Moluccas Islands Map

Written by on October 26, 2010 in Maluku Maps with 0 Comments

Moluccas Islands Map

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Car license number DE, North Maluku DG

Moluccas Info

Kota Ambon
Ambon city is also the capital of this vast archipelago province of Maluku. With its long history since the hey-day of the famed Spice Trade, it has developed itself to what it now is: a bustling hub and center of trade, education, culture and development.
The city of Ambon was found around late 1500s and early 1600s after the Nossa Seinhora da Annunciada fort was erected by the Portuguese conquista dores. The Dutch took it over in 1602 and changed this fort to Kasteel Victoria and later rebuilt, enlarged and renamed as Kasteel Nieuw Victoria until nowadays. The people of the whole Maluku archipelago still call it Victoria. Feeling save to live and work in and around the fort, local people began to settle near the fort and so the city began to grow until the present day Kota Ambon, known as “Ambon Manise” meaning “Beautiful Ambon” referring not only to the beauty of the city itself but also to the beauty of the Islands that represents the beauty of the whole Maluku archipelago.
The city now covers the area along the bays of the island the Ambon Bay, (Outer-and Inner Bay), and the Baguala Bay, making up a territory of about 277 sq.kms. The nowadays population is exceeding the 282 thousand souls consisting of people and races from all over the Maluku archipelago and even from other parts of Indonesia.
Victoria Fort
This is an old fort contributing to the founding of the City of Ambon, the Portuguese erected it in 1575, the Dutch took it over in 1602. The huge walls facing the Ambon bay are still preserved until today, while other parts are ruined. The old buildings inside are rebuilt into army officers’ and soldiers’. It is an easy walk to get to the site when you are in downtown.
Siwalima Museum
The founding of the museum is on November 8, 1973. The recent building is located in Taman Makmur hill. Maluku’s heritage is preserved and portrayed in this museum. There are collections of ethnographic, historic and cultural and other scientific interests. Basically, this museum has two kinds of objectives that is from the historical-cultural point of view and the aquatic point of view. Cultural performances and traditional events are presented as artistic attractions. Various kinds of souvenirs are also provided in a small cottage so that the visitors can buy the things of their interests. Most of the collections come from South-East Maluku, besides other ancient ones. The museum is located only 3 kms from the bus terminal, and to get there, you can board the Amahusu minibus with a stop at Taman Makmur or Batu Capeo.
Amsterdam Fortress
Amsterdam fortress was built by the Dutch in their early years of the Spice Trade at the beginning of the 17th Century, near the Hila old Church. It was the second Dutch fort on the island of Ambon, afler Kasteel Van Nerre was built ane destroyed in nearby Seith. Fort Amsterdam was built after the Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie, known as the famous VOC, was eswd by the Heeren Zevenben in Holland. The famous blind writer of Ambon Georgius Everhardus Rumphius had led a life of a prince in this fort and wrote some books on the biological vegetation and life of Ambon.
leuren, then Governor of Comptoire Amboina (1775 – 1785), the church was renovated. After a strong earthquake in the late 1880s, the villagers rebuilt and changed the entrance to what it now is. The church is still in use for the services. To get there, one can catch the same minibus leaving to the old mosque Wapauwe mentioned above. Every end of the year, that is on every January 31, there is a folk party held in Hila-Kristen Village which lasts until February 1, in the morning.
Wapauwe Mosque
The Mosque is an ancient bulding which has Malayan character traits. According to the village story, this mosque was formerly built on the hills and later in 1414 by an unknown supernatural power it moved down to its present location in Kaitetu. Today it is still being used for the daily services. One can get to Kaitetu by using the same Hila-Kaitetu minibus leaving from downtown Mardika terminal. Hila and Keitetu are the two villages which lies side by side on the north part of Cape Leihitu, Ambon Island.
Dusun Wisata
A garden covering a wide area grown with “Kelapa Raja” (short species of coconut tree) and many species of local orchids and local fruits.
Marine Museum
Marine museum that includes men eating crocodile exhibit, a complete whale skeleton, and other marine specimens.
Old Hila Church
This was formerly a wooden church built by the Dutch in the 17th Century, built in the vicinity of Amsterdam fortress, but during the rule of Bernardus van Pleuren, then Governor of Comptoire Amboina (1775 – 1785), the church was renovated. After a strong earthquake in the late 1880s, the villagers rebuilt and changed the entrance to what it now is. The church is still in use for the services. To get there, one can catch the same minibus leaving to the old mosque Wapauwe mentioned above. Every end of the year, that is on every January 31, there is a folk party held in Hila-Kristen Village which lasts until February 1, in the morning.
Culture and tradition
It was since years ago Maluku was familiar with the art of carving. This can be proven with numbers of wood carved or stone carved for the ancestor’s worshiping. Generally, the carving patterns are in the form of human and the placement can be difference according to the purposes. The carving can be placed at the boat prow, at the house front ladder at the village gate or at other special spot.
Earthenware Vessel Art
The work of this art is usually done traditionally in southeast Maluku, the place where can be found lots of clay, a main material for this art. The best season to burn earthenware vessel is during hot season, which is normally in August until October. Forming the earthenware is using arm or other equipment such as wood for example. If necessary can be colored or carved at the surface, and that also done in a very simple method, which is during the clay still smooth, before burned. The decoration pattern is varying. The earthenware from southeast Maluku for instant, it tends to use straight lines/stripes. While from Aru it is colored with the shape of geometry and shaped by straight lines after the burn.
