A couple months ago on August 31st, I went to South Sulawesi for attending Takabonerate Island Expedition with 50 other participants. This is an annual festival held by local government. We stayed 4 days and 3 nights in Tinabo Island, inside Takabonerate National Park.
Takabonerate National Park is the third largest coral atoll in the world. The main attraction is the underwater beauty, thus becoming one of the favorite destinations for diving in Indonesia. Unfortunately I don’t have a diving license so I couldn’t see the underwater paradise of Takabonerate. That’s why I was put in the land tour group, not in underwater exhibition group. Land tour group were taken to visit some of the inhabited islands in the Takabonerate National Park, while underwater exhibition group were taken to dive in some great dive point.
Now I want to tell about the beauty of the Tinabo island which has an area of about 25 acres, and become tourist information center of Takabonerate. I’ll tell about what I saw in other islands I have visited in other blog post. Hope so. 😀 You know it’s hard for me to write in english. But yea, I challenge my self.
In the island there are one homestay with 3 rooms, a house for officers rangers, cafe, prayer room and some toilets. There are no fresh water in the island, so I had to use brackish water for shower.
I arrived on the island as the sun began to sink, I sat on the soft white sandy beach and enjoy the beautiful panorama. After sunset, I joined other friends who are very happy to play with baby sharks in the beach, around the pier.
The next day on september 1st, my husband played canoe. Then at 9 am we started to explore some of inhabited islands inside Takabonerate National Park, and back to Tinabo island at 6 pm.
On September 2nd, the agenda is planting trees, coral transplantation and releasing baby turtles to the oceans. But all the activities is scheduled in the afternoon. The diver used their free time to go diving. Many other who didn’t have dive license chose to go snorkeling in some spots and go by boat. I decided to stay at Tinabo Island with husband and some other friends.
After finished our breakfast, we went snorkeling around the pier. The underwater was pretty good. I saw lots of colorful fish and other marine life as well, such as starfish, sea slugs, and others that I didn’t know the name. Unfortunatelly, my snorkeling gear was not good. So I couldn’t enjoyed the underwater for a long time.
But I was very happy because the reef corals recovery effort by officers rangers has shown the nice result. This coral reef initially damaged by fishermen who fishing with the wrong way. I hope that the coral reefs grow up and healthy here, so there will be a lot more of marine life, and the underwater paradise will be more beautiful again. An officer rangers told me that the best time to enjoy the underwater around the pier of Tinabo Island is at night, because there are lot of planktons that will glow in the dark.
After have lunch, we walked around the island. We started from the house of officer rangers at north, to the south across west coast. Along the beach I found a lot of abandoned shells, and I took some to take home.
I found the most beautiful beaches, it’s on the southern tip of the island. It was the eastern monsoon at that time. The wind blew from the east, so the waves are not too big on the beach that facing to south. The beach is rarely exposed to the waves, so the sand is very dry and threaded because blown by the wind. It’s looked like a desert at the beach side.
We went back to homestay through the east coast of Tinabo island. The wind blew hard. I felt cold and very tired because of walking on sand that always collapse when stepped on. Along the beach I saw some crab holes and traces of crab legs. I also saw some shattered red algae. I thought, if there are lot of red algae that shattered by waves then mixed with the sand, it will be a pink beach like in flores.
Everyday in Tinabo Island, I always goes for hunting sunrise on the east coast. Unfortunately there are a lot of clouds so that the sun’s invisible. But I wasn’t disappointed because there are always unexpected things that distract me. Such as a crab that suddenly crossed in front of me. It was my nice journey in Tinabo Island indeed.
The most unforgettable moment is in the middle of the night at the beach. There were milky way and sooo many stars in the sky. A photographer offered me to be photographed. What an amazing night!
How to get there?
Takaboberate National Park is located in Selayar Islands, South Sulawesi. To get there, we had to fly to Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar. From Makassar we can go to Selayar Island with 2 way, by plane or bus. To save time, use plane is the right choice. But this pioneering aircraft only operate 3 times a week.
If choose go by bus, at first we had to go to Terminal Malengkeri (Malengkeri Bus Station). Bus departs two times a day, at 1am and 9am. It takes 7 until 9 hours from Makassar to Selayar Island. To get Tinabo Island inside Takaboerate National Park, we got to rent a boat, and it needs 8 hours if we departs from Rauf Rahman Pier, or 5 hours if departs from Patumbukang Pier.
Yes it’s too far and needs much money to pay. Lucky me that I was invited to the festival, so I enjoy this amazing trip for free.