24 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Morotai Island – North Maluku Province

Morotai Island Regency is part of North Maluku Province which is located in the northernmost part. Morotai Island is famous for its marine tourism, nature and history, so it is not surprising that this area even attracts foreign tourists to visit this place. The capital of Morotai Island is Daruba City.

In the city of Daruba there is a local government office that provides information for tourists visiting the island. In the old village of Daruba, you can find “Marston Matting” which is a relic of the United States during World War II as a fence for residents’ houses. Morotai Island is increasingly recognized through the local Government program by holding the Morotai Sail in 2012.

History Morotai Island

Morotai Island is a nostalgic World War II zone which at that time had a strategic role at that time. Morotai Island is a Japanese military base to control Indonesia, the Philippines and parts of Malaysia. On September 15, 1944, the Morotai War broke out which involved the allies of the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and the UK against their Japanese allies.

Some artifacts left over from World War II, such as artillery cannons, wrecks of warships, amphibious vehicles, runways and shelter bunkers can still be found on Morotai Island. Even one of the islands on Morotai Island, Sumsum Island, was once used as the headquarters and resting place by General Mac Arthur, one of the leaders of the United States allied armies in the Pacific region at that time.

1. Marrow Island

Sumsum Island or known as Zum-zum Island has a high historical value during World War II, namely being the headquarters and resting place of General Douglas Mac. Arthur who is the leader of the allied forces for the Asia Pacific region so that Sumsum Island is often referred to as “Mac. Arthur Island”. You will also be amazed by the beauty of Sumsum Island which is filled with white sandy pebble beaches and crystal clear sea water here.

2. Dodola Island

Dodola Island is an island that you must visit while in Morotai. This island is so enchanting that the local government mentions Dodola Island as the pearl on the lips of the Pacific. Dodola Island has Big Dodola and Small Dodola. The uniqueness of the big Dodola and the little Dodola there is a time when both are separated by the sea and there is a time when they become one.

3. Pulau Ngelengele

Nlengele Island is another interesting island that you can visit. You can see the life of fishermen doing fish and pearl cultivation. The island of Ngulungele is divided into two, namely the Greater Ngulungele Island and the Small Npembelele Island.

4. Tanjung Gorango

Tanjung Gorango, which is located between Gorua Village and Korago (North Morotai District) will amaze you with its beauty. You can also stop at Gorua Village which has a pretty interesting beach.

5. Leo Leo Waterfall

This waterfall is located in Leo Leo Village, South West Morotai District, Bau Island. This waterfall can be reached by trekking  about 40 minutes from the village. You will also pass 3 small rivers. This waterfall is about 10 meters high. If you are from Daruba, then you have to rent a speedboat to get to this location about 2 hours away.

6. Coffee Rock

Batu Kopi is located on the coast of Posiposi-Rao Island, South West Morotai District. This stone is very unique because at certain times it smells of coffee even though there are no coffee plants in the surrounding area. In addition, Batu Kopi is also very beautiful which is located on a stretch of white sand and under the rock there is a large enough hole.

7. Gorua Beach

You can also stop at Gorua Village which is very close to Tanjung Gorango. Gorua village is known for the friendliness of its people. In this village there are a number of old graves which are known to the local community as sacred places. In this village you can also visit Gorua beach which also has a beautiful white sand beach.

8. Diving

Diving Spot on Morotai Island reaches 28 points and maybe more than that. In the waters of Morotai, there are not only a variety of beautiful coral reefs with various types of colorful fish. The main attraction is the many historical relics of World War II that you can find in the sea around Morotai Island.

9. King’s Waterfall

This waterfall is located in the village of Raja, South West Morotai District. There are several levels of Raja Waterfall, the 1st level of Raja Waterfall (about 2 meters high) is the most frequently visited because the location is not too far away. Meanwhile, the most beautiful waterfall is the 7th level (height reaches 50 meters) which is about 15-20 km from the 1st level so this place is rarely visited.

The 7th level waterfall is also called Wayabula Waterfall because it is estimated to be in the Wayabula area. When trekking you will also go along the limestone river. You can look for local residents to be  your guide  to this location.

