.

The village Ouw, 4 kilometers southeast of Saparua, is the center of pottery, they don't use a potters wheels but make everything by hand.

Kulor in the northeast is close to the only spot on the island where there still is a piece of tropical forest. Also around Saparua the coral reefs has been destroyed by fishing with explosives, but still there are some unspoiled spots to snorkel and to dive. Near Kulor, Booi and the uninhabited island Molana you can enjoy undamaged coral and various tropical fishes.
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Maluku Tourism: Diving in Ambon

>> Jun 6, 2009

Diving in the waters of Indonesia is surreal and as you slip into the depths, a whole new world encircles you, enthralls you and each dive is an experience never forgotten. The waters around the Maluku Islands is no exception and probably provides some of the best diving in the archipelago although some will dispute this.

Diving in the waters of Indonesia is surreal and as you slip into the depths, a whole new world encircles you, enthralls you and each dive is an experience never forgotten. The waters around the Maluku Islands is no exception and probably provides some of the best diving in the archipelago although some will dispute this.

The Maluku islands are a string of islands stretching between Sulawesi and Papua in the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago. Ambon is a tiny island in the middle of this group of island and consists of two peninsula’s connected together in their eastern tip. Most of the diving and snorkelling in Ambon is done along the southern coast. Ambon has a multitude of dive locations. A cluster of tiny islands in the western tip of Ambon called Nusa Tiga is spectacular and in the bigger island of Seram located in the north is another. Other dive locations can be found in Saparua, Molana and Nusa Laut islands to the east of Ambon, about an hour and a half speedboat ride from Latuhalat. A day trip option is the site at Molana island.

Hukurila Cave and Lehari are both outstanding dive sites and in front of Ambon harbour there is a good diving in a wreck of a cargo ship from the Second World War. The ship is still more or less intact. You have to be aware of the tidal situation because at times the current can be quite strong. However in Nusa Tiga, Seram, Molana and Nusa Laut when the current is strong are the best sites for viewing bigger fish, the fish are also abundant.

Although some say the best time for diving in Ambon is around November to January, diving here is all year around. For muck diving, Laha I and Laha II in the southern part of Ambon’s northern peninsula are shallow dive locations with low visibility. Pulau Tiga is a small group of islands found on the Western Coast of Ambon and the number of fish that inhabit the slopes of these small islands is stunning.

A dive operator called Maluku Divers has opened in Latuhalat in the southern part of the island and this small outfit gives good service to divers. Accommodation is provided in the dive center or in the house next door. The rooms are basic but clean, with hot water and air conditioner.

Best Time to Visit :
It is possible to dive Ambon year around. The best months however are from September to May. During the months from May to August diving is the best on the northern side of the islands and also the quite bay of Ambon, but prior arrangement is necessary to ensure divers understand what to expect at this time of year.

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Papua Tourism: More about Lake Sentani

Lake Sentani, near Jayapura at the northeastern extremity of Papua, lies at an elevation of 73 m in a fault-controlled depression mainly in Mesozoic mafic and ultramafic rocks of the Cyclops Ophiolite Belt. It is bounded by the Cyclops Mountains block to the north and the lower-standing terrain of the New Guinea fold thrust belt to the south. An irregularly shaped body with approximate maximum dimensions of 28 km (E-W) by 19 km (N-S) and a surface area of 10,400 ha, Lake Sentani is by far the largest of the Papua lakes. It is fed by a catchment area of about 600 km2 and has one outlet only, via the Jafuri and Tami rivers to the Pacific Ocean near the Papua New Guinea border.

The lake is divisible into three main sectors with maximum recorded depths of 7 to 52 meters. Average annual rainfall around the lake is about 2 meters and lake level fluctuates about 0.4 m with seasonal variation in inflow. The lake is widely believed to have evolved by the tectonic damming and uplift of an arm of the sea, but such a connection has not been demonstrated.

