10 Things to Do in Tobelo

Traveljunkieindonesia.com – The Tobelo is centred on the largest town in Halmahera Island. The town itself is also called Tobelo, and is a major transport hub for north-eastern Halmahera – but pretty it isn’t.

However the surrounding area is more attractive with fine beaches, pretty off-shore islands, jungle-clad hills and a volcano.  So, here are 10 Things to Do in Tobelo:

1. Bentor Tours
Bentor Tours to sites outside the city limits are a perennial favourite in Tobelo. A full-day tour takes you through beautiful countryside to destinations, including stops to watch besi putih production, monumen air nusantara, sagero making, and papeda processing.

2. Telaga Paca
This small crater lake is about half an hour south of Tobelo town, a few kms off the main road. It has a backdrop of densely forested mountains, and a small village next to it. The locals have recently built an overwater resting area here, which offers the best views of the lake. There will probably be a small charge for using it. Hiring a canoe to explore this lake should be fun.

3. Tulang Island
Tulang (Bone) is the nearest islet to the town, within swimming distance of the harbour. That’s a pity, actually, as it means this otherwise inviting little “four-palm-trees island” is not as clean as it could be – still worth a quick photo though!

4. Kumo Island
Kumo is the nearest one of the inhabited islands to the town, thus the most easily and cheaply accessible. It also has the most popular beach – its popularity with locals means it is peppered with litter. If you find this too off-putting, don’t despair – far nicer, clean, unspoilt beaches await on the far side of the island! 😉

5. Pawole Island
Privately-owned, uninhabited little Pawole is my favourite island in this group. It is circled by the finest white-sand beaches and has great, diverse reefs with a drop-off for snorkelling.

6. Tupotupo Island
This little island also looks great from the distance, but is something of a let-down close up. Its beach is full of litter, its reefs are destroyed by dynamite fishing, and it’s infested with sand flies!

Relaxin at Kakara Island (Image courtesy of Rahung)

7. Kakara Island
Kakara is the next island behind Kumo. It is most famous for its traditional hibualamo house, standing right by the jetty on the shore. However, it has more to offer: a large, mangrove-fringed inlet just in front of the village, fine beaches on the backside of the island facing the open sea, and even some good reefs off the south-eastern point looking towards Tagalaya.

8. Tagalaya island
Tagalaya is the island most actively promoted and developed as a tourist destination in this archipelago. The main attraction are its coral gardens, which are certainly very extensive, though rather lacking in diversity for my (spoilt) taste. The beaches are not bad either, and unlike Kumo, it is kept nicely clean!

9. Tolonuo Island
The largest and northernmost island in the group, Tolonuo has a mixed Tobelorese and Galelarese population. The main village is a rather scruffy one, however there is surprisingly good snorkeling even right in front of it, starting maybe 100 metres west of the jetty. Those with time to explore could check out more remote spots – fishlife is said to be more abundant off the east coast of the island.

10. Wangongira River
Once upon a time on an island of spices, an old woman went to the jungle to collect rice. At that time, rice stalks grew in the woods, tall and verdant. On her way home, she slipped and fell into a stream. Stuck at the bottom of the river, the grains that she had collected would grow each year, and the woman’s spirit would become the guardian of the springs. Read more, visit a paradise cursed

So, free to comment and add some of your favorite things to do in Tobelo finds.

Happy Green Travels!

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