10. Surfing at Tanjung Sopi

Tanjung Sopi is now very popular in the world of surfing . Many foreign tourists deliberately come to the village of Sopi in the northernmost part of Morotai Island to practice surfing and many of them also stay at residents’ homes because there is no accommodation available. The waves of Tanjung Sopi according to surfers are one of the best in Indonesia for surfers . At the end of Tanjung Sopi you will find a lighthouse, you can climb the lighthouse to see the extraordinary beauty of its surroundings.

11. Daruba City Park

Daruba City Park is getting more and more crowded at night. This park is perfect for you to enjoy the beauty of the sunset . On this beach there are also many food vendors, you can order food such as fried bananas, guraka water, grilled fish, and so on.

12. Monumen Teuro Nakamura

Teuro Nakamura is one of the very interesting history of Morotai Island. Nakamura was the last Japanese soldier and surrendered at the end of 1974. Therefore, the Regional Government of Morotai Island Regency established the Teruo Nakamura Monument to commemorate the history where Morotai Island used to have a strategic role as one of the bases in World War II.

13. Nakamura Waterfall

This waterfall is located in the interior of the forest of Dehegila Village. Called “Nakamura” because in the past, when Soldier Teuro Nakamura was hiding in the forest, he always took water here for daily needs. This waterfall is very beautiful, but access to this place is not good and is still red soil. So that during the rainy season, the road to this waterfall becomes muddy and slippery.

This waterfall has very clear and refreshing water, so the local government uses the waterfall to meet the clean water needs of the residents of Morotai Island. You can find water reservoirs and large pipes around it, this is what reduces the beauty of the waterfall.

14. Surfing in Little Bere Bere

Bere Bere Kecil Village is located in Morotai Jaya District. In this village you can see the culture of the Galela tribe originating from North Halmahera. The dance art that still exists here is like the Denge-Denge dance. On the edge of Bere Bere Kecil beach is a stretch of fine white sand.

Around December, this place is suitable for surfing. The people in this place are much friendlier than in Daruba City. Lodging is available in the form of guest houses , some surfers who usually come to this place choose to stay at the homes of local residents.

15. Platform Pitu

Pitu Airstrip, a legacy of the Japanese Army, which was built on October 17, 1944. There are 7 airstrips in this place, but one of them has been operationalized as Morotai Island Pitu Airport. The Pitu runway is in Wawama which is adjacent to Daruba City.

16. Glass Water

Glass Water during World War II was a vital source of water for US troops. This spring is also often used by General Mac Arthur to bathe and it is said that when Mac Arthur bathes in this place, he can see predictions in the war later. Glass water also has a mystical value that is believed by some residents of Morotai Island.

17. Tabailenge Island

Tabailengi Island, also known as Tabailenge Island, is located near Bere Bere Village, the eastern part of Morotai Island. From Bere Bere Village to the island it only takes about 15 minutes, you can rent a local boat there. This island is full of white sand on the coast that makes you feel at home for long there and playing in the water.

18. Rorasa Beach

Rorasa Beach also has its own beautiful landscape . You can see there is a fairly large rock which is located very close to the shoreline. This beach is around Buho Buho Village, Morotai Island.

19. Kokota Flower Waterfall

This waterfall is located in the village of Mira which is located on the slopes of Mount Bakulu in the eastern part of Morotai Island. This waterfall has its own beauty, there are several waterfall points at this location, some are about 4 meters to a height of about 25 meters, one of the points of the waterfall has a cave with a depth of 4 meters.

Of course, it makes visitors apart from playing in the water and wanting to explore around this waterfall. The distance of this waterfall from the main road is quite close, only 100 meters. If you are from Daruba City, to this place using a motorized vehicle with only a distance of about 1 hour, you will find a sign with the words “Kokota Flower Waterfall” upon arriving at the location.

20. Trikora Museum & World War II

You can find these two museums in Daruba City. The World War II Museum is visited by many tourists and even some American and Australian tourists look for traces of their ancestors here and some find some relics in the museum that belong to their families. Meanwhile, the Trikora museum commemorates the Trikora troops in the operation to liberate Irian Jaya (Papua). You can also find a mini-museum in Daruba village, which is owned by Mukhlis Eso, which has many relics of World War II.

