Rote Surfing, Surf Chater Rote - Waterways Travel Images

Rote, Indonesia

Introduction and History

Rote is a small island in the Nusa Tengarra region of Indonesia, southwest of Timor and a very different world away from the increasingly overrun surfing areas of Bali, Sumatra and the Maldives.

The nation of Timor has a long, interesting and sometimes troubled history. Timor is where Captain Bligh ended his impossible, 3600-mile crossing in a small boat after the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789. (If the photos have already sold you and you are packing for Rote and need a good book, the Bounty Trilogy is fascinating, and appropriate to the area.)

Timor had been divided between the Dutch and the Portuguese for many centuries. West Timor was Dutch Timor from the 1800s until 1949 when it became Indonesian Timor. East Timor was known as Portuguese Timor from 1596 until 1975. Japanese forces occupied the whole island from 1942 to 1945. In 1975, the nation of Indonesia annexed East Timor and was proclaimed Indonesia’s 27th province. After a prolonged guerilla war Timor was split and East Timor won independence in 2002.

When it comes to Indonesian surf adventure, anyone who tells you "been there, done that..." probably hasn't been to Timor/Rote or the neighboring islands


LATITUDE : 10.790141
LONGITUDE: 123.09082
At 10° south, Rote is one of the farthest south points in the Indonesian archipelago. At E 123°, Rote is tucked up above Australia and about on the same longitude as Broome in Western Australia. Think of Rote as being at the end of a funnel formed by Australia and Indonesia, and then think of that funnel loaded with lots of world-famous, well-traveled swell.