Ternate is an island, which is also a city, in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia. Ternate is the biggest city in North Maluku Province. But FYI, the capital of North Maluku Province is Sofifi, not Ternate. Most of Ternate land can be classified as mountainous and hilly areas with the diversity of altitude between 0-700 m above sea level.
Ternate can be accessed by planes or ships. Routine flights depart from Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar and Manado to Sultan Babullah Airport of Ternate. While Pelni’s ships stop by at Ahmad Yani Seaport of Ternate twice a week.
Ternate has unique landscape that provides amazing natural spots. The beauty of its nature is breathtaking. Ternate is also famous in the history of spice trade. The traces can be seen in the form of historic buildings. So friends, let’s find out top things to do in Ternate North Maluku Indonesia.
1. Visiting Tolukko Fort
The first top thing to do in Ternate North Maluku Indonesia is observing Tolukko Fort. When Malacca fell to the Portuguese, Alfonso d’Albuquerque ordered his commander Francisco Serrao to sail east to find the spice land. Francisco Serrao finally landed in Ternate in 1512. In 1540 the Portuguese built a fort named St. Luke Fort to control the clove trade in Ternate. In 1610 the fort was taken over by the Dutch who renamed the fort as Holandia Fort. But soon the fort fell into the Sultanate of Ternate who renamed the fort as Tolukko Fort.
Tolukko Fort is situated on a hill, so it’s very strategic to oversee the traffic on the straits among the islands of Ternate, Halmahera, and Tidore. The shape of the fort is unique, it follows the contours of the hill. Tolukko Fort is located at Sangadji, North Ternate District, Ternate City. The entry fee is not specified. Visitors only pay voluntary contributions. It opens 8 am – 5 pm.
2. Visiting Oranje Fort
The next destination is Oranje Fort. At the beginning, the fort was a Portuguese fort. Then in 1607 the Dutch came to take over and rebuild the fortress by renaming it the Oranje Fort. The Dutch made the fort as a center of the spice monopoly in Ternate.
Formerly Oranje Fort was on the edge of the sea. But now the fort is in the center of the city due to the reclamation by the government. From the top of the fort, visitors can see the scenery of Ternate City, Maitara island and Tidore island. Oranje Fort is located at Hasan Boesoeri Street, Gamalama, Central Ternate District, Ternate City. It’s free entry and opens 24 hours.
3. Visiting Kalamata Fort
At the beginning, the fort was built by the Portuguese in 1540 and was named Saint Lucia Fort. The fort was built to confront the Spanish attack from Tidore island. The fort was later taken over by the Dutch. The name of the fort was changed into Kalamata Fort by the government as an appreciation to Prince Kalamata of Ternate who died in Makassar.
After the Dutch abandoned the Kalamata Fort, the fort became dirty and slum. Even the fort was flooded by sea water due to abrasion. Then the government did a massive restoration so that the fort is back intact without losing its original form. Kalamata Fort is located at Kayu Merah, South Ternate District, Ternate City. It’s free entry and opens 24 hours.
4. Visiting Kota Janji Fort
At the beginning, the fort was built by the Portuguese in 1532 and was named San Jao Fort. Then the Portuguese made a peace agreement with the Ternate ruler, Sultan Khairun, at San Jao Fort. Because of being a place of peace agreement, the fort was called the Kota Janji (City of Promise) Fort by local people. But then the Portuguese killed Sultan Khairun which made people angry and expelled the Portuguese out of Ternate.
Kota Janji Fort is still in relatively good condition. The pond in front of the castle still looks authentic, so does the well. Kota Janji Fort is located at Ngade Street, Laguna, South Ternate District, Ternate City. It’s free entry and opens 24 hours.
5. Visiting Sulamadaha Beach
Sulamadaha Beach has crystal clear seawater so that the beach is also known as Glass Beach. If visitors see a boat over seawater, they will be stunned to see it because the boat looks like floating in the air. The seawater is extremely clear and has a variety of fish and coral reefs.
Sulamadaha Beach has black sand that is comfortable to relax. Diving and snorkeling are also fun activities for visitors. The beach is frequently visited by domestic and foreign tourists. Sulamadaha Beach is located at Sulamadaha Village. It’s about 14 km from downtown Ternate or 30 minutes by car. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 2.000 and opening hour is 8 am – 5 pm.
6. Visiting Bobane Ici Beach
Bobane Ici Beach is famous for the uniqueness of its small black stones. The stones along the beach are formed from the scouring of waves that continually crash the beach. The waves, the sound of the wind that makes the twigs sway, and the chirping of birds will make visitors comfortable here.
There is also a bath at Bobane Ici Beach. Visitors will enjoy the panoramic sea view when submerge in this bath. Bobane Ici Beach is located at Aftador Village. It’s about 20 km from downtown Ternate. It’s free entry and opens 24 hours.
Also read: Beautiful Beaches in Indonesia
7. Visiting Kastela Beach
Kastela Beach has the best sunset spot in Ternate City. The beach is located in the southern part of Ternate City. The beach area is filled with sand whose color tends to white. Kastela Beach is about 500 meters from the Kastela Fort which has been destroyed by Spanish and Portuguese bombing. Here visitors can enjoy the beautiful sea views under the shade of the trees and also the setting of the sun at dusk. Kastela Beach is located at Poros Kota Ternate Street, Ternate City. It’s free entry and opens 24 hours.
