As the largest island in the Moluccan archipelago, Halmahera attracts visitors with a varied landscape that stretches over 17,000 km² and contains countless picturesque panoramas, above and below water. The vast jungle areas hide lakes, rivers and waterfalls, while the mountain peaks of the active volcanoes on the island seem to touch the sky. Halmahera’s seemingly endless coastline invites with numerous beaches and small islands to dive and snorkel, right in the heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’.
Halmahera is not just a habitat for diverse flora and fauna, it is also the Moluccan island with the largest number of endemic reptile and bird species. Scientists believe that the list of known species is still not complete. The jungle region, especially in the east and south of the island, is also home to the indigenous tribe of Togutil. Due to the immigration of various ethnic groups from other regions of Indonesia, bringing with them their rituals and customs, the island culture of Halmahera is also very diverse.
Attractions on Halmahera
Halmahera’s picture postcard views
Halmahera offers a varied, mountainous jungle landscape, providing the perfect scenic backdrops to colourfully decorated villages.
Halmahera’s natural spectacle No. 1: Volcanoes
Three active volcanos, Dukono, Ibu and Gamkonora, are located on Halmahera. With the support of experienced local mountain guides, the natural spectacle of the volcanic activity can be viewed up close.
Hot springs on Halmahera island
As a result of volcanic restlessness throughout the island, there are numerous thermal springs to be discovered, offering a very special bathing experience.
Halmahera’s spectacular coastal scenery
Starting from the small harbour towns that form a lively starting point for trips in the region, there are numerous diving and snorkelling areas along Halmahera’s spectacular coastline.
Landscape variety on the island of Halmahera
There are numerous lakes, rivers and waterfalls to be found across Halmahera, as well as unusual rock formations, cliffs and atolls, all contributing to a fascinating landscape.
Secluded: Halmahera’s offshore islands
Off the shores of Halmahera are to be found countless little islands; the Widi archipelago alone comprises more than one hundred. Due to their remoteness, visits from outside are rare.
The little Sultanate Jailolo
Jailolo is not only a sub-district in the west of Halmahera, but also forms a sultanate which, together with Ternate, Tidore and Bacan, forms the ‘Moloku Kie Raha’, the Realm of the Four Mountains. The term describes the alliance of these four sultanates which dates back to the 14th century, symbolized by the power of the great mountains of the 4 realms: Gamalama, Matubu, Sibela and Ibu.
Although Halmahera can also be reached by plane, the usual transport connections are by sea. A, more or less, regular network of ferries connects all the most important places in this remote island world.
On the road on Halmahera
The rugged topography leads to long travel times between individual locations on the island. However, there are always resting places along the more frequented routes.
Meeting the locals
As everywhere in the North Moluccas, strangers are met with curiosity on Halmahera. And it’s not just the children who set themselves up for photo opportunities.
Halmahera’s village life
Village life follows the rhythm of nature, from sunrise to sunset in line with the requirements of daily needs. Central meeting points serve for social exchange as well as activities not possible at home.
The local markets
There are numerous local markets for fresh food, reflecting the variety of what the island region has to offer.
Everyday life in East Indonesia
Far away from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, life still follows very traditional paths. Fishing, agriculture and the sale of the resulting produce usually determines the daily work routine of the population here.
Journey to Halmahera
Singapur – Manado (Sulawesi) – Ternate –> SilkAir 3 ½ hrs. + among others Garuda, Wings 45 min.
Singapur – Makassar (Sulawesi) – Ternate –> SilkAir 3 hrs. + among others Garuda, LionAir 1 ¾ hrs.
Jakarta (Java) – Ternate –> among others Garuda, LionAir, Batik 4 hrs.
Manado (Sulawesi) – Kao (Halmahera) –> Wings 60 min.
Mangga Dua (Ternate) – Sofifi (Halmahera) –> ca. 45 min.
Mangga Dua (Ternate) – Sidangoli (Halmahera) –> ca. 45 min.
Mangga Dua (Ternate) – Jailolo (Halmahera) –> ca. 60 min.
Daruba (Morotai) – Tobelo (Halmahera) –> ca. 90 min.