Because of its proximity to the provincial capital and the large population around it, Sentani is the best studied of Papua lakes. According to surveys in 1970-71, 1984 and 1987 the lake is thermally unstratified, with temperatures of 29-32 C in the top 10 m. Surface pH is 6.2-6.8 and, on the basis of turbidity, plankton levels are low at 1-2 mg/L except in the westernmost basin, where circulation is limited, turbidity is doubled and seasonal algal blooms, with resultant fish mortality, have been reported.

The most recent survey (Renyaan, 1993) recorded 33 species of fish, of which 12 are indigenous, 8 anadromous and 13 introduced. Surveys over a 1 year period have shown an increase in introduced species but the impact on the total fish population has not been documented. Sawfish (Pristis microdon) up to 3 m or more were well known in the lake until the Seventies and are a common motif in traditional Sentani art, but appear to have become extinct. Fish are extensively raised in ponds and cages around the perimeter of the lake and the introduction of species (particularly carp and tilapia) has been both accidental and intentional.

Preliminary bottom sediment samples from the eastern part of the lake have recently yielded sparse populations of arcellacean microfauna, dominated by Centropyxid types. In North America these species are found associated with brackish or polluted water conditions, raising the possibility that there is residual salinity in the deeper parts of the lake. Many of the Sentani people, who inhabit the islands, perimeter and environs of the lake, still have a traditional subsistence economy based on fishing and sago harvesting. This has been sustainable for centuries but local reports suggest that catch yields have diminished in recent years. Whether this is a result of overfishing (as a result of population growth and/or market pressure), pollution or introduction of foreign species is not established.

Many of the residents occupy dwellings built on posts over the lake, which thus serves as a depository for sewage, leading to locally high coliform counts but also to nutrient enrichment. Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), introduced since the early Seventies, has become a major plant pest and may be contributing to decline of some species. Much of the mountainous terrain between the north shore of the lake and the ocean falls within the Cyclops Strict Nature Reserve. The future management of the reserve and buffer zone, and the environmental quality of the lake, are strongly interdependent. Recently a major reforestation project of grassland on the slopes surrounding the lake has been initiated, with the support of forest companies operating in Papua.

A major sustainable development issue for the inhabitants of the lake and surroundings is the existing proposal to build a hydroelectric generating facility, by means of a dam on the Jafuri River to divert the lake drainage eastward through a canal to a power station and thence to an outlet at the sea in Yotefa Bay near Jayapura. Several feasibility and environmental impact studies have yet to totally define the cost/benefit consequences of this project.
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Maluku Tourism: Natural beauty

Sea Park

Since ancient times, Maluku has been renown for its spectacular sea gardens. No wonder the beauty of Maluku's underwater life has drawn so many domestic and international visitors!

The seas fringing the Maluku Islands are exceedingly rich in biodiversity. Some of the dazzling fish and sea animals include parrot fish, butterfly fish, clown fish, trumpet fish, damsel fish, pipefish, scorpion fish, lizard fish, puffer fish, eels, octopus, sea horses, sea snakes and sea turtles. Just to name a few! All these creatures can be directly enjoyed trough snorkeling or SCUBA diving.

But without even getting wet, many reef creatures can be enjoyed from the surface of Maluku's clear, blue waters. These other wordly life forms include colorful sponges and soft corals, plate corals, brain corals, mushroom corals, red and black corals, crinoids, gorgonians, and giant clams and sea stars.
All in all, the beauty of Maluku's sea gardens, bathed in warm sunshine, make for a truly enchanting natural experience.

Some locations of the famous sea gardens in Maluku are among others in Ambon island, Banda islands, Nusalaut island, Seram island, Kai islands, Aru islands and Tanimbar islands.

Sea Shore

The Maluku seashore is no less stunning than its underwater life. Maluku boasts a wide diversity of coastal settings. White sand beaches, black sand beaches, beaches with interesting coral reefs and flanked by scenic cliffs, rocky shores and stretches of mangrove teeming with's all here. Maluku's thousands of beautiful shores are sure to beckon you back time and time again.

Coral reef

It feels uncompleted if the beauty of various fish species are not followed with the attractive coral reef like Black coral reef, Sponges, Plate coral, Coral flower in the form of bowl, will truly hypnotize whoever sees them.

