SUKAMADE TURTLE - BEACH
97 km from Banyuwangi
Situated on the south coast, Sukamade beach is the site where turtles appear between about 9 p.m. to midnight to lay eggs, which they bury under about half a meter of sand. The egg-laying is subject to seasons, and at times the beach can be awash with turtles, especially during the full moon. Beach guards collect the eggs shortly after they have been laid and rebury them elsewhere where they are safe from poachers and such animals as leopards. The eggs hatch in about two months after which the young turtles are tended in special tanks at Sukamade until they are strong enough to survive in the ocean. Today, more than 2,500 turtles have been tagged and recorded since the beach became a protected area in 1972. The huge creatures which struggle from the moonlight surf are not without problems, as predators on and off the shore will devour most of their eggs and offsprings, but at least they are spared the human poacher. If homosapiens does lurk in the shadows, it is only the curious. Sukamade is still very isolated. To get there requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle, and above all perseverence. Main access is through a 50 km stretch of extremely rough road, passing rubber, coffee, and cocoa plantations. As yet there are no bridges crossing the the rivers, which, though negotiable during the dry season, can become very difficult to cross during the rainy season. Despite the discomfort, however, the trip may be rewarding. Two full days are needed for the 2-way journey with an overnight stop in Sukamade where limited accommodafon is available
How to reach Sukamade:
Surabaya - Probolinggo (99 km) : bus/train
Probolinggo - Jember (99 km) : bus/train
Jember - Jajag (74 km) : bus/train
Jajag - Sukamade (62 km) : taxi
A conservation effort has been underway for some years at Sukamade Beach, where four types of sea turtle come regularly to nest. Stability of the turtle population has been helped by a careful system of tagging and monitoring, as well as the use of special hatcheries. Watching these giant creatures emerge from the surf and struggle-up the beach to lay their eggs on a moonlit night is a unique and unforgettable experience, and one which is certain to ensure Sukamade's ever growing popularity.
The fantastic island is composed and surrounded by white sand. Coral seems to blossom into garden with an amazing variety of forms and colours. Growing coral from reef acts as homes for whole communities of marine life i.e. thousand of beautiful marine, aquarium fish species are Amphiprion the Dacyllus, the red coloured Labrida and the Gorisygula, shellfish, sponges, crayfish and marine plants. Any activities whether snorkeling or deep diving with breathing equipment exploring a reef and marine life in the spectacular drop offs are also an excellent under water visibility or sun bathing, an unforgettable experience. Pulau Tabuhan is 23 km away from Banyuwangi with + 4 square hectares. Reachable by Benignly or public transport Banyuwangi Surabaya, stop at Kampe then by sailing boat or speed boat from Kampe beach.
The Watu Dodol Tourist Forest is a quite potential tourist destination in the Banyuwangi Regency of East Java. It is about 14 km from Banyuwangi. This tourist forest is located within the protected forest at block 66B, RPH Selogiri, BKPH Ketapang Ketapang, KPH of North Banyuwangi, at an altitude of 10 to 50 meters about the sea level. Administratively, it is governed as part of the Pasir Putih Village, of the Wongsorejo Sub-District, within the Banyuwangi Regency.
This place is very precious. The combinations of hill, forest and beach make the beautiful scenery. Its beauty is more completed by a giant stone with a plant stands up in the middle of highway to Surabaya. The romantic panorama provides a good place for jogging track, cross country as well as enjoying the beauty of Bali strait in distance.
To the east of this tourist forest, and bordering the beach, a large boulder is standing 3 to 4 meters tall. A tree trunk is proturding from the south side of the boulder. At a glance, it seems that the branches are growing out of the solid rocks. While the larger boulder itself appears to rest on some other rocks. This is the characteristic that marks the Watu Dodol Tourist Forest.
A few meters east of the boulder; there is a platform that resembles a place of worship. At certain days the floor of this platform will be full of flower offerings, even small change.
Across the road, in the west, there is a cement stairways that leads to the mountains. About 10 meters to the right of this footpath is an ancient grave. It is at this ancient grave that visitors often meditate.
