Grand Nature from the East

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Cold air penetrates into the body,

while waiting for The Dawn emerges from the East.

And after He arises,

smiles begin to show up

Watching Him embraces us with warmth from behind the grand wall

as we float over the sea of thick clouds.

That was how my family felt after visited Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, located in East Java Province, for the first time just for this magnificent and popular scenery from the top of Mount Bromo. Have you already visited this place? Last Christmas holiday, we got a chance to visit Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and here, I will tell and provide you a complete guidance about activities that you can do in this national park.

A Tense, yet Unforgettable Roadway

A trip to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park from where we stayed, Huni Raya Hotel, Pasuruan Regency, East Java Province, takes about an hour with a ride. You are suggested to depart from where you are staying around dawn (00.00-03.00 local time), so that you can get the best seat to see the beautiful sunrise at the peak that day. And to prevent some wasted energy, you are suggested to stay in the nearest hotel/villa to the path of the peak. There will be another activities you must not miss after seeing the sunrise.

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A hardtop jeep

Furthermore, you should know that you are prohibited to bring your own ride and must ride a special ride, hardtop jeep, into this national park. Why? Because the field is so perilous, even when the day is still dark. Slopes, sharp turns, thick fogs, and others. But, you do not have to worry because the drivers there are well-experienced. In addition, you will experience some bouncing moments in this ride while on the way to destination.

Sunrise Sightseeing

After arriving at the peak, you must walk a little into the sightseeing spot. There are two spots that you can choose, Bukit Cinta and Bukit Kingkong. Bukit Cinta itself is located at 2,770 metres above sea level, also the main sightseeing spot in Bromo Peak. Why? In this spot, aside from seeing the sunrise, you can also see the magnificent scenery of Mount Bromo, Mount Batok, and Mount Semeru, and a wide sand carpet that is still covered by the sea of thick fog. On the other side, Bukit Kingkong is an alternative sightseeing spot when the main spot is crowded–on any given days. However, this spot is lower than the main spot, which is located at 2,600 metres above sea level, and the path toward this spot is slightly uphill.

According to locals, seeing sunrise at Bromo Peak is a rare chance. If the weather is not too cloudy, you can see the sun is rising beautifully―that makes the tourists feel astonished―and capture those moments in photos/videos. Believe me, tourists will be happy by experiencing this.

For your information when you are at the peak, make sure that you have already worn your cold-weather clothes (such as jacket, trainings, socks, hiking shoes, cap, and mask). At the peak, the temperature can reach around 5℃ at dawn.

Crater Sightseeing

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Bromo Crater

After having an enjoyment at the peak, you can ride down through the sand carpet to get into the next activity there which is as amusing as seeing the sunrise at Bromo Peak, seeing the sulphur crater. There are two options to get there, walking or renting a horse-riding. If you do not want to get fatigued quickly, you can choose the second option. Renting a horse-riding there can cost around IDR 150.000 per person, including go-and-back ride and an owner that will guide you into the destination―which is in front of stairs to the crater peak.

Arriving at the destination, you have to climb up the stairs–250 steps in total. And because they are slightly steep, you are suggested to walk slowly. After you reach at the peak, you will be greeted with a vast view of sulphur’s crater, a view of Mount Batok that looks like a layered cake, a view of horses’ park-field, and a view of Luhur Poten Temple from afar. For your information that this temple is a worship center for Tengger tribes whose majors are Hindu and live around Mount Bromo.

Enjoying the Bromo’s Savannah

After being pleased with a view of Bromo Crater, you can continue your journey into the southern area of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, where in this area you will be welcomed with a wide and lush green grass carpet. Also, you will find a lot of hills that look like the Teletubbies’s–a child television series–ones if you looked from above, so it is not surprising that the locals called those Bukit Teletubbies. This magnificent and greenish view must you capture in photos/videos.

The Grand Bromo’s Desert

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After having fun at the savannah, you can continue your journey into the last area in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park called Pasir Berbisik. For your information that Pasir Berbisik was already used as a filming location six years ago with the same title. Though this area is just a vast desert, you can make your captures as creative as you can. For examples, taking a picture with a jeep that you have rented or imitating Syahrini an Indonesian female singer–walking ‘beautifully’ in the midst of desert and flip your scarf at the same time.

One of a destination bucket list if you are travelling around Indonesia. If you want to go to this national park, I recommend you to hire a local tour service. When you use a tour service, in addition of getting affordable prices, entrance tickets, renting a hardtop jeep, and accommodating a fully-experienced tour guide are included here. For your information that an entrance ticket into this national park can reach IDR 30.000 per person (for local tourist) and IDR 300.000 per person (for overseas tourist). Also, renting a hardtop jeep by yourself is far more expensive, because it can reach around IDR 600.000-IDR 900.000.

So, those are the excitements of travelling to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. From the scenery, the excitements during journey, also the feelings when against the cold, all of these are worth trying. Honestly, we were not disappointed and wanted to go back here. 🙂

 

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

 

Huni Raya Hotel

 

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Getaway on Australia’s Heaven

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Seagulls in Moreton Bay

It’s so fun for having a getaway on somewhere. Feels like it’s my own ‘heaven’.

Is what I felt when I was having a holiday on an island which is located more or less than 30 kilometres from Brisbane’s port by ferry ship. They say that in this island, you can try a lot of activities here, like sand tobogganing (it is basically a sand-sliding), ATV riding, dolphin feeding, and more. They also say that this island has the best beach in Australia (am I right?).

