Kayaking Raja Ampat Archipelago

By Australian Geographic Adventure 21 December 2011
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Husband and wife team Fritz and Jillian explore Indonesia’s best kept secret.

THOUSANDS OF SMALL ISLANDS fringed by coral reefs and blue water mangroves litter the Raja Ampat archipelago – or Four Kings – in Indonesia.

The turquoise and blue waters are teeming with marine life that forms the livelihood for the local Papuan population. The Raja Ampat Research and Conservation Centre (RARCC) supports the locals to develop a community-based, sustainable tourism project, inviting visitors to explore their islands by sea kayak and experience the culture by staying amongst the local people in traditional style homestays.

When paddlers Jillian Macdonald and Frits Meyst visited the area in search of adventure, it turned out to be a kayaking journey they would never forget. 

“The Raja Ampat Archipelago is huge; the options for kayaking endless” says Jillian. “The region has been extensively explored by Max Ammer of Papua-Diving and initiator of Kayak4Concervation. Max has covered hundreds of kilometres by sea and in the air and, though he will simply say it is all stunning, Max has his favourite spots for certain.

“Though Kayak4Conservation, through the RARCC are currently concentrating on the completion of home stays in the region of Waigeo Island, the largest of the Four Kings, there are many other possibilities for one to three day trips. One of our favourites and stunningly beautiful, is a three day trip to FAM Island. It is quite a distance from home base, your starting point. Kayak4Conservation can arrange for a hired boat to transport kayaks, supplies and paddlers.”

For more information on visiting the Four Kings, see the complete story in the Jan/Feb 12 issue of Australian Geographic Adventure.