World War II left a visible mark on the island of Morotai. It’s not just on land or deep in the depth of ocean bed, but also in the memory of the people. Survivors of those era told the story so vividly when the celebrated General Douglass McArthur fulfilled his promise to take back The Philippines from Japan. McArthur pick Morotai as a base to do so. The remnants of the war can still be seen all over the islands.
It’s not just the history, though. Morotai is mostly visited because its extreme beauty. Located at one of the northernmost point of Indonesia, these islands are perfect for those who want enjoy untouched natural beauty with rich historical values. Here are some spots you need to visit at Morotai.
The submerged bridge of Dodola Islands
On the southwest of Morotai, there is Dodola Island, the most popular destination in the area. Dodola Islands is a complete tropical heavenly island. It has beautiful beaches, wonderful snorkeling and diving spots on a secluded place. Dodola Islands consists of Dodola Besar and Dodola Kecil Islands. Both of them are connected by white sand pathway that vanish underwater during high tide. There are not many improvements done in this area.
McArthur Island and Army Dock Beach
Army Dock Beach got its name when General Douglas McArthur used it as his main seaport during the preparation to invade The Philippines. 60,000 Allied Forces soldiers enter the island from this port. Nearby, there was also a hospital with two thousand beds for the soldiers.
Nearby, there is Zumzum Island (also known as McArthur Island). There is a monument of the general, as well as an old airstrip and old helipad on this island. The island itself is rather unspoiled otherwise, with not many improvement to accommodating tourists.
Diving World War II Wrecks
Morotai has more than 30 diving sites, but the most famous type is the one with the remnants of World War II wrecks. You can see all kind of vehicles of the war, sitting idly on the ocean bed. Jeeps, trucks, and even airplanes are left on here. After the war, this area is one of the largest 5th Air Force boneyards in Pacific. Many of the wrecks have become home to many marine species. Coral reefs are starting to occupy these otherwise dead panorama.
Daruba, the Main Hub of Morotai
The city of Daruba is the main hub to explore the islands. All flights and ships land on Daruba, the biggest city on Morotai. However, Morotai is not just a city with an air and seaport, it’s also surrounded by several beautiful beaches and land tourist attraction. You can hike Mount Bakulu or explore several waterfalls, most notably Kokota Waterfall. There are also several caves on the island, accessible through Daruba.
How to get There and What to do in Morotai
Morotai is not the easiest area to reach. Wings Air serves flights to Pitu Airport from Manado and Ternate. Otherwise, you need to go to the island with ship from Manado, Bitung, Sorong, Tobelo, or Ternate. Alternatively, you can explore this area on liveaboard. Getting around the island should be easy by renting a motorcycle or a car. Island hopping is possible by chartering speed boats from Daruba.