Weave Art
The southeast Maluku is rich for weave artwork; in fact, it has cultural relationship with its neighbor, eastern southeast Nusa. Yet, not in every island in southeast Maluku this art has its place. To the contrary, in the region where weave art is booming, the carving art is less booming. The weave art in Maluku is using a lot of red color, blue, brown or black with thin stripes pattern with or without pattern, for the exchange to be using wide stripes. From the means of work and pattern color, it is obvious that the Maluku weave art has a closed relationship with the wave art from eastern southeast Nusa.
Plait Art
Several type of household in southeast Maluku made through plait. Basket, boxes and bags are the items commonly made. They are used for storing and carrying stuff. The fish catcher is also plaited. The plaited material is not always related to the households; however, it can also be used for religion ceremony. The basic material for plaiting is usually bamboo, rattan or leave from palm tree. Plait artwork consists of various techniques, from a very simple one until a complex one. Women generally are using palm tree, whilst men are using bamboo or rattan. The pattern, which usually applied, is a dancing person, stars, spiral/spring, fish, moons, and even family badge.
Family Hair loom
The beauty of Maluku is also shone from the sparkle of gold jewelry. Tanimbar, Babar and surrounding Kisar have a tradition in gold craft. The gold itself is not mined there. The gold crafter obtains it from the trader who comes from Madagascar, Bugis, and from the Dutch and British at that time. The gold jewelry usually made in the form of bracelet, earring, crown, head accessories, necklace, clothing accessories as well as plate. The crafter roughs them with various patterns. The pattern can be in the form of stars, animals, human, or art. It indeed represents symbolic purposes. The pattern can also be designed a dead creature. The gold jewelry represents a distinctive status in the society as what they meant to be. Presently, that gold jewelry remains stored by the inheritance. They are stored and covered in the particular basket. On during certain occasion such religion ceremony. They are disclosed on ritual ceremony. In addition, they can be performed to the interested party with certain sum of money compensation. They are allowed to take picture. However, the person who allowed to wear it only those who inherited those jewelry.
Maluku is rich with cultural tradition. Fortunately, that tradition is remained preserved up to present and still can be enjoyed.
Crazy bamboo for example, several people holding bamboo accompanied with local music, swinging, that seems to live and moves itself. The musical instruments are also distinctive from Maluku, such as blowing a shell, tifa and totobuang. There is also a tradition that takes place after 7 days of Iedul Fitri in Mamala and Morela. The youngster from the village, holding palm leaves rib, hitting to each other. While the scar caused to that, is healed by rubbing particular oil that prepared. Kora-kora race up to present is remained a tradition that never leave behind. It is commenced on April in several villages; it takes more or less 8 km. The kora-kora race is also meant to commemorate the anniversary of Ambon. There are lots more of tradition, until the customs in the month September in Haruku islands. Wherein the people seek and gather Maleo bird’s egg that meant to conserve those species. In traditional dancing, Maluku has several traditional dances, one of them known as Sawat dance. And the dance that popular and known through out the nation and even the first president of Indonesia, Bung Karno, loved it a lot. That is called Lenso dance.
Flora and fauna
G.E Rumphius
Born in 1627, in Wolfersheim, Germany, G. E. Rumphius was fascinated by botany at an early age. His military duty for the VOC (Dutch East India Company) brought him to Batavia (Jakarta) at the age of 25. One year later he arrived in Ambon, where he would settle for life. He conducted research in Hila village, lived next to fort Amsterdam, and composed, among other works, Ambonische Kruidboek, “The Flora of Amboina”.
Rumphius was keen to discover new plant species and conducted extensive systematical research on their uses. Beside fauna and flora, Rumphius also wrote about the history of Maluku. In 1670, he was struck blind by glaucoma, but even this would not halt his seminal work in documenting Maluku biology.
Rumphius passed away on June 15, 1702. He is buried at his house yard.
A monument was erected on the corner of jalan Pattimura, Ambon island, to commemorate his great work.
Cloves (Eugenia aromatica), now common throughout the world’s supermarkets, were once found only on select Maluku isles. The warm, sweet scent of these dried flower buds, and their power to preserve and revive stored meat in the days before refrigeration, inspired thousands of Chinese, Arabian and European sailors to undertake perilous voyages. Many of these voyages, including Magellan’s first global circumnavigation, spawned additional important discoveries.
Cloves are important not only as food flavorings. To the present day, clove oil is distilled and used as medicine for toothaches and stomach ailments. Cloves are also blended with tobacco to create the distinctively sweet Indonesian kretek cigarettes.
What could be more refreshing on your stroll through the Maluku rainforest than to crush a handful a fresh clove leaves and take in their warm, zesty aroma?
Like cloves, nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is a spice of great worldwide demand native only to Maluku. Banda Island, with its rich, volcanic soils carpeted in nutmeg trees, was once a near-fabled destination for daring merchant sailors. Oddly, local harvesters first found little use for this crop, and were often quite puzzled by what all the fuss was about.
Surrounding the nutmeg “nut” or seed, the red, waxy aril, known as mace, is actually more potent and valuable than nutmeg itself.
