The south-eastern Peninsula and Buton group of islands are inhabited by descendants of the Torajan and Bugis peoples. Due to the strong influence of the Islamic Kingdom of Bone most of the people in this part of Sulawesi are Moslems in faith. There are five diverse cultural groups: the Tolaki, Morunene, Buton, Muna (locally ‘Wuna’) and the Bajo.
Most of the land area of Southeast Sulawesi is covered by natural jungle, with extensive plantations of teak and ironwood used for the local handicraft industry and hence contributing to the local economy. For those who seek adventure and ecotourism, come to Lambusango and Kakenauwe Protected Forest, Wakatobi Marine National Park and the Basilika Islands.
Places of Interest
Kendari is the capital of Southeast Sulawesi Province. It lies on a sloping hill overlooking beautiful Kendari Bay. Kendari artists are known for their artistic handicraft of traditional designs, using indigenous roots and ironwood. Silverworks from Kendari are widely known for its quality and beautiful designs.
Batu Gong Beach and Toli Toli Hill
Batu Gong Beach and Toli Toli Hill are located 20 kilometers to the north of Kendari. The beach is a new recreational resort constructed along a 3 kilometers stretch of white sandy beach. At the edge of the beach are huge stones, which when hit emit a gong-like sound, hence its name. Gorgeous views of the sea can be enjoyed from the top of nearby Toli-Toli Hill Resort.
This pristine bay is only 1 to 1.5 hours away by car or speedboat from Kendari. The white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of Moramo bay offer a superb location for sun bathing, swimming, water-skiing, boating, snorkeling and divi
Buton Islands or ‘Pakande-kandea’
The most fascinating cultural appeal of Buton Island can be enjoyed when the local people conduct ceremonies, celebrations of folk events to welcome honored guests. Food and cakes are offered to visitors and traditional dances are performed. Buton Island is also well-known for its asphalt production and for its teak and ironwood industry. Nirwana Beach is located 12 kilometers from the village of Baubau, and is popular for swimming and its fine white sand beach. The small adjoining island, only thirty minutes away by sailboat is a fisherman’s paradise. There is daily boat service from Kendari, with a stopover in Raha, the capital city of Muna Island.
Hari Island underwater
Sea Garden of Hari Island
The island of Hari is so-called because of the way the sun’s rays reflect off the surrounding waters. Its shores are perfect for swimming, boating and other marine sports. Hari Island is also blessed with an amazing coral reef for excellent snorkeling and diving.
Lake Napabale and Lake Motonunu
Lake Napabale is connected to the sea via a natural underwater tunnel. At low tide strong swimmers can brave this span of water for an exciting and unusual experience. It is dangerous to attempt this feat during high tide, as the water rises to only one and a half meters below the roof of the tunnel. Lake Motonunu is known for its clean, clear and dark blue waters. Both lakes are 15 kilometers from Raha, the capital of Muna Regency, on Muna Island. They are accessible by sailboat, from Raha, in only 45 minutes.
Wakatobi Marine National Park
Wakatobi Marine National Park
Wakatobi Marine National Park lies just off the south-eastern tip of Sulawesi, a true paradise for snorkeling and scuba enthusiasts. It can be reached by chartered flight from Denpasar direct to Tomia, or by PELNI shipping line, which call in regularly at the Port of Bau-Bau.
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Lambusango and Kakenauwe Protected Forest
Lambusango and Kakenauwe Protected Forest, which is base to Operation Wallacea, is home to the significant endemic population of anoa, tarsius and cuscus. A local minibus can reach it in 1.5 hours.
‘Basilika’ is an acronym derived from the names of a group of islands just off the western part of Buton: Batauga, Siompu, Liwutongkidi and Kadatua. Its atolls and coral reefs are spectacular and wonderful. It is about 30 minutes away by speedboat from Buton.
No other waterfall in Indonesia compares to Moramo. It crosses a 2 kilometers plateau, with 127 separate terrace plumes, the top of the waterfall some 100 meters above its basin pool. There are seven main terraces, each with its own natural bathing pool. Surrounded by lush jungle, this is the perfect place for those who love nature at its most sublime. Only 65 kilometers east of Kendari, Moramo Waterfall is easily accessible by car, or by crossing Moramo Bay by boat, and enjoying panoramic views of the sea.