Some 11 kilometers away from Manokwari, there is a perfect place for those looking for a serene and quiet place to rest. It is the Petrus Kafiar Beach. Has just been opened in 2018, the beach can be reached within 25 minutes ride from the center of Manokwari.
The name Petrus Kafiar was taken from an evangelist in West Papua. It is also the name of the village where the beach is located and a church in the village. The beach is also known as the Amban Beach. As a new tourist spot, Petrus Kafiar Beach is the place to go if you want to find a quiet beach with a long shoreline and a good place to relax.
The Story of Petrus Kafiar
Petrus Kafiar was born in 1873 and was native to the Supiori Island which is just across Manokwari Regency, West Papua. He was kidnapped when he was seven years old and was sold to a Moluccan carpenter who happened to be a Christian. He was liberated by an Indonesian couple and baptized some times around 1887, and from then, he studied Christ for missionary work. He traveled and preached, and served several pioneer missionaries including in Biak.
His capability of speaking in local, Dutch, and Malay language made it easy for him to communicate while preaching. The Petrus Kafiar Village Church was one of his works. Yet, in 1908, he went back to his native land, Supiori Island.
The wisdom of Petrus Kafiar was not only about Christianity, but he also preached about living with nature. His teachings are living with the Petrus Kafiar Village people now. When visiting Petrus Kafiar Beach, you can see wisdom words painted on decorated signs around the beach. Thus, some also know the beach as a religious tourism spot.
Long Coastline and White Sand
Just as any other virgin beaches, Petrus Kafiar Beach features a rather clean white-sand beach stretching on a bay near the Doberai Cape. On weekends, you can meet the locals spending time with their families on the beach. Besides the shoreline, visitors can enjoy their time under the trees that are leaning towards the beach.
There are benches where you can relax and enjoy the breeze, or just lay back on the warm sand under the trees. The scenic view and the serenity make the beach is the place you go to contemplate and really enjoy the time.
Getting to Manokwari and Petrus Kafiar Beach
If you are coming from outside of the island, Manokwari is easily accessed through a flight from Jakarta or Makassar. Though Manokwari is a rather small town in West Papua, it already has an airport and hotels around such as Aston Niu Manokwari and Swiss-Belhotel Manokwari.
To get to destinations, you can rent a car or a motorbike for a cheaper option. There are also taxis available outside the airport so that you can go straight to the hotel to relax and start the trip the next day. Besides, some hotels offer airport pick-up services.
People of Manokwari used to travel to Petrus Kafiar Beach via land, using a motorbike. Note that the path to the beach may be rather difficult, so you might want to engage with a local guide.
What to Do in Petrus Kafiar Beach
Though the beach had just been officially opened in 2018, it has been known among international surfers since the 2010s. Many surfers came from around the world to ride on the magnificent wild waves of the Petrus Kafiar Beach. You can even find a local surf camp, that operates under the Persatuan Selancar Olahraga Indonesia (PSOI). If you are into surfing, you can go to the surf camp and try on one of their boards on the beach’s wave.
Besides a surf camp, the beach also has diving, snorkeling, and fishing spots. One of the main attractions is the wreck of the WWII aircraft, located around 20 meters under the water. It is now the home to rich marine life and coral reefs. Though the people of Petrus Kafiar Village used to use bombs to catch fish, now the practice has been banned when they learned about the damage it causes to the underwater life.
The beach in Petrus Kafiar is also one of the perfect places to find the sunrise, given that it is located on the easternmost of Indonesia. Even the locals are coming to see the sunset and sunrise on holidays in West Papua.
All in all, Petrus Kafiar Beach has a lot more potential as a tourism destination. In 2021, it is expected that the Manokwari government would put more effort into developing the area, cooperating with the locals to give the visitors a wholesome experience when coming to this beach.