West Papua travel advice

desoutc's picture
desoutc started the topic in Friday, 4 Jul 2014 at 8:35am

Been searching for some info on the net relating to travelling to west papua but can't seem to find anything.
Just wondering if anyone whose travelled or worked there can tell me, is it safe to go there or not?
This ongoing conflict with Indonesia seems pretty gnarly and apparently there's been a few Indonesians and foreigners kidnapped.
Any advice would be much appreciated

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 4 Jul 2014 at 11:42am

G'Day Desoutc,

West Papua has been widely discussed on Swellnet so you should be able to find relevant info. Start with these photos from John S. Callahan: 


The text contains a link to an interview I did with John and also another article with a fellow who runs an activist organisation. Might be worth reading the comments in that article.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Sunday, 6 Jul 2014 at 3:49pm

Also might not be the best time to hit the area with current Indonesian elections...could stir some crap up...not that its the season now for up there..but yeah.

PS. Go Jokowi

desoutc's picture
desoutc's picture
desoutc Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 at 11:45pm

100% agree with ya indo, will be interesting to see how things shape up after his win today.

been scouring around on google maps and found a promising looking setups. got a particular place on mind that i think may have featured on surfline.

@indo, hopefully things will have calmed down by the time the season comes round. have you ever been there? reckon its worth the mish?

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Friday, 11 Jul 2014 at 9:10am

Depends what you are after I reckon mate.

Probably be one of the most memorable trips of your life in terms of scenery, the people you meet, the adventure. You might score epic waves too, but you also might find the fickleness a bit frustrating.

All the waves I surfed there were heavy (but easy to surf), beautiful beyond words, in outrageous settings and without fail we only ever were able to surf for about 4 hours a day. They were four great hours, and the diving and fishing we did to fill in the time was superb. As a surf trip it wasn't the best, but as a stint of travel it is in my top three.

I reiterate Indo's advice at the moment. If any of you saw what happened in 1998-2000 then you would be pretty nervous right now. I think almost all of Indonesia has moved on from that - but if one million people haven't then that can be a big issue.

This is worth a read: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/07/10/prabowos-game-plan/

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Friday, 11 Jul 2014 at 6:04pm

Sorry devoutc, never been there wanted to for years but to many places in Indo to go to or go back too and not enough time, always sounds fickle.....

But IMO fickle is good because it means less chance of surf camps/resorts and charter boats springing up and ruining things.

Thanks for the link dandandan, good read.