According to a number of researches in Maluku water, it consists of more than 738 species of sea fish. There are several of species i.e. Pelagis (sea surface fish) and Domorsal (deep sea fish) has made Maluku water becomes a fascinating sea park. From the hundreds of species of fish there are among others known as, Ornate ghost, Pipefish, Anemone fish, Trumpet fish, Scorpion fish, Juvenile damsel fish, Lizard fish, Black spotted puffer, Porcupine fish, and Juvenile catfish. The enchantment of those several of fish are really made the panorama of the scenery of Sea Park in Maluku islands looks so splendid.

Charming Creatures

There are numbers seemingly charm creature under the water besides creatures those make the life under water panorama beautiful. They leave together with fish and the coral too, which a few of them are Moral eel, Seahorse, Banded sea snake, Jellyfish, Featherstar, Nudibranch, Garden eel, Anemone hermit crab, Spinnenkrabbe, Hinge-beak shrimp, Tropical posy. Each one of them appears with each unique unveiling.

National Park

Wisely, the Indonesian government has realized the need to preserve Maluku's natural wealth and beauty for all time. With this goal, various national parks and reserves have been set aside.

By far, the most famous of the Maluku protected areas is Manusela National Park, occupying 189,000 acres, or about one-tenth of Seram Island. Manusela is rich in a wide variety of ecosystems: seashore habitats, lowland rainforests, montane forests, pygmy forests, and even subalpine scrub topping Gunung Binaya. Mount Binaya, at 3,027 meters, is Maluku's highest peak.

Manusela National Park is enriched with unique flora and fauna due to its wide range of habitats and its intermediate position between the Oriental and Australian biogeographic realms.

The native people that dwells around the national park adds an interesting cultural attraction to the region.
We invite you to enjoy Manusela, but please remember while visiting this and all national parks: "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints".


No one can question the beauty of Maluku's hidden underground treasures. Akohi Cave in Tamilouw village, 40 km east from Masohi in south Seram, for instance, is decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, draperies - even gypsum needles and angel's hairs.

In north Seram, Lusiala Cave, high in the cliffs behind Saleman village, features awe-inspiring biological attractions. Each evening the sky darkens with a river of millions of bats. The bats circle and circle above the village, singing an eerie song, as they congregrate then wind off towards the sea, for then to the Seram mountains. Mind these creatures carefully--by local belief, Saleman's little bats or lusiala, are the grandchildren of the ancestors.
Of historical interest, some of Maluku's caves have been used as hideaways during World War II and other battles.

Casual cave trekkers find Maluku's underground world alluring. But more dedicated cave explorers are drawn further by the lure of the unknown. Much of Seram's karst terrain, including the 3,027-meter Gunung Binaya, remains little-explored. Recent discoveries in north Seram have revealed Api Lima Cave behind Masihulan village (over a kilometer long) and Hatu Saka Cave, behind Saleman village (nearly 400 meters deep). What else awaits discovery?


The Maluku Islands are the products of an on-going collision between the Pacific, Australian and Indian tectonic plates. As such, this region is very geologically active and complex. Some of the results of Maluku's geological activity are volcanoes, including a few that remain active into present times.

Banda's Gunung Api, for instance (the name literally means "Fire Mountain") was active as recently as 1989. The perfect conical symmetry of this volcano makes it irresistible to climb. Those who's summit its 600 meters are treated to stunning panoramic views of surrounding islands.

Other tectonic activity in Maluku gives rise to hot springs, such as the vast springs found in Tehoru south Seram, Tulehu village on Ambon island and in Oma village, Haruku island. These springs are sometimes likened to a nice heated swimming pool.
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About Maluku: Flora and fauna

G.E Rumphius

Born in 1627, in Wolfersheim, Germany, G. E. Rumphius was fascinated by botany at an early age. His military duty for the VOC (Dutch East India Company) brought him to Batavia (Jakarta) at the age of 25. One year later he arrived in Ambon, where he would settle for life. He conducted research in Hila village, lived next to fort Amsterdam, and composed, among other works, Ambonische Kruidboek, "The Flora of Amboina".

