Blue Whales, Australia's Biggest Export

Every year, the largest animals that ever lived on Earth, migrate from Australia's cool southern ocean waters to tropical eastern Indonesia.This fact was only discovered relatively recently after Australian researchers tagged animals off Western Australia.  “Migratory Movements of Pygmy Blue Whales (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) between...

Have you heard of Pindito?

Pindito - in a class of its ownMost people who know diving in Indonesia also know Pindito as Indonesia...

Whales and Dolphins of Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is the centre of our planet's blue heart. One thousand eight hundred reef-fringed islands lie in the path of the Pacific Ocean Throughflow current. The density of life here is like nothing you've seen before.There are many who would travel to a place like this and barely break the surface of what there is to understand and learn. There are many more who miss the regency's largest residents. Whales and dolphins are, to Raja Ampat, like grazing wildebee...

New meets old in Perancak’s Emerald Ecosystem

By Chris SawyerHanggar meets us with a warm smile and we know we are in good hands. His English is very good and he communicates a passion for conservation as he explains the itinerary for the day and we set off. Being on first name terms with the local people, he’s treated like a family member. We can ask many questions and feel like we’re in the heart of a real community for conservation. Everywhere there are good news stories to be told by the local people who are happy...

The Making of Pindito

Edi Frommenwiler was a mechanic, long-distance lorry driver, then adventure tour guide for 10 years, before he decided to embark on the journey of his life and build a 38m long sailing ship in one of the world’s most remote places. 

Raja Ampat - A Fantastic Voyage

To visit Raja Ampat is to dive inside a gigantic living organism; to navigate through its nervous system, ride the rush of currents passing down networks of ancient channels, highways for cells and plankton that feed the organs of its being: reefs and ocean fronts where miniature forces combine on a massive scale, giving and supporting life. In the 1996 Vernes-style cult classic The Fantastic Voyage adventurers were miniaturised and injected into the body of a scientist to...

Birds of God in the Heart of Paradise

"The people told us that those birds came from the terrestrial paradise, and they call them bolon diuata, that is to say, 'birds of God'" Antonio Pigafetta (c. 1491 – c. 1531)In the absence of natural predators, Birds of Paradise have evolved elaborate plumage and displays that correlate with males’ sexual prowess and fertility. It’s the undercurrent of an evolutionarily stable strategy, that’s to say a way to ensure populations remain balanced perfectly at carrying capacit...

From the Realms of the Dead: Killer Whales in Raja Ampat

Latin Orcinus (“of the realms of the dead”), from Orcus + -inusAfter breakfast we resume our hunt for whales and dolphins heading south west into the heart of the Dampier Strait. A slice of nutrient-poor Pacific Ocean water pushes into the narrows from the east to meet bountiful currents and upwellings from the other side. In this three-dimensional world, fish and squid concentrate in the layers between vast water masses. At their boundaries, currents extend,...

The Ghost Net Story

When Ghost Nets Australia began, the combination of science and art brought the Aboriginal communities of northern Australia together with fishing communities in remote eastern Indonesia. The project has been instrumental in cleaning up ghost gear in the Arafura Seas, supporting Indigenous rangers and saving endangered sea turtles.This is the story of a Ghost Net (for more, read https://www.ghostnets.com.au/) 

South east Asia's top bird breeding island

Manuk Island is one of only six seabird colonies left in Indonesia and one of the few left in the entire southeast Asia and south China Sea. It was formally the country's largest seabird colony but despite being protected, numbers of seabirds continue to decline. Part of the cause may be that the island is heavily rat-infested. Removing...

Blue Whales of the Banda Sea and Forgotten Islands

WORDS & PICTURES Simon MustoeThere are a handful of places where the history of oceans, life on Earth and Western civilisation collide in spectacular form; where networks that stabilise weather systems, create fisheries, our economy, determine our farming seasons, regulate climate and fuel global food production, can be appreciated through what you observe in plain sight. One of these is the Banda Sea. The ocean supplies ingredients for all life...

Golden Bridge Gate to Serene Ceningan

Sunset’s last rays turn Mount Agung’s summit amber, it’s eruption-scorched cone cutting a foreboding shape above evening mist, as the fast ferry carves its way through lazurite seas toward the lights of Lembogan island’s resorts. Half an hour from Sanur Harbour (Bali’s Charing Cross for fast ferries), the island was once haven for those seeking peace from the mainland. These days arrivals are met with the familiar endless beachside restaurants, resorts and guest houses that have prolif...

Indonesia Born of Fire

FROM time to time, it’s humbling to be reminded we live suspended on thin plates of rock floating over an ocean of swirling molten iron and nickel. Stripped of its flimsy outer-clothing, Earth’s glowing, naked form, would be as mysterious and inhospitable as the far reaches of our solar system. When earthquakes and volcanoes happen, we’re awarded a tiny glimpse of our geological birthright. Energy tied up in the formation of our plant about four and half billion years ago, is rele...

A Borneo Adventure by Sadie (13)

I woke up the first morning at the Swiss-belle Hotel at 5.30am! I had everyday cereal for breakfast (coco pops in my case) but there was loads of amazing Indonesian food as well. Packed and ready to leave, we were headed for our Klotok (boat) that we were ready for our big adventure!  The boats are amazing. They have two floors. On top are couches and a table for eating at. Downstairs is for the crew cabins, kitchen, toilet and shower. When I first boarded, it was a lot to take...

The Wallace Line

Barely 40 kilometres separate the islands of Bali and Lombok, yet they mark the invisible boundary between two geographic domains, first described in 1859 by revered explorer and Darwin luminary, Alfred Russell Wallace. He believed “the western part to be a separated portion of continental Asia, the eastern the fragmentary prolongation of a former pacific continent” Wallace saw that Indonesia’s 17,000 or so islands were a melting pot for evolutionary biology.&nbs...