Nias is an isolated paradise for those seeking the waves. An archipelago with some of the best surfing spots in the world – Nias is situated in North Sumatera. Every year, tourists from around the globe come to Sorake and Lagundry bays to test the legendary point break. International surfing competitions are held every year.
It was the Australians who discovered that Sumatera has many potential spots for surfing in 1975. The world-class waves have made Nias, the 2nd best surfing destination after Hawaii. In 1993, the first international championship for surfers was held in Sorake Bay.
Before it was a famous surfing destination, Nias was only a sleepy island visited by the archaeologists and anthropologists who studied the culture and history. The booming of its beautiful bays have created a new attraction – and improved the island’s developments from accommodations to eateries. Despite the international tourist flocks that influence the island’s infrastructures, Nias still holds its authenticity.
Situated at Teluk Dalam district, Sorake bay is a hidden gem for right and left handers. The waves have constant flows with a height up to 5 meters and it’s a perfect place for beginners and pros. This is why surfers love the condition because it is never affected by tides or winds – it’s an all-day surfing in Nias. However, people can expect high waves from May to September. The international surfing competition is usually held between the months of June and July.
Many surfcamps are established near the bay. They are packed with basic amenities to cater surfers’ needs. For a wave-searching experience, Nias does give an ample of excitement. Not to mention, the whole area is an ideal place to explore Indonesia’s traditional culture with its uniqueness and authenticity.
Before it rings any bell for wave searchers, Lagundri was a sleepy village undiscovered. However, today things have changed. Lagundri is known for its incredible waves. The earthquake in 2004 has shifted the bay into better shape as the reefs rose impeccably high. The swells are consistent – making it perfect for advanced surfers. The sandy beach of Lagundri is also a perfect setting to wander around or simply relaxing under the palm trees.
It takes quite an effort to come to this place. There are many ways you can choose.
If you travel by sea, you can go to Sibolga Port in Sibolga and hop in one of the ferries that will take you to Gunung Sitoli port. It normally takes around 9 – 14 hours depending on the weather.
If you travel by air, you can take a flight to Medan, North Sumatera and then continue the flight to Gunung Sitoli (Binaka Airport). All of the flights to Gunung Sitoli are from domestic airlines such as Wings Air and Merpati Airlines. Most of the domestic airlines offer direct flight to Medan from all major cities. There are also direct flights to Medan from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Penang, Ipoh, Bangkok and Malacca.
Things to note
- The trip to Nias could take a lot of energy as it’s not a short trip. The environment is very ‘raw’ and some of the locals are still conservative. It is recommended to travel in groups, 5 persons at least.
- You can hire local guide who is knowledgeable about the place and the language so you don’t have any trouble finding what you need.
- There are many surfcamps and shops that rent boards. You can either bring your own equipments or borrow on the spot.
- You can explore the island’s famous events such as Stone Jumping and War Dance. These traditional ceremonies are held regularly as a part of tourist attractions. Stone jumping is a manhood ritual that symbolizes the fate that a young man must take as he reaches adolescent age.
- As the area is more of a forest than a city, there is not much amenities you can obtain. Wear light fabric clothing for the sun heat can be pretty intense and don’t forget mosquito repellent, too.
Best time to visit
The Sorake and Lagundri Bays offer non-stop rushing waves throughout the year so every day is the best time to surf. However, if you want to witness the international events where top surfers from around the world gather, you should come between June and July.
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