Travel With Us: In the Wake of the Makassans

By AG STAFF 6 November 2023
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Follow ancient Makassan trading routes and witness the confluence of the culture and natural beauty of Sulawesi.

From the 16th Century, Makassan trepangers began venturing from their homeland in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Travelling through the Flores and Savu seas, they arrived on the shores of the Kimberley and Arnhem Land. We invite you to embark on your own journey through the straits of the East Indies to Makassar on this 14-night voyage aboard Coral Geographer. Explore lesser-visited islands, home to seafaring traditions and rich cultural practices. At Tana Beru, witness ancient traditional Phinisi boatbuilding, and visit one of the last traditional subsistence-whaling villages at Lamalera. From encountering komodo dragons on a walking tour to exploring the colourful underwater realm of Takabonerate Marine Park, these voyages are a feast for the senses.

Departures & Fares

Partner Voyage: 23 April 2024 (Makassar to Darwin) from $14,120pp twin share

Other departures: 20 March 2024 (Darwin to Makassar) and 9 January 2025 (Makassar to Darwin)


  • Special event: Meet the people of Torajaland, high up in the mountains of Sulawesi, and encounter their astonishing cultural traditions and funeral rituals.
  • Explore 17th-century Fort Rotterdam in Makassar, which now houses museums and cultural wonders.
  • Meet the beachside boatbuilders of Tana Beru and admire the skillful construction of Phinisi ships.
  • Explore the turquoise waters and tiny islands of Takabonerate Marine Park.
  • Walk in the tracks of endangered komodo dragons and spot this iconic monitor lizard in the wild with local guides.
  • Meet the Abui people of Alor Island and watch their traditional lego-lego dance in their village.
  • Gaze out over the tricoloured crater lakes of Kelimutu National Park. 
  • On Padar Island, hike to the summit to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.
Become immersed in Abui culture on Alor Island.

Your Expert Guide

Liz Ginis has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years.

She has worked on books, magazines, documentaries, websites and social media platforms for Australian and overseas audiences.

She is the former Director of Content for Australian Geographic.

For more information head to Coral Expeditions or call 1800 079 545.