Activities and Adventures

With its rainforests, rivers, volcanic mountains, strings of islands and coral seas, Indonesia offers a vast range of opportunities to all travellers with a taste for adventure.

Scuba diving

Bunaken, an island off the northern tip of Sulawesi, is one of the world's great diving sites, boasting more species of sealife that the Great Barrier Reef or the Red Sea - sharks, manta rays, turtles, sun fish, octopus, and much more. Other dive centres are found in Bali (at Amed and Tulamben Bay), on Lombok and the Gili Islands, on Komodo and Flores, and on and around Derawan island off north-eastern Kalimantan,

Surfing

The southern coasts of the islands of Indonesia have world-class surfing conditions. The main season is May to September. Bali has over 30 surfing spots, including Kuta, Pantai Suluban, as well as Nusa Lembongan (an island off Bali). Other surfing centres are found on Sumbawa and Lombok, at Roti (West Timor), in southern and eastern Java (including G-Land), southern Sumatra, and Nias and the Mentawai islands off western Sumatra.

Hiking and trekking

Trekking is encouraged in many of Indonesia's fifty national parks, which span almost the whole of the archipelago (see www.geocities.com/RainForest/4466). Volcanoes offer particularly unforgettable walking, notably at Mount Bromo on Java, and Mount Agung in Bali. The more adventurous can trek in Tana Toraja in South Sulwesi; or visit Dani villagers and their mummified dead in the Balim Valley of Irian Jaya; or join a trans-Borneo expedition through the rainforest, where they might encounter remote tribes of (former) 'headhunters' and see freshwater dolphins, monkeys, giant butterflies and a huge range of exotic birds.

Rafting and river boating

The thrills and spills of white-water rafting, and gentler pursuit of jungle river boating, are available in a number of places in Indonesia, including the Ayung River in Bali, on the Wampu River in Sumatra, and in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan.

Golf

There are a number of courses in Indonesia, particularly in Java and Bali. Golf is an increasingly popular sport in Indonesia. There are nearly 30 championship courses in and around Jakarta, four more in Badung, and eight around Surabaya. Bali has three.

www.indogolf.com

Birdwatching

Indonesia has an astonishing number of birds, including parrots, lorikeets, bee-eaters, munias, flycatchers, tailorbirds, black ibises, honeyeaters, and hornbills. (Sulawesi alone has 70 species of birds found only there.) You can see these in Indonesia's many national parks, or join specialist expeditions to take you to the sites where you are most likely to see the most spectacular and rarest species.

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