Sumba in Pictures limestone


Sumba, Indonesia 

Our visit to Sumba late last year was an ambitious leap from our previous travels around Indonesia. The trip had been inspired by a coastal landscape image and blurb in a surfer’s guide referencing ‘waves of consequence’, tribal culture and thatched peaked huts. ‘Sumba is not for everyone’ also featured quite early in the write up, and in hindsight it was the most accurate disclaimer.

Put simply, life in Sumba is basic. Forget smart phones, social media, running water or electricity. Instead be prepared to trade those ‘essentials’ (unless you are staying at Nihiwatu) for peace, quiet, space to think and recharge, clean air and beaches so beautiful you won’t remember the last time you saw anything so stunning.

Despite the discomfort of our cramped lodgings (literally a mattress on the floor in a small room surrounded by a mosquito net) and the local ‘mozzies’, the nature in Sumba was breathtaking and reminded me a lot of the limestone cliff edges of Victoria’s coastline. I also loved observing a still traditional people and culture. More often than not families sat or laid down on the open porches of their thatched peaked roof homes watching time pass, and everybody we met greeted us, smiled and seemed so content – an expression and state we in the West don’t seem to wear that often.

If it is adventure and the road less travelled you seek, then you will find it in Sumba. This rugged, dry, relatively untouched island provides a unique view, albeit lost in time, of Indonesian culture and living. Although our trip was motivated by chasing large waves (at least for my husband anyway), I am grateful that we got to experience such a magical place and hope that future travellers continue to leave it the way we found it.

Enjoy this glimpse into Sumban life.




Sumba in Pictures view from hut windowThe incredible sunrise from the little cut out window in our very modest hut


Sumba in Pictures hutOur accommodation at our surf camp/homestay. Our room was the one on the left.


Sumba in Pictures Jesus image on doorI called this ‘the confession room’ at our homestay


Sumba Sumba in Pictures tin house on stilts womanA local home nearby


Sumba in Pictures SandSandy footprints at Tarimbang Beach, about a 400m walk from where we were staying


Sumba in Pictures limestoneThe enormous limestone cliffs


Sumba in Pictures stick in sandStunning Tarimbang Beach, home to popular wave ‘Miller’s Right’


Sumba in Pictures White Bellied Sea EagleA Brahminy Kite


Sumba in Pictures beachTarimbang Beach


Sumba in Pictures HousesThe traditional peaked thatched roof houses of Sumba


Sumba in Pictures truck portraitSome of the local children at our homestay


Sumba in Pictures beach landscape with horsesMagic sunsets at Tarimbang Beach


Sumba in Pictures beach boy with horseA little boy helping cool down his horse at Tarimbang Beach


Sumba in Pictures boy with horse b wCalling it a day


Sumba Sumba in Pictures tin house with flowersSome of the other houses near our homestay


Sumba in Pictures hikeHeading home as the tide came out