IO, Jakarta – As the largest archipelagio state in the world, stretching from Sabang at the tip of Sumatra to Merauke, near Papua New Guinea, many of Indonesia’s 17,504 islands are still uninhabited or even unexplored. A coastline of nearly 100,000 km. means a number of islands hold delightful surprises for domestic and foreign tourists, as their holiday destination.
There is Ora beach, located on the island of Seram, North Seram District, Central Maluku, popularly known as a ‘hidden paradise in eastern Indonesia’. While Central Maluku Regency possesses a tropical oceanic climate (Central Maluku being surrounded by high seas), Ora beach is a small pocket of ocean front surrounded by the towering cliffs of Sawai – a steep, rocky ascent tourists enjoy climbing – and the tropical forested mountain range of Manusela National Park. Along the Ora coast are Saleman Village and Sawai Village, both small communities of fishermen; in the mountains live the indigenous people: the Alifuru tribe and the primitive Hoaulu, settled in a remote area of North Seram. In recent years a number of migrants from more populated areas who have moved into the region.
The beauty of Ora beach is highlighted by its pure white sand and crystal-clear sea water, reflecting the panorama of the deeps, colorful with a diversity of coral reefs; most of the coral reefs around the Ora coast have a ‘pan contour’, as the sea is shallow there: when the tides recede the reefs are exposed, so you need not dive into the sea to see them. One aspect of Ora beach is its remoteness. From Pattimura Airport in Ambon, visitors must travel overland an hour to the ‘Rapid Ship’ port in Talehu Village from there it is a two-and-a-half-hour boat trip Amahai Harbor on Seram island. Then visitors pass through the Manusela National Forest in an overland journey, for another 2 hours, finally arriving at picturesque Saleman Village.
It is only some 15 minutes more to Ora beach, nestled beneath the cliffs of Manusela National Forest. Visitors stay at a seaside inn, enjoying the dazzling white sand seacoast. It is a comfortable atmosphere, one in which you feel a oneness with nature. Enterprising visitors can also go island hopping to small communities in Sawai Bay, renting a small powerboat.
Among the delightful small insular outcroppings that travelers can visit are Pulau Sawai, Pulau Raja, Pulau Kelelawar, Pulau Tujuh, Pulau Tengah, and Pulau Sapalewa. A full tour circling them takes only around 30 minutes. Some visitors enjoy a hike up to the ‘Dutch Springs’, a small river flowing down from the mountain and emptying into the Gulf of Saleman. Its name allegedly derived from a group of Dutch explorers were delight to discover the source of cool fresh mountain water.
Tourists visiting Ora Beach usually stay overnight in any of a variety of resort accommodation: exotic wooden beachfront cabins, built on stilts directly over the water. Ora Beach today features 2 types of lodging: inland cabins or beach lodging. Visitors to Ora beach are advised to bring along bottled mineral water from the Saleman Village, as the clean water on Ora Beach tends to be salty.
They should also consider bringing along spare batteries for their devices or camera equipment, as the electricity generator on Ora only runs from 5 pm to 5 am. (Aldo)