Ternate is the largest town of North Maluku. Located on the island of the same name, with a population of around 200,000 it has plenty of accommodation and dining options and all facilities visitors need.
The entire island is an active volcano, Mount Gamalama. Minor eruptions have occurred this century. The 2011 eruption lasted about a month and blanketed the city in ash and dust. There have been regular eruptions since, the most recent being in 2015.
There are plenty of things to see and do including climbing the volcano, checking out European built forts, visiting the islands two beautiful crater lakes as well as diving and snorkelling. The tiny island of Palua Hiri to the north-west has some of the best snorkelling.
Bimos and Ojeks are the main form of transport. A road circles the island allowing travellers to easily visit the islands small villages and attractions.
Previously known as Benteng Kayu Merah the fort was built by the Portuguese in 1540 and occupied by the Dutch, Spanish and English at various times. The restored fort is located on the coast approximately 1 kilometre south of Bastiong Harbour. Views from the fort across to Tidore Island are a feature of the visit. There are no guides or information boards and a small entry fee is payable.
Located on the east coast of Ternate this restored 16th century built fort offers excellent views of Tidore and Halmahera islands. It’s unclear who constructed the fort with the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch all vying for a foothold in the lucrative spice trade at the time. The restoration work has removed some of the historical characteristics of the fort, such as tunnels which once connected the fort to the sea, however it is still worth a look. If the fort is locked ask the neighboring residents if they have a key.
Batu Angus (burnt rock) is a lava flow from a previous, powerful Mount Gamalama eruption. A “must see” for those interested in volcanos the thick flow reaches down to the ocean and offers an insight into the force of a volcanic eruption.
Lake Tolire Besar
An unusual emerald colour Tolire Besar is a crater lake in the islands north. A guide is recommended as it is easy to get lost walking around the lake. The sides of the lake are also very steep with sheer drops in some places so care is needed. Guides, food and drink vendors can be found at the lake. An entry fee is payable but watch for locals hanging around claiming the fee is payable to them.