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The Bunaken Islands from our resort: swim and dive venue.

Sulawesi

Marine life diversity in Indonesia

June 13-21, 2025
June 20-28, 2025
What you need to know
Our package...
  • 1 night (first night) Singapore, incl. breakfast
  • 7 nights Manado (Sulawesi)
  • All meals in Sulawesi
  • Four days swim excursions (two swims each day, lunch aboard)
  • Two days land excursions – Highlands Tour, Whitewater rafting
  • Airport transfers in Manado only (Singapore transfers not included)

Package costs (2024 costs – 2025 costs still to come, but should not vary much) range from $A3,810 to $A4,350 pp Twin or Double, or $A4,180 to $A4,890 single, depending on room type chosen. (These prices are a bit higher than 2023, as prices adjust to post-pandemic market conditions.) There are three basic room types at our resort in Sulawesi: free-standing chalets, duplex, and triplex of varying floor sizes. (All rooms have a/con.) Contact us for more info. NB: We keep these prices under constant review as exchange rates fluctuate.

Space is very limited on this oceanswimsafari. We plan to fill the resort so that its resources can be devoted entirely to our needs.

More details on our package... Click here


Quick links...

Sulawesi has grown into one of the great adventures in ocean swimming. Perhaps our most exotic oceanswimming venue, every day offers something different, exciting and memorable. This oceanswimsafari focuses on the bottom of the Celebes Sea, in the area of the greatest marine diversity in the Indo-Pacific region.

When we go to Sulawesi, we've often been asked, 'Can we dive, too?' Sulawesi is home to some of the world's best dive sites in some of the world's best water. So the answer is, Yes, you can dive. Talk to us! As well as swim days, we have two land-based excursions – a Highlands tour, including a visit to 'The Extreme Market' (expect the dramatic), and whitewater rafting down the Nimanga River. You could dive instead of taking part in a land excursion.

Our target area in Sulawesi is the islands of the Bunaken National Park. We stay at a small dive resort on the mainland, boating out each day for swims.

Sulawesi

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Sulawesi is one of the places that is right out of left field; a place you've probably never heard of, let alone been to. Or even considered as a destination. It's the funny-shaped Indonesian island at the bottom of the Celebes Sea, perched between West Papua, Borneo and The Philippines. Western visitors – usually just Dutch and German – commonly are divers, and that’s how we heard about this area: from a diving friend who swims. They told us, it’s perfect for an oceanswimsafari. And that's exactly as we found it.

Our area of interest is at the very nor’-eastern tip of Sulawesi, around the city of Manado. It’s a predominately Christian part of Indonesia, and most western visitors tend to be continental European – Dutch, German, Swiss. Very hard to run into Aussies, Brits, or Kiwis, or North Americans.

Our accommodation is a nine-room resort with 'chalets' that range up the hill. oceanswimsafarists eat together on a Captain’s table (although you can have something set up for yourself, if you like) on an Indonesian feast each night, gazing out from the steep hillside over the fishing boat-bobbing sea.

High up

The shoreline is steep, so the resort has spectacular views out over the Celebes Sea towards the Bunaken Islands National Park, with pristine water that’s warm and clear, and teeming with sea life. We lost count of the number of turtles that glided by, distracted by the big tuna, the trevally, the coral. Just above the equator, the water is warm. We've seen nothing untoward during any of our now many visits, just a reef shark or two – and they're not that interested in us – despite swimming along the drop-off from reefs where you couldn’t see the bottom. The sea just went down, and down, over the drop-off into the inky depths.

From our resort, the dominant feature of the Bunaken Islands is Pulau Manadotua, an island volcano. Each day, we venture out on the resort's dive boat, which is our swim boat. There’ll be four day trips to swim along the reefs, with two swim sessions each of 1.5-3kms (depending on currents and tides). (As with all our oceanswimsafaris in tropical regions, we limit time in the water to c. an hour at a time, a precaution given the intensity of the sun in these parts.) We’ll have two day trips on land, one a tour of the highlands behind Manado with more volcanos and Danau Tondano, an enormous highland lake, local towns and markets. The lake’s shores are lined with seafood restaurants. We’ll have lunch at one of them. We’ll visit the Extreme Market. That really is what it’s called. What do they mean by 'Extreme'? Fancy some python?

We’ll go whitewater rafting: 9km down the Nimanga River. The drive there and back is worth the trip alone.

One of the highlights of this oceanswimsafari is the food. Our resort's chef prepares exciting food, different each night, using an array of fresh, local produce.

Despite the remote location, Manado is easy to get to: through Singapore, from where Singapore Airlines’ low cost carrier, Scoot, flies direct to Manado. Going up, there’s an overnight in Singapore, which is not hard to take. But coming back it’s usually possible to come straight through with as short as a three-hour layover in Singapore.

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Along the drop-off in the Bunakens, where the sea drops into infinity.

Our package

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We’re allowing an overnight in Singapore on the way to Manado, but we plan to come straight back without the need for an overnight. We’ll have seven nights in Sulawesi. It’s an eight-night oceanswimsafari to a place you’d otherwise never visit.

If you prefer, you can do more diving on land excursion days (at your own cost, offset by saved excursion costs).

(We keep our package costs under review continuously and reserve the right to adjust them in line with movements in exchange rates and individual cost components.)

Flights

It's your responsibility to book your flights. Airfares are not included, because they vary and depend on rates at the time of booking. You can get to Singapore however you like, but it's important that you are on particular return flights Singapore to Manado. The key is that we all must be in Singapore on the evening of Friday, June 14, or Friday, June 21 (depending on the group you're travelling with), so that we can transfer to Manado in the morning of Saturday, June 15, 2024 (or June 22, 2024), respectively. Return flights should be dated Saturday, June 22, 2024 or Saturday, June 29, 2024.  If you're coming straight back to Australia, this means you'll get back on Sunday, June 23 or June 30. You can book all the way through with Scoot, if you like. The advantage of through-flights with Scoot or Singapore Airlines is that it avoids luggage collection in Singapore on the way back (Singapore Airlines owns Scoot). Also, on the way up, if you'd like a more relaxed overnight in Singapore, book right through with Singapore Airlines. This will get you into Singapore a few hours earlier (than with Qantas), then put you on the same Scoot service to Manado the next morning.

We will advise you on flights when you finalise your booking with us. 

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Time for a drink.

Enquiries and bookings

Enquiries... Click here

See what others say about our oceanswimsafaris... Click here

Please first check & Terms and Conditions... Click here

To book... Click here

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Escorts back to base after a day's swimming.

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High on the hill, our resort.

2024
2025

Address

Hellercamp Pty Ltd t/a oceanswimsafaris.com
PO Box 719
Rozelle NSW 2039 Australia
ABN 97 163 965 704