Covering more than 9,652 square miles in one of the largest islands in the world, Lorentz National Park in Papua is considered to be the only representation of the most comprehensive transect of ecosystem in the world. The national park is one out of three national parks in the world with tropical glaciers. The spectrum of ecosystem is tremendous, layered with alpine vegetation, sub-alpine, Montana, sub-Montana, lowlands, wetlands, and mangroves, all integrated in one. The Lorentz National Park is the largest protected area in South East Asia and is recognized as having the highest level of biodiversity in the world.
The most captivating distinctiveness offered by the national park is the Carstenz Pyramid, one of the world’s seven ultimate summits, the Western Baliem Valley, home to the age -old tribes that are proud to show their staged war festival,- and the Agats, the capital of Asmat ethnic group who craft world class woodcarvings. Lorentz National Park stands among four UNESCO’s world heritage sites of nature in Indonesia that help guard the entire oxygen demand on the globe.
Indonesia has the largest tropical forest after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the early year of the new millennium, the estimated total area of Indonesia’s tropical forest reached 370,658 square miles, three times larger than the whole area of New Zealand. There are 50 national parks in Indonesia, and Lorentz National Park is considered to be an outstanding evidence of major stages of earth’s history, geological landform processes and rich geomorphic features. It also acts as home to extraordinary endemism, such as birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, and pig nose turtles.
Starting in 1916, the Dutch Colonial established the Lorentz Nature Monument that became a natural reserve by the Indonesian government in 1978. The Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia established the reserve as one of Indonesia’s national parks in 1997, and two years later, the UNESCO approved the Indonesian government’s proposal to recognize the Lorentz National Park as World Heritage.
Papua is considered to be the world’s last frontiers, although urban developments are taking place to distribute wealth and resources. However, compared to Bali or Jakarta, Papua is quite different and finding restaurants is almost grueling. Here are some of the available ones:
Mentari Restoran, Jalan Yos Sudarso no. 47, Wamena
Rumah Makan Mas Budi, Jalan Pattimura, Wamena
Kantin Bu Lies, Jalan Gatot Subroto, Wamena
Lorentz National Park rests at the vicinity of several hubs, such as Wamena, Timika, Fak-fak, and Merauke. Accommodations are available in these cities.
Tourism activities can only be admitted in certain zones. The most popular places of interest are the West Dani tribes of Baliem Valley, among other tribes such as the Nduga, Amungme (Damal), Nakai (Asmat Keenok), Sempan, and Komoro. Please refer to Baliem Valley or Wamena Highlands for further detail.
Lake Habbema at the plateau of Habema Valley is an outstanding site for bird-watching, highly recommended by many birding companies to watch Salvadori’s Teal, Papuan Grassbird, Snow-mountain Partridge, Snow-mountain Munia, and isolated population of Australian Kestrel. Mountain climbing is a life-defining activity when ascending the Carstensz Pyramid or Puncak Jaya Wijaya. To find more information about climbing it, click Carstensz Pyramid.
Agats is the capital city of Asmat woodcarving specialty. Visiting the village sitting at the edge of the Lorentz National Park is an experience never to be forgotten. The woodcarving is exceptional and is categorized as world-class masterpiece. The Festival of wood carving is the time best spent to know the Asmat and their culture. The festival is held in October and it is wise to book the package earlier with your travel agency, or see the provided agencies in this page. Please refer to The Asmat for more extraordinary facts.
There are numerous ways to get to Lorentz National Park. Flying to Papua is usually the most convenient way, although going by ship is also possible.
It is recommended that you stop by in Wamena to submit the surat keterangan jalan or permit to enter the Forestry Conservation Office. However, if you book a seat with your local travel agent, you can have the permit processed for you.
Flying routes to reach Lorentz National Park are:
Jakarta – Timika, Jakarta – Biak – Timika, Jakarta – Biak – Wamena, Jakarta – Biak / Jayapura – Timika, Jakarta – Makassar – Biak – Timika, Jakarta – Makassar – Timika, Denpasar – Biak – Timika, Denpasar – Makassar – Timika
Airlines serving you to visit the national park are:
1. Garuda Indonesia
2. Lion Air
3. Trigana Air
The airlines flying for above routes are:
1. Flights to Biak (Frans Kaisiepo Airport/ BIK) are possible with:
Garuda Indonesia (from Jakarta to Biak)
Lion Air (from Jakarta to Makassar, proceeding with Garuda Indonesia to Biak. Alternatively Lion Air flies from Denpasar to Makassar)
2. Flights to Jayapura (Sentani Airport/ DJJ) are :
Garuda Indonesia, (from Jakarta to Jayapura)
Lion Air, (from Denpasar to Makassar. Lion Air also flies from Jakarta to Makassar, and to Jayapura)
3. Flights to Timika. Garuda Indonesia from Jakarta to Makassar, to Timika
4. Flights to Wamena. Trigana Air (From Jayapura to Wamena)
To visit the park by ship, you can take PELNI liners and check the schedule going to Timika, Agats, or Fak fak, Merauke at www.pelni.com