The remote Halmahera island, also called Gilolo or Jailolo, is the largest island in Maluku (the Moluccas), K-shaped almost like a miniature Sulawesi. With white sandy beaches, unspoiled forests and the spectacular Mt Mamuya in the distance, this island offers stunning scenery. This is a rugged and mountainous landscape and much of the island is still covered in forest.
While the island covers an enormous area of over 17,000 square kilometers, it is sparsely populated. This island is the core of a larger region, called Moro that includes the island and the coastline of Halmahera, and is closest to Morotai to the north.
Just south of Morotai, several Second World War wrecks can be explored in Tobello Bay. These sites are really off the beaten track, so you’ll need to come here with a spirit for adventure. The unchartered territory here creates a “Robinson Crusoe” atmosphere, as there are absolutely no signs of humans, just beautiful coral islands and natural forests.
The most popular activities on the island involve exploring its beautiful waters. Surf at Dorume Beach, known for its huge waves, especially in December; which is the best time for surfers to visit. Along with it’s massive surf, the attraction here is the very fine sands of the beach that seem to glitter in the sun as they contain metallic grains.
For a combination of natural and historical attractions visit Sosol Beach and Tosimaru Shipwreck. The long black-sandy beach is free from strong currents so it’s a great place to relax and cool off with a swim. While you are here, look at the wreck of Tosimaru, a World War II Japanese cargo ship, which is visible from far away.
Stare into the rim of one of Indonesia’s most active volcano’s. The awe inspiring Mount Dukono is one of three active volcanoes on Halmahera Island and one of the most active ones in all of Indonesia. Test your endurance and climb this mountain which still spews with smoke.
Diving in the pristine waters amongst the tropical fish here is a remarkable experience. Some of the most popular dive sites include: Somola Bay is where you will find small islands, which offer blue seawaters and mangrove trees growing on stones. In this area, tourists can go canoeing while enjoying the beautiful Somola landscape. This beautiful area can be reached with the ship from Pune Beach, Galela District.
Tagalaya Island is one of the islands located up front from Tobelo Town. The water is calm and crystal clear, and a white-sand beach surrounds the entire island. Coral reefs rich with marine life are found at a depth of 2-10 meters off the coast of Tagalaya. Mangroves grow out of white sand and surrounded by the corals, make diving here a unique experience. You can also watch the locals fishing here.
Rorangane Island is one of the uninhabited islands of North Halmahera, located just 15 minutes from Tobelo harbor. Similar to Tagalaya, the water is calm and crystal clear. White sand beaches surround the entire island. Besides offering good swimming spots, the coral reefs, at a depth of 10-30 meters, make it an ideal location for diving.
There are a number of ways to reach Halmahera Island from Jakarta, Surabaya , Makassar and Manado by air and sea.
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