The nutmeg tree, a sun-sensitive tree not unlike coffee, is often grown under the cover of kenari trees. The delicate nuts of kenari are now exported as another sustainably harvested forest crop from many parts of Maluku.
Beautiful wild orchids are found throughout Maluku. The famous natural historian G.E. Rumphius (1627-1702), identified 170 orchid species in the Maluku Islands and surrounding areas.
Phalaenopsis amboinensis, a tiny yellow-green moon orchid with brown spots, is the most world-famous species, native to the Kawa valley, Seram island. Rumphius sent this species to Europe where it was then crossed with other species. Today many award-winning Phalaenopsis cultivars are descendants of this Ambon species.
Another prized Maluku orchid is Dendrobium phalaenopsis, known locally as bunga larat. D. phalaenopsis varies from clear white to grape purple, with nuances between these two colors.
In addition, Maluku also boasts Bulophilium orchids, Coloagyne, Vanda celebia, Dendrobium grananatum vandopsis (tiger orchid) and Phaius spp. (the common garden orchid).
As a main food of Maluku, the sago palm (Metroxylon sp) is grown in several locations in Maluku. Years ago, sago was so valuable due to storable within unlimited of time, as well as transportable to other places without worrying about being rotten. “Without Sago, Ambon shall stop functioning” that is what Shirley noted in the book of Ambon: Island of spices. Sago palm is harvested after 15 years. The sago palm is a multi purposes plant. Every part of its tree can be used for the needs of Maluku, such as tree trunk is for house wall or leaves of sago for house roof.
Maluku has variety of fauna; even numbers of them are special for this region and cannot be found in others. Especially knowing Maluku is included in Wallacea region, which is the region of the exchange character of flora & fauna in western part of Indonesia (Asia character) with Australian character in Eastern part. It has also various types of fowl, including type of birds, which exist in Maluku. Out of 402 limited spread bird species in Indonesia. 225 of them or 56% are limited spread birds, live in Wallacea region. And 213 of them can only be found in Wallacea region. In Wallacea region, Maluku is the richest region, which has 116, limited spread bird species with 90 species of them can only be found in Maluku. From this number of birds among others are: Black-capped lorry (lorious lorry), Greater bird of paradise (paradisaea apoda), King Cockatoo (probosciger-aterima), and Casuary (casuarius). One of the famous types of bird due to its beauty is bird of paradise. With its beauty has made the queen of Spain Marie Christine de Bourbone (circa 1830) to use Bird of paradise on her crown. Assuming that the decreasing numbers of this type of birds were caused by the habit of women to use this bird as a hair decoration during that age.
Gunung Gamalama
Gamalama Volcano is a volcano island which is nearly circular in shape with 5.8 km in radius and covered about 105 kmĀ² of the entire area. This volcano island is known as Ternate island. Ternate city which is located in the southeast coast of Ternate Island, is the capital city of North Maluku Regency. Half of the population of Ternate Island live in Ternate city, whereas the rest live in along the coast which are mostly as fishermen or farmer. Gamalama Volcano is a stratovolcano, and the highest peak is 1715 m above sea level is composed of lava, pyroclastic and lahar from three generation of volcanoes which is reflected by three crater rims on its summit. The position of these crater rims reflects the direction of the movement of its eruption point the south to the north. The youngest crater rim where part of its eruption activity occured during historic time, is located in the north known as Mt.Arfat or Piek van Ternate, it is circular in shape of 300 m in diameter and 1715 m in high above sea level. The morphology of the summit area, shows the crater rims are facing northward, and act as the barrier of eruption material distribution in the form of flowing mass. Most of the distribution of its eruption products will be distributed toward this point except the ejected material which are generally distributed to all direction. So, the north part is the most dangerous area toward eruption. Precursory to eruption show that tectonic earthquake and volcanic earthquake are the common phenomena which are usually occur. This may because Gamalama volcano is located in an active tectonic earthquake zone. The analysis result of seismicity, recorded by the seismograph show that the dominant tectonic earthquake is always accompanied by presence of volcanic earthquake.
Historic eruptions
Gamalama is one of very active volcanoes in Indonesia. The first known eruption during historic time was in 1538. Its increase activities recorded until 1994 were 82 time, where 65 of them followed by the occurrence of eruption. From these eruption occurences, there were 15 times of them produced lava flows. In general, they were explosive eruptions which took place in the main crater, except the 1763 which was a flank eruption occurred in the north flank in the Sulamandaha area which produced lava flows. During the eruption of 1980, which took place in the central crater, there was a new crater formed located in the eastern part of the main crater. Based on the eruption history, the eruption period was short and generally took place just in few days. The eruption interval show at least 1 year of quiescene and 44 years in the longest period of quiescene or every 5.5 years on average. In general, the eruptions are in the form of ejected volcanic material of ash to boulder sizes which are frequently followed by volcanic bombs and in some eruptions were followed by lava flows. During the rainy seasons, this ash and rock boulders often form lahar, whereas pyroclastic flows have never been occurred. Although Gamalama erupts frequently, the character of its eruptions is not too hazardous. Human victims were claimed during the eruptions of 1673,1775,1838 and 1871. There were two persons injured and in 1838 while they were doing observation in the crater and around the summit areas, whereas during the 1871 activity one person killed and another one was wounded hit by the ejected rock. During the formation of Tolire Jaha and Tolire Kecil Maars in 1775, there were 141 people were missing at Soela Takomi area.
