24 June 2019
Small Island, Big Beauty Ternate
Small is beautiful. These words are perfectly fitting for the wondrous island of Ternate. The minute island, with an area of just over one hundred and eleven square kilometers, is popular for its gorgeous landscapes swathed in jungle and wild clove trees.
A volcano emerging from the deeps of the Maluku Sea shaped Ternate Island. Mount Gamalama now dominates Ternate, an imposing landmark and backdrop to the natural beauty that cloaks this small piece of land resting peacefully in the azure waters dotted with other volcanic islands.
Tourism activities on Ternate are located around the largest city in North Maluku Province which goes by the same name. As new investment floods into Ternate city, it’s becoming the commercial and transportation hub of North Maluku. Coming along with the boom is an increasing stream of tourists, all keen to see what this little island has to offer.
Hundreds of years ago, the island was one of the world’s largest producers of cloves and attracted the Portuguese and Dutch who colonized the island and established a major port for exporting the aromatic spice. Today, the forts and buildings erected by these European empires stand as a reminder of the islands illustrious past.
Fort Tolukko, which offers a panoramic view of neighbouring Tidore Island, and is backed by Mount Gamalama rising imposingly 1,715 meters above the sea level, was built by a Portuguese commander named Francisco Serao in 1540. The fort was later taken by the Dutch and renovated in 1610 by Pieter Both. The second fort on the island, Oranje, functioned as the main camp of the VOC in the Dutch East Indies. Today, these two historic structures are the main attractions for tourists to the island.
The unique looking black scorched rocks left over from the volcanic eruption of Mount Gamalama in 1673 form the Batu Angus tourist attraction near Tabalolo beach. While at the top of Mount Gamalama are the Abdas Water Springs which are believed to have the power to heal various diseases.
The waters surrounding Ternate also offer plenty of natural wonders. Turtles and colorful coral hide beneath the shores at Sulamadaha Beach while Nukila Park boasts unique shipwrecks for underwater adventurers to explore. Falajawa Beach, Hiri Island, Tanjung Rum, and the Kalamata waters are all worthy of a visit.
While the island is relatively small and can be explored in just a few days, its beauty, the friendliness of the people, and the experience here are anything but. A visit to Ternate Island is sure to create lasting memories.
PLACES TO VISIT
Batu Angus & Tobololo
Batu Angus (scorched stone) is a formation of volcanic stone with a charred appearance. The stretch of rock, which is the remains of the lava eruption of Mount Gamalama in the 17th century runs from the foot of Mount Gamalama to the beach. This place is one of the most popular destinations in Ternate and is just 10 kilometers from the city center. About two kilometers to the north of Batu Angus, you will find Tobololo Beach. This beautiful beach has not been glimpsed by many tourists because of the lack of promotion. Here, the clear sea water ripples and gently licks the shoreline while the palm leaves sway softly in the sea breeze. There are also several areas with hot springs originating from Mount Gamalama.
Sulamadaha is an area that always makes it on to the list of must-visit destinations in Ternate. Sulamadaha beach offers exoticism with its soft black sand and views of the mountains and islands around the coast. Not far from this beach, there is Hiri Island, one of the most popular diving spots in Ternate. Tourists can enjoy trips across to the island by renting a boat from one of the locals. About 10 minutes walk from the beach, there is also Hol Sulamadaha bay which is an amazing marine park. The hundreds of species of fish that live here make this the ideal place for diving and snorkeling.
Fort Oranje & Tolukko
Ternate has two popular forts, Oranje and Tolukko. These forts are located on the East side of Ternate. Fort Oranje that was built by Governor General Matelief De Jonge in 1607 and is a heritage fortress of the first Dutch colonial period in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Fort Tolukko was built in 1540 by a Portuguese commander, Fransisco Serraow, as a defense and storage center for spices native to Ternate. Some of the buildings were damaged over the years but the Indonesian government restored the forts from 1996 to 1997.
Laguna (Ngade) Lake
Located 18 kilometers from the center of Ternate City, Laguna (Ngade) Lake is an ideal place for tourists to seclude themselves from the crowds. Tourists are spoiled with a panoramic view of the lake surrounded by green hills, blue sea, and strong mountains. Besides enjoying its beauty, tourists can also enjoy freshwater fishing here.