21. Army Dock dan Navy Base

You can find the Army Dock & Navy Base  from World War II in Pandanga Village, which is the military headquarters of the Army and Navy allies in the Pacific war in Morotai. In that place also built infantry military installations, combat engineers and hospitals as well as five sea docks. This location is very important in 1944 – 1945. There used to be a floating bridge that connected this place to Sumsum Island which was used to transfer logistics for war soldiers. You can  find the ruins of a former military port at this location.

22. Tank Amphibi

In the Gothalamo Village area, which is very close to Daruba, there are several amphibians left by the Allies during World War II which can still be seen today. This tank already looks porous, but is still crowded with tourists because of its historical value.

23. Kokoya Island

When you do Island Hoping , stop by Kokoya Island because on this island you can enjoy a panoramic view of a white sand beach that is so beautiful. This island is uninhabited. And quite close to Daruba City, which is only about 30 minutes by speedboat.

24. Pulau Kolorai

This island is known as a tourist village. On this island you can see the activities of the local people and get to know their lives. In addition, on this island there is a beach that is quite beautiful, from this island you can see directly Dodola Island.

Hotels & Lodging in Morotai Island

You can find various types of hotels & inns in Daruba City. Outside of Daruba City, you will find it difficult to find lodging in the class of hotels or motels, most of what are available are  guest houses  and many foreign tourists choose to live with residents. 

Art and Dance Culture in Morotai Island

Cultural arts and dances that you can find on Morotai Island such as Yangere Music, Tokuwela Dance, Denge-denge Dance, Timba Laor (Sea Caterpillar) Dance, Cakalele Dance and Tide-tide Dance. This art and dance culture is often displayed when there are certain events such as welcoming guests, wedding ceremonies, and so on.

Handycrafts in Morotai Island

Handicrafts that you can find on Morotai Island include the machete sarawaku which is a traditional weapon typical of the Maluku region which is also used during the Cakalele dance, milk and aya-aya crafts which use dried bamboo skin to sieve rice and filter flour or sago water. , craft pandanus mats, craft Saloi which is a traditional backpack made of rattan, craft Tolu or hats for gardening or fishing with bamboo as basic materials, Porocosigi craft resembling a bottle as a rice storage container and White Iron handicrafts made from leftovers. World War II equipment that is processed into necklaces, rings, bracelets, commando knives and so on.

Culinary in Morotai Island

Typical foods that you can find on Morotai Island such as Bia Rica-rica, Dabu-dabu grilled fish, Fufu fish, Bubengka cake, Waji cake, Halua Kacang cake, Jaha rice, Gohu (North Maluku style Skipjack Sashimi), Nasi Bulu and Papeda . Restaurants are easier to find in Daruba City. You can easily find fresh seafood in restaurants in Daruba City. Basically the typical food on Morotai Island is also the same as other typical foods in North Maluku Province. Local specialties are easier to get when you live in a villager’s house.

Transportation in Morotai Island

If you go around Morotai Island, it’s a good idea to rent a motorized vehicle, both two and four wheels, available bentor (motor rickshaw) for short distances. Traveling to a village which is quite far from Daruba City, the access is still not good. Meanwhile, if you want to go around the various islands around Morotai Island, for your convenience, you can rent a speedboat all day, although it is a bit expensive, but you can go around several islands at once. Another option is to use a passenger ship which is quite cheap but of course it will be quite time-consuming because you have to wait for other passengers until the ship is full.

Access to Morotai Island

If you are from outside the province of North Maluku, then you must first use a plane that lands in Ternate City . After that, you have several options to go to Morotai Island, namely:

1. You continue with a pioneer plane which is currently only available 3 days a week from Ternate Island to Morotai Island (Pitu Airport) with a journey time of about 45 minutes.

2. You can use a ship from the Ahmad Yani port of Ternate which is currently only available two days a week with a journey time of about 9 hours.

3. From the port of Ternate, you use a speedboat to cross to Sofifi City on Halmahera Island, then continue by vehicle to Tobelo City (North Halmahera Regency) in about 3.5 hours, and continue by using a passenger ship for 2 hours or a speedboat for about 1 hour to Morotai Island. The latter option is quite time-consuming and labor-intensive. Unless you have plans to travel in Kab. North Halmahera first.

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