Natural beauty
Sea Park
Since ancient times, Maluku has been renown for its spectacular sea gardens. No wonder the beauty of Maluku’s underwater life has drawn so many domestic and international visitors!
The seas fringing the Maluku Islands are exceedingly rich in biodiversity. Some of the dazzling fish and sea animals include parrot fish, butterfly fish, clown fish, trumpet fish, damsel fish, pipefish, scorpion fish, lizard fish, puffer fish, eels, octopus, sea horses, sea snakes and sea turtles. Just to name a few! All these creatures can be directly enjoyed trough snorkeling or SCUBA diving.
But without even getting wet, many reef creatures can be enjoyed from the surface of Maluku’s clear, blue waters. These other wordly life forms include colorful sponges and soft corals, plate corals, brain corals, mushroom corals, red and black corals, crinoids, gorgonians, and giant clams and sea stars.
All in all, the beauty of Maluku’s sea gardens, bathed in warm sunshine, make for a truly enchanting natural experience.
Some locations of the famous sea gardens in Maluku are among others in Ambon island, Banda islands, Nusalaut island, Seram island, Kai islands, Aru islands and Tanimbar islands.
Sea Shore
The Maluku seashore is no less stunning than its underwater life. Maluku boasts a wide diversity of coastal settings. White sand beaches, black sand beaches, beaches with interesting coral reefs and flanked by scenic cliffs, rocky shores and stretches of mangrove teeming with wildlife…it’s all here. Maluku’s thousands of beautiful shores are sure to beckon you back time and time again.
Coral reef
It feels uncompleted if the beauty of various fish species are not followed with the attractive coral reef like Black coral reef, Sponges, Plate coral, Coral flower in the form of bowl, will truly hypnotize whoever sees them.
According to a number of researches in Maluku water, it consists of more than 738 species of sea fish. There are several of species i.e. Pelagis (sea surface fish) and Domorsal (deep sea fish) has made Maluku water becomes a fascinating sea park. From the hundreds of species of fish there are among others known as, Ornate ghost, Pipefish, Anemone fish, Trumpet fish, Scorpion fish, Juvenile damsel fish, Lizard fish, Black spotted puffer, Porcupine fish, and Juvenile catfish. The enchantment of those several of fish are really made the panorama of the scenery of Sea Park in Maluku islands looks so splendid.
Charming Creatures
There are numbers seemingly charm creature under the water besides creatures those make the life under water panorama beautiful. They leave together with fish and the coral too, which a few of them are Moral eel, Seahorse, Banded sea snake, Jellyfish, Featherstar, Nudibranch, Garden eel, Anemone hermit crab, Spinnenkrabbe, Hinge-beak shrimp, Tropical posy. Each one of them appears with each unique unveiling.
National Park
Wisely, the Indonesian government has realized the need to preserve Maluku’s natural wealth and beauty for all time. With this goal, various national parks and reserves have been set aside.
By far, the most famous of the Maluku protected areas is Manusela National Park, occupying 189,000 acres, or about one-tenth of Seram Island. Manusela is rich in a wide variety of ecosystems: seashore habitats, lowland rainforests, montane forests, pygmy forests, and even subalpine scrub topping Gunung Binaya. Mount Binaya, at 3,027 meters, is Maluku’s highest peak.
Manusela National Park is enriched with unique flora and fauna due to its wide range of habitats and its intermediate position between the Oriental and Australian biogeographic realms.
The native people that dwells around the national park adds an interesting cultural attraction to the region.
We invite you to enjoy Manusela, but please remember while visiting this and all national parks: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”.
No one can question the beauty of Maluku’s hidden underground treasures. Akohi Cave in Tamilouw village, 40 km east from Masohi in south Seram, for instance, is decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, draperies – even gypsum needles and angel’s hairs.
In north Seram, Lusiala Cave, high in the cliffs behind Saleman village, features awe-inspiring biological attractions. Each evening the sky darkens with a river of millions of bats. The bats circle and circle above the village, singing an eerie song, as they congregrate then wind off towards the sea, for then to the Seram mountains. Mind these creatures carefully–by local belief, Saleman’s little bats or lusiala, are the grandchildren of the ancestors.
Of historical interest, some of Maluku’s caves have been used as hideaways during World War II and other battles.
Casual cave trekkers find Maluku’s underground world alluring. But more dedicated cave explorers are drawn further by the lure of the unknown. Much of Seram’s karst terrain, including the 3,027-meter Gunung Binaya, remains little-explored. Recent discoveries in north Seram have revealed Api Lima Cave behind Masihulan village (over a kilometer long) and Hatu Saka Cave, behind Saleman village (nearly 400 meters deep). What else awaits discovery?
The Maluku Islands are the products of an on-going collision between the Pacific, Australian and Indian tectonic plates. As such, this region is very geologically active and complex. Some of the results of Maluku’s geological activity are volcanoes, including a few that remain active into present times.
Banda’s Gunung Api, for instance (the name literally means “Fire Mountain”) was active as recently as 1989. The perfect conical symmetry of this volcano makes it irresistible to climb. Those who’s summit its 600 meters are treated to stunning panoramic views of surrounding islands.
Other tectonic activity in Maluku gives rise to hot springs, such as the vast springs found in Tehoru south Seram, Tulehu village on Ambon island and in Oma village, Haruku island. These springs are sometimes likened to a nice heated swimming pool.

