Season: March - November
Pulau Halmahera is the largest island in the Maluku Island province shaped with four mountainous peninsulas and scores of active volcanoes. The area is dotted with scenic lakes, caves and surrounding islands some of which are still unexplored. The island is home to the highest number of endemic birds of all the Maluku Islands and a vast variety of reptiles with even more, being discovered in recent years. The harmonious island is a unique experience which still holds strong culture and beliefs dating back to prehistoric ages. Getting to Halmahera isn’t difficult however may be slightly longer than reaching more populated parts of Indonesia. There is a modest airport on Halmahera suitable for smaller private jets however for larger aircraft landing at Sultan Babullah Airport is simple with only a short trip from there to Galela Airport nearby Tobelo.
Spoilt with activity opportunities, most of which involve the exquisite waters. The island is famous for its glitter sand beaches containing metallic grains reflecting a dramatic beauty. Be hypnotized by the crystal clear waters of Telaga Biru a small natural pond near Mamuya village in Galela district. Catch breaks at Doreme Beach with most surfers heading there in December or seek out the calmer waters perfect for swimming, kayaking or exploring by stand up paddleboard.The forested coast and rivers can be accessed up close by kayak allowing a quiet and serene environment and your best chance to spot some the endemic tropical birds. Get a rare sighting of the dance of the standardwing ‘Bird of Paradise’ or spot the white and blue pigeons who find refuge in the mangroves.
Getting into the mountains and meandering amongst rocky plains boasts plenty of hiking tracks to take in the stunning scenery and pristine forested lands. In the nearby Galela district a chance to visit the Mamuya hot springs with waters knowns to have healing properties for many skin issues.
The beauty of the island expands well beneath the land and into the clear waters and lush mangroves which diving enthusiasts and snorkelers will be extremely excited by. The area allows for all dive levels with easy dive spots of steep drop offs and caverns. With schools of fish, coral covered slopes, shallow reef tops, bays brimming with marine life, sea horses and other critters who home here. There are over forty sites to explore around Halmahera all within great range of each other. The reefs are in excellent condition with a very rich marine biology to be explored. Beginner divers can still experience an unprecedented amount of beauty within the large coral reefs only 2-10 metres underwater. For the more advanced and adventurous divers an underwater mountain with schooling jack fish, barracuda, napoleon wrasses and tuna. For wreck dives, a historical Japanese shipwreck dating back to World War II lays and big fish species can be seen. Black snappers, emperors, bump head parrot fish are all living amongst both soft and hard coral playgrounds.
West of Halmahera is the volcanoes which emerge from the deep Maluku Sea also known as Twin Kingdoms. These almost identical islands Ternate and Tidore face each other. Ternate dominated by Mt Gamalama and its neighbour Mt Kiemtabu which rises higher. There are many dive spots to be seen in these waters as well. Coral gardens, submerged reefs, pinnacles and naturally formed tunnels have become the home to millions of species. Colourful reef fish, transparent jellyfish and pelagics such as the blacktip reef shark, parrotfish, bumphead, turtles, schooling fish and many macros are found.