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8. Visiting Laguna Lake
Laguna Lake is an amazing tourist spot. The lake looks beautiful with greenish water, contrast to the nearby blue ocean. The separator of the lake and the sea is only a small piece of land that becomes a road. Although close to the sea, Laguna Lake’s water is still tasteless.
Besides as a tourist attraction, Laguna Lake is also used by locals for fish farming, irrigation and fishing grounds. Visitors can also eat the fish while enjoying the beauty of the lake through a floating restaurant. Laguna Lake is located at Ngade Village, about 30 minutes from downtown Ternate. It’s free entry and open 24 hours.
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9. Visiting Big Tolire Lake
Tolire Lake is under the foot of Mount Gamalama, the highest volcano in North Maluku. There are two lakes, locals call them Big Tolire Lake and Small Tolire Lake. The distance between the two lakes is only about 200 meters. Big Tolire Lake is home to a variety of fish. But no one dared to catch the fish due to bad luck.
Big Toliro Lake resembles a giant baking dish. The depth of the lake is still unknown. It’s believed the lake is directly related to the sea. Big Tolire Lake is located at Takome. It’s about 10 km from downtown Ternate or 10 minutes by car. It’s free entry and opens 24 hours.
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10. Climbing Mount Gamalama
Mount Gamalama is a cone stratovolcano mountain which also serves as a Ternate Island. Mount Gamalama has a height of 1,715 meters above sea level. The mount has been more than 60 times erupted since first recorded in 1538. After erupting in 1775, two lakes appeared, namely Big Tolire Lake and Small Tolire Lake.
Even though Mount Gamalama never stops erupting, it does not frighten the people of Ternate. In fact, Ternate becomes the center of activity in North Maluku Province. Mount Gamalama is located in Ternate Island, Ternate City. There’s no charge to climb Mount Gamalama. But climbers are usually not allowed to climb in odd numbers because the locals believe one of them will get hurt.
Also read: Things to Do in Mount Rinjani Lombok
11. Visiting Batu Angus
Batu Angus is a stretch of stones that looks like heavily burned. The stones extend from the foot of Mount Gamalama to the beach. Batu Angus is a remnant of the lava eruption of Mount Gamalama in the 17th century. The lava has turned into black stones that look like heavily burned. Locals call it Batu Angus.
From this place, visitors can see the beautiful view of Mount Gamalama, the amazing blue ocean, and the green Halmahera Island. Batu Angus is located at Lain Street, Ternate City. It’s about 10 km from downtown Ternate. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 10.000 and opening hour is 8 am – 5 pm. This is one of the best things to do in Ternate Indonesia.
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12. Visiting the Palace of Ternate Sultanate
This is one of the best things to do in Ternate Indonesia. The Ternate Sultanate had its glory in the 16th century. It had power in Maluku, North Sulawesi, the islands of the southern Philippines, to the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. The Palace of Ternate Sultanate has walls as high as 3 meters that resemble a fortress. Besides a home for kings and their families, the palace serves as a complex of tombs for the royals.
The interior design of the palace is filled with gold ornaments. In addition, the Palace of Sultanate Ternate also keeps weapons, armors, royal clothes, war hats, household appliances, and ancient manuscripts. The Palace of Sultanate Ternate is located in Sio-Sio Village, near downtown Ternate. It’s free entry and opens 9am – 5 pm.
13. Visiting Al Munawaroh Mosque
Al-Munawaroh Mosque is the land mark of Ternate that was built on the shore by government. The mosque covers an area of 9,512 square meters and is designed to accommodate 15,000 pilgrims. The construction of the mosque took seven years from 2003 to 2010. The Mosque is equipped with 4 towers as high as 44 meters, two of the towers are indeed built in the sea.
Al Munawaroh Mosque has a natural beauty around the building. Visitors can see the magnificent Mount Gamalama, the cluster of Tidore Island and the coast of Halmahera. Al Munawaroh Mosque is located at Sultan M. Jabir Shah Street, Ternate City. It’s free entry and opens according to schedule of worship. Indeed, this is one of the best things to do in Ternate Indonesia.
14. Visiting Ternate Wonder Island
Ternate Wonder Island is a family resort that offers water games. It has a various types of pools, ranging from children pool, current pool, and slide pool. The slide consists of spiral slide and race slide. There is also spilled bucket to cheer up visitors.
Ternate Wonder Island provides a complete range of facilities for its visitors. It has been equipped with rinse room, rest room, gazebo, room for prayer and food court. Ternate Wonder Island is located at Kayu Merah, Ternate City. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 25.000 and opening hour is 9 am – 5 pm.
Now you know the top things to do in Ternate North Maluku Indonesia. There are many things to do in Ternate Indonesia. It’s such a beautiful places with natural and cultural vibes. So, let’s pack up and visit Ternate Indonesia. Let’s get lost in Indonesia attractions!
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