Rumphius was keen to discover new plant species and conducted extensive systematical research on their uses. Beside fauna and flora, Rumphius also wrote about the history of Maluku. In 1670, he was struck blind by glaucoma, but even this would not halt his seminal work in documenting Maluku biology.
Rumphius passed away on June 15, 1702. He is buried at his house yard.
A monument was erected on the corner of jalan Pattimura, Ambon island, to commemorate his great work.


Cloves (Eugenia aromatica), now common throughout the world's supermarkets, were once found only on select Maluku isles. The warm, sweet scent of these dried flower buds, and their power to preserve and revive stored meat in the days before refrigeration, inspired thousands of Chinese, Arabian and European sailors to undertake perilous voyages. Many of these voyages, including Magellan's first global circumnavigation, spawned additional important discoveries.

Cloves are important not only as food flavorings. To the present day, clove oil is distilled and used as medicine for toothaches and stomach ailments. Cloves are also blended with tobacco to create the distinctively sweet Indonesian kretek cigarettes.
What could be more refreshing on your stroll through the Maluku rainforest than to crush a handful a fresh clove leaves and take in their warm, zesty aroma?


Like cloves, nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is a spice of great worldwide demand native only to Maluku. Banda Island, with its rich, volcanic soils carpeted in nutmeg trees, was once a near-fabled destination for daring merchant sailors. Oddly, local harvesters first found little use for this crop, and were often quite puzzled by what all the fuss was about.

Surrounding the nutmeg "nut" or seed, the red, waxy aril, known as mace, is actually more potent and valuable than nutmeg itself.
The nutmeg tree, a sun-sensitive tree not unlike coffee, is often grown under the cover of kenari trees. The delicate nuts of kenari are now exported as another sustainably harvested forest crop from many parts of Maluku.


Beautiful wild orchids are found throughout Maluku. The famous natural historian G.E. Rumphius (1627-1702), identified 170 orchid species in the Maluku Islands and surrounding areas.

Phalaenopsis amboinensis, a tiny yellow-green moon orchid with brown spots, is the most world-famous species, native to the Kawa valley, Seram island. Rumphius sent this species to Europe where it was then crossed with other species. Today many award-winning Phalaenopsis cultivars are descendants of this Ambon species.
Another prized Maluku orchid is Dendrobium phalaenopsis, known locally as bunga larat. D. phalaenopsis varies from clear white to grape purple, with nuances between these two colors.

In addition, Maluku also boasts Bulophilium orchids, Coloagyne, Vanda celebia, Dendrobium grananatum vandopsis (tiger orchid) and Phaius spp. (the common garden orchid).


As a main food of Maluku, the sago palm (Metroxylon sp) is grown in several locations in Maluku. Years ago, sago was so valuable due to storable within unlimited of time, as well as transportable to other places without worrying about being rotten. "Without Sago, Ambon shall stop functioning" that is what Shirley noted in the book of Ambon: Island of spices. Sago palm is harvested after 15 years. The sago palm is a multi purposes plant. Every part of its tree can be used for the needs of Maluku, such as tree trunk is for house wall or leaves of sago for house roof.


Maluku has variety of fauna; even numbers of them are special for this region and cannot be found in others. Especially knowing Maluku is included in Wallacea region, which is the region of the exchange character of flora & fauna in western part of Indonesia (Asia character) with Australian character in Eastern part. It has also various types of fowl, including type of birds, which exist in Maluku. Out of 402 limited spread bird species in Indonesia. 225 of them or 56% are limited spread birds, live in Wallacea region. And 213 of them can only be found in Wallacea region. In Wallacea region, Maluku is the richest region, which has 116, limited spread bird species with 90 species of them can only be found in Maluku. From this number of birds among others are: Black-capped lorry (lorious lorry), Greater bird of paradise (paradisaea apoda), King Cockatoo (probosciger-aterima), and Casuary (casuarius). One of the famous types of bird due to its beauty is bird of paradise. With its beauty has made the queen of Spain Marie Christine de Bourbone (circa 1830) to use Bird of paradise on her crown. Assuming that the decreasing numbers of this type of birds were caused by the habit of women to use this bird as a hair decoration during that age.
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Papua Tourism: Merauke Interesting Place


Merauke is called Deer Town, lies in the east part of Indonesia, bordered on Papua New Guinea. This regency is well known with its Asmat woodcarvings and Wasur National Park. The population in Merauke Regency nearly 276,122 people, spread in the 18 districts. A large number of the people are living in the interior. To reach the interior, is only by plane such as twin otter or Cessna.


