Merauke, East Papua

Merauke, East Papua

At each break of day, Merauke is the first town in the Indonesian Archipelago that catches the first rays of the rising tropical sun. As the capital city of the Merauke Regency in the province of Papua, Merauke is renowned as the most easterly territory in Indonesia; one that marks the eastern end of this vast span of the Indonesian Archipelago that is commonly measured from the town of Sabang on Weh Island, in the Aceh Province at the west-most end, all the way to Merauke in Papua in the east. (www.indonesia.travel)

Merauke Regency is one of 29 Regencies / Cities in Papua Province which is located in the southern part which has the largest area among districts / cities in Papua Province. (www.papua.go.id)

Merauke Regency is located at the easternmost part of the archipelago with the following boundaries:

North: Boven Digoel Regency and Mappi Regency

East: State of Papua New Guinea

South side: Arafura Sea

West side: Arafura Sea

Sota, which is located in Merauke Regency, Papua Province, is the location of zero kilometers (km) on the easternmost side of Indonesia. The town of Merauke is also known as the staging point for hikers before venturing into the pristinely enchanting Wasur National Park, which is roughly only about 60 km away.

For travelers, Merauke offers the most facilities such as banks, internet cafes, airline agents, restaurants, markets, and accommodation. A walk around the town is easy and will reveal some incredible insight into the past. Old graveyards and lots of classic churches highlight the town, while cruising down the Maro River one can observe the daily life of Papuan fishermen. A trip to the local market will be an eye opener, as you encounter various uncommon items. (www.indonesia.travel)

Geographically, it has the prospect of economic development with neighboring PNG, Australia and countries in the South Pacific region.

Merauke Regency area is 45,071 km2 (11% of the province). Most of the Merauke Regency area consists of low and swampy land, a swamp area of ​​1,425,000 hectares and high land in several sub-districts in the northern part of the island.

Generally low land, slope 0-8%, swampy coasts are waterlogged, the North and East parts are rather high / undulating with a few hills. The tide is 5-7 m high, the tidal water enters as far as 50-60 km and some places are intruded by salt water / sea water.

Nasu Park covering an area of ​​4,138 square kilometers and the largest wetland in Papua is indeed the home of various types of flora, ranging from fires (Avicennia sp.), Tancang (Bruguiera sp.), Ketapang (Terminalia sp.) To eucalyptus (Melaleuca sp.). For fauna that can be found ranging from tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus spadix), king musk (Psittrichus fulgidus), casuari gelambir (Casuarius casuarius sclateri), crown / virgin mambruk (Goura cristata), large yellow bird of paradise (Paradis) Cicinnurus regius rex), red (Paradisea rubra), freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus novaeguineae) to saltwater crocodiles (C. porosus).

Transportation to Merauke among others Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, and Sriwijaya Air serve daily flights to Merauke’s Mopah Airport from Jayapura, Makassar, and Jakarta.  Every two weeks Pelni’s (Indonesia Sea Transportation Company) Tatamailau ship sails from Merauke to Agats and Sorong. The Kelimutu ship sails to Agats then sails through southern and Central Maluku, every four weeks. (https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/destinations/maluku-papua/merauke)

If we pass Merauke by during the rainy season, Merauke will look green. However, during the dry season, what can be seen is the Trans-Papua road that divides the conservation forest which is full of trees and shrubs so that it is slightly browner.

Something that must be of mutual concern, it is regarding the Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems in Merauke, namely deer hunting in the national park area. Socialization is needed for Merauke residents not hunt deer. It is our common homework that indeed very difficult, because food made from deer meat is also one of Merauke’s souvenirs.

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