The Majapahit Soldiers
According to the local people, and believed up till today, there are many stories that relate to the large boulder and the ancient grave. When Banyuwangi (in the past was called Blambangan), ruled by Minak Jinggo, was attacked by the Majapahit soldiers, many of the Blambangan soldiers fled, some to the north tracing the beaches along the Bali strait.
One of the Blambangan officers who ran off, was carrying supplies in the form of jadah (dodol in Javanese, a sweet sticky rice cake). Because he was so tired, the jadah or dodol was unintentionally left behind on the beach, after resting out on his way to safety. The story goes that a solid standing boulder was formed out of the dodol left by the soldier. Even when the Japanese government widened the road, they did not succeed in blasting the boulder. Even the ship chains used to tumble it over, broke off. Today, the boulder still appears strong, and is even preserved as a tourist destination.
From the ancient grave, if you keep on climbing to the left, you will arrive at a rocky mountain. You can see far out into the Bali Straits. That is why it would not be redundant if the Watu Dodol Tourist Forest is claimed as the ideal place to enjoy the beauty of the straits that lead to the Island of The Gods.
On this mountain there is an observation cave left by the Japanese Soldiers from World War II. It is said that from this cave the Japanese Soldiers could watch freely the traffic of foreign vessels coming in and out of the Bali Strait from the north. Now the cave is hidden by the mountain and is covered up by bushes. From this Japanese cave, if you continue to the south, after about 500 meters you will arrive ata athreeway intersection. If you keep left and descend, you will arrive at a resting place, equipped with a children's palyground and an umbrella shaped permanent building. For relaxation with the family this place does well. The air around is fresh and tha place shaded off by the dense ketapang (k.o. almond) and other trees. And in the south, a spacious parking area is available.
And that's not all. East of Watu Dodol there is an umbrella shaped building that houses the restrooms and lockers for those wanting to change and bathe in the Bali Straits.
Open-air recreation can be done in many places, such as: in forests, mountains, lakes, beaches, or combination of them. Grajagan is one of the Banyuwangi beaches that shows the combination of the rolling ocean waves on one side and the dense forest on the other one. In this place, we will be able to see the beautiful panorama of the Grajagan fishing village. Because of that, there are many tourists visit this place. It is located about 52 km from Banyuwangi. Here, you can find an old cave which was restricted by Japanese soldiers. If you want to stay, there are also available cottage, cafe, and playing area for chlidren.
This recreation place is in the region of KPH South Banyuwangi, BKPH Curahjati. It is 314 ha located about 0-20 m from the sea level. It is included in Grajagan, Purwoharjo, Banyuwangi. Its topography is plain with small hills. Its temperature is 20-28 degree from November until May, and its climate is dry during June until September with average rainfall about 1, 300 mm/year.
A natural interesting object is a beautiful Indian Ocean completed with sand and ocean waves. Here, there are many traditional fishermen's boats at night. PETURON is a beach where fishermen bring down their fish. It is always crowded by people everyday. Here, tourists can go shopping fresh fish directly from the fishermen. From a shelter on top of the hill, there is a beautiful ocean view completed with beautiful hills which can also be seen from 3 caves made by the Japanese. Boats which are located along the beach bring a special fun. Here, we can go sailing and fishing along the beach to Pelungkung which is famous for the ski water and Alas Purwo Reservation. Besides, there are also other recreational places, such as: SUKAMADE, PANCER, ROWOBAYU which are located less than 65 km from this place or Bali island. Some ritual/cultural activities, like:
- Qiwa Ratri
This recreational place provides many facilities, such as: a gate with a special characteristic, a large parking area, guardhouses, a suspension bridge, public toilets, a motel with 10 rooms, a cafetaria, a playing ground for children, a paved road for about 1, 400 m, a footpath for about 1, 700 m, a Mosque, and electricities.
KINDS OF TREES
This recreational place is unique because this area is overgrown with:
- Teak (Tectona Grandis)
- Sonokeling (Dalbergia Latifolia)
- Fikus (Ficus Sop)
- Walikukun (Shoutenia Ofata)
- Lamtoro Gung (Leucocephala)
- Natural Silk-Cotton Tree (Bombax Mallabarica)
- Bamboo (Mabosa Sop)
- Ketangi, Bungur (Langerstrome Spesiosa)