Wasur National Park

It is located 13 km out of Merauke town on an area of 412,387 ha. This park has various kinds of flora and fauna which part of them never found elsewhere in the world. To reach it, all kinds of vehicles can be taken. No hills or mountains range are seen but variety of habitats, such as savannah, mangroves forest and the most interesting sight of stretching marsh ebb. Wasur National Park is suitable for various kinds of activities like bird watching, wild life and nature, adventure, culture and traditional hunting. One other thing strange but interesting is the sporadic designed house which is called termite mounds. It arises to the universe fascinatingly as if the earth flowered huge sponges. There are 74 kinds of bird from 390 species are never found elsewhere in the world. It is so comfortable whenever we watch them hopping and flying among trees and branches, looking for food with their gentle voices like 'aeolin harp', as if we were asked to stop and questioned: "where is the melody from". These are the voices of birds in their own characteristics, which are rare but very attractive. There are 3 ethnic groups inhabit this area. They are Marind, Ranum and Murori, each with their own language and culture. A great number of them live in 13 villages and earning their live by gardening and hunting.

Lampu Satu Beach

It is well known with its solid soft sand that stretches lenghthwise directly across the Pacific Ocean. This beach is very beautiful especially during the sunset. It is very suitable for bird watching, horse racing and motor cycle racing. The distance from Merauke town is 5 km and reachable by vehicles.

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Papua Tourism: Biak Intersting Place


Biak, a town built on the rocky soil of an island of the same name on the rim of Cenderawasih Bay, is Irian Jaya's gateway. A big Indonesian naval base, it has an infrastructure that is better than in most other places in the province. Japanese caves are found near Ambroben.

There are some good beaches on Biak island, the most popular of which are Bosnik on the east coast, good for swimming and skin-diving, and Korem on the north coast, where one can watch young men dive for pearls. Supiori Island, just north of Biak, has a recreation forest and villages where visitors are welcome.


Among the nine regencies in Papua, Biak Numfor is the only one that consists of islands. Geographically, it is located between 134° 47- 136° east longitude and 0° 55-30° south langitude. It owns 3 big islands; Biak, Supiori, and Biak Numfor.


102.492 people spreading in 8 districts, 7 sub districts, and 153 villages inhabit Biak Numfor regency.


The temperature is generally hot. Light rains fall 189-399 mm per month between 22-29 days, which occurs a lot during the months of Januari to June whereas the dry season in between July to October.


There are numerous types of flora in this tropical area with its mystical tropical rain forest. The forest also has a variety trees and other commercials important species plus the lush vegetation of mangrove swamps. People grant their life by taking sago from the sago palm forest.


The fauna is almost similar to Australian fauna such as the group of fowl like pigeon, cockatoo, nuri (a kind of parrot) and the reptile group such : crocodile, snake, turtle and monitor lizard.


Japanese Cave

The native of Biak called this cave 'Abiyau Binzar'. Abiyau means cave and Binzar means grandmother. It is said that in the old times there was a grandmother living in this cave. During the second world war the Japanese army hid in this cave which simultaneously functioned as logistic centre. It is located in Sumberker Village, Biak Kota District; 15 minutes ride to get there from Biak town.

Parai Blue River

A cave with a river running inside contains fresh aquamarine water. Beautiful stalactite and stalagmite decorate the inside walls. It is in Parai Village Biak Kota District and takes about 15 minutes to reach it from Biak town.

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About This Blog

Welcome! This blog provides any information about Maluku and Papua Island. Maluku also known as Moluccas and Papua also known as Irian. There are many place of interest could be found there. Many travellers from all over the globe are interested in visiting Maluku and Papua.Hope this blog could be your guidance before visiting or touring to Maluku and Papua .Please enjoy....

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