All of these can be found at Tangalooma Island Resort–or formerly known as Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort. Located near the coast of Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia, it has about 300 rooms–as a variety of hotel units, villas, and apartments. And because the resort offers various activities–and an alluring view from the room’s window–it has successfully made guests endure themselves there. Not only that, the resort also sells a lot of authentic souvenirs with affordable prices (though for me they’re not really affordable enough), and opens restaurants/cafés who are ready to serve their bellies.

Like I mentioned before, Tangalooma Island Resort offers a various activities that can guests try. There are land based activities and water based activities. For land based activities, the resort offers Helicopter Scenic Flights, 4WD Car Hire, ATV Quad Bike Tour, Desert Safari Tour (with Sand Tobogganing), etc.. As for water based activities, the resort offers Parasailing, Snorkel the Tangalooma Wrecks, Scuba Diving, Whale Watching Tour, Dolphin Feeding Experience, etc..

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And on one-night holiday in Tangalooma Island Resort, I got a chance to experience sand tobogganing and dolphin feeding.

Desert Safari Tour (with Sand Tobogganing)

This is the first activity I experienced in Tangalooma Island Resort and this happened after having lunch with my tour-group members. To get to the desert, you need a certain vehicle called 4WD (4-wheel drive) and it’s already designed for off-roads (e.g. deserts and swamps). So, the resort staff straightly took us to the 4WD vehicle’s park and had a ride with it. While on the ride, the driver will share you everything about the environment around Tangalooma Island Resort–and Moreton Island (though Tangalooma is the most topic he’s talking about). Oh, the driver will also remind you to fasten the seat belt, because it’ll be a bumpy ride, and remind you to keep your hands/head out of windows, otherwise you’ll get hit by the tree branches.

The ride took about 30 minutes long and we finally arrived at the desert. The desert is so wide, yet so alluring. So, it is very recommended for all instagrammers around the world–since the desert is so wide with the blue sky as the background. And it’s not just a wide desert, there’s also a giant pile of sand which is always used for sand tobogganing.

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Seriously, I couldn’t wait to do this activity! But first, time for the activity briefing by the professional coach. First, he will ask you if you already take your sand board. Then, he will teach you about how to climb the sand pile. “Please step on a track which already has footprints, do not step on a clean track!” is what he said to my group. Last, he will tell you how to enjoy this activity.

“Make sure that your sand board has a smiley face (😊)–which is a spot for placing your face. Then, place your chest parallel to the board, so the board won’t be wobbly. Afterwards, place your arms in position with the face while holding the sides of the board tightly.”

After that, you can climb the sand pile. And to be honest, the climbing thing is very tiring, because the slope reaches around 80 degrees (yeah, I know I’m exaggerating right now). I also suffer the acrophobia (afraid of heights) to be honest, so whenever I reach the high places I’ll be scared (but my acrophobia is not as bad as you/people think). I finally felt relieved after I reached the top, which is the start point of sand tobogganing. When my turn came, I tried to make myself calmer and listen to the coach’s last briefing (again). After that, the coach pushed my sand board and slid down–while the professional photographer took a picture of me.

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Here’s me doing the sand tobogganing 🙂

And my final result, AMAZING!!! I would like to do it again, but can I skip the climbing one? (exaggerating spotted again, lol) Oh, and by the way, you can buy your photo of you’re doing the sand toboganning at the Tangalooma Photo Shop.

Dolphin Feeding Experience

This is the second activity which is held at 6 PM, and guests can join the fun by participating (for those who don’t want to can watch from the bench). After getting some rest, I straightly went to the beach and waited for 6 PM coming, with a super-duper cold air–since it’s winter in Australia.

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Where the dolphin feeding takes place (cr: http://www.travelonline.com)

By the time reached 6 PM, a small group of wild dolphins started coming to the coastline. Yeah, you’re right–wild dolphins. Because they are wild dolphins, there are some procedures that you must follow. Why? Because one little mistake can end the activity on that day. Believe me.

So, before you start feeding the wild dolphin, wash your hand first with a clean water in a bucket. After that, you start picking its food–which is a small fish–from the other bucket and  hold its lower body part tightly, so the dolphin can easily eat it. Then, you must walk slowly to the water, so the dolphin won’t get away. And, give the fish slowly to the dolphin’s mouth. It seems easy, but like I mentioned before, one little mistake can end the activity.

I got nervous when I was about to start. But, with the staff’s help, I could do this activity smoothly. The dolphin liked me, I was so happy. And when I fed the wild dolphin named Rani (who is surprisingly a male dolphin and the leader of the group they say), a professional photographer took my picture. And like the sand tobogganing, you can buy your photo of you’re doing the dolphin feeding at the Tangalooma Photo Shop.

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Here’s me and my family doing the dolphin feeding 🙂

Overall, I enjoyed these two activities in Tangalooma Island Resort. It is true that this resort is a ‘heaven’, and I would like to stay there for a long time (my wallet’s ‘crying’ right now). I think that’s it and thank you for reading this–eventhough I have grammar and vocabulary problems.

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Moreton Bay at sunset

And if you want to know more about Tangalooma Island Resort or have interests to go there, you can check here.

 

ps: I also write this too at creators.co (pls kindly check)