Moluccas 3 Musea

* Ambon Siwa Lima Maluku Provincial Museum
* Ternate Kedaton Sultan Ternate Museum
* Tidore Sultan Sonyie Malige Museum

Ambon Siwa Lima Maluku Provincial Museum

Has a fine collection of local arts and crafts

Ternate Kedaton Sultan Ternate Museum

The current Sultan’s Palace, built in 1796, is now partly a museum

Tidore Sultan Sonyie Malige Museum

It displays the Sultan’s sedan chair and giant tippoons, plus the royal crown topped with cassowary feathers.


3 days – 2 nights
An adventure to the natural beauty of the deep blue sea.
Day- 1 (D):
From BANDA NEIRA Airport, you’ll transfered to your hotel. Enjoy a city tour on foot visiting FORT NASSAU and BELGICA, the Mini Palace, house of exile for the well-known Indonesian leader Hatta, and also the local museum.
Day- 2 (B-L-D):
Following a half-day boat cruise visits BANDA BESAR and GUNUNG API volcano, you’ll have the opportunity to see the remnants of FORT ROTTERDAM, the nutmeg factory and plantation as well as swimming/snorkeling at BATU SEMBAHYANG Beach (the Praying Stone Beach).
Day- 3 (B):
Leave the BANDA NEIRA for AMBON and then on to next destination.

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