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Komodo National Park, Indonesia


Geordie’s Indonesian Adventure: Komodo National Park & Sumba Island

Co-Founder Geordie Mackay-Lewis embarks on an incredible yachting and travel adventure to Indonesia’s Komodo National Park and Sumba Island as it reopens its borders to international travellers.

An idyllic archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is a truly magical destination. From rolling green hills that rise from azure waters to epic waterfalls, unexplored sacred temples, remote pearl farms, and deep stalactite caves. Indonesia is a must-see destination year-round, but the summer months are best spent in Komodo National Park: home of the iconic Komodo dragon.

An unforgettable yacht experience in Komodo National Park

Geordie began his trip onboard LAMIMA, a traditional Phinisi yacht with an extraordinary story.

“What really struck me was the history behind this extraordinary Phinisi yacht. LAMIMA was built over a period of 9 months using traditional Indonesian techniques that was launched with a ceremony and involved transporting the boat to water over a 2-month period on wooden rollers. It is remarkable to have the opportunity to stay onboard a modern-day yacht that was created with such incredible technique, rich in culture and history.”

The Phinisi yacht is a symbol of Indonesia’s seafaring heritage and has been sailing the Southeast Asian archipelago since the 14th century. The traditional methods still used in building Indonesian boats today bring Phinisi sailing to the forefront of sustainability, marking LAMIMA out as we look to Indonesia as a great upcoming yachting destination. This is made even more special by the fact only Phinisi yachts can be chartered in Indonesian waters.

“The crew onboard LAMIMA were truly incredible and were a huge reason as to why this trip stood out for me. The all-Indonesian crew of 18 have a clear, infectious passion for their country and for their beautiful boat, and they are extremely hospitable. I felt welcomed onboard as if I were part of the family – in the evenings, we would watch the sun go down as the crew played guitar softly in the background. The crew brought such joy and they were a brilliant example of the importance of community and hospitality in Indonesian culture.”

By visiting Komodo National Park aboard a yacht, Pelorus can grant special access to the unseen parts of the islands and surrounding regions.

Paddleboarding Indonesia Geordie recce

“We got up close to deserted beaches on LAMIMA, where you’ll see wild Komodo dragons emerge. From the yacht we were also able to venture closer to the coastline on paddleboards to look out for the dragons. By night, we’d stop at deserted islands for private beach set ups, and by day we’d explore on jet skis, surfboards and the various other water toys onboard. The diving in this part of the world is spectacular – there is variety here which you don’t really see in other dive sites. Fields of coral and other areas teeming with fish, it really is extraordinary.” 

If you’re looking to travel to Indonesia in the winter months, we’d recommend Raja Ampat by sailing yacht such as DUNIA BARU, which our co-founder Jimmy Carroll stayed on. Here, you can also expect diving like nowhere else in the world, amongst extraordinary atolls and islands. This is a part of West Papua, which will involve more tribal action and rituals.

Pelorus is developing pioneering yacht experiences in Papua New Guinea for LAMIMA – brand new experiences that haven’t been done before onboard this yacht. Get in touch to discuss directly with the team if you’re interested. 

Indonesia with Geordie diving instruction on LAMIMA Indonesia hidden beach
LAMIMA in Indonesia Deer in Komodo National Park, Indonesia

From Labuan Bajo to Sumba Island

After disembarking from the beautiful LAMIMA, Geordie headed to Sumba Island to see what land-based experiences Indonesia has to offer. Renowned for its epic surf and vast population of Sumbanese horses – which you can see splashing in the waves on the shoreline – this island is a must-see. Geordie was able to go off the beaten track and see the sides of Sumba Island that few know about.

Geordie stayed in ultimate luxury at the stunning NIHI Sumba, while also witnessing precious moments such as thousands of turtles released on the seashore having been incubated in conservation efforts by NIHI.

Local communities in Indonesia

“What was truly remarkable was seeing first-hand how the Sumba Foundation is impacting lives in Indonesia. It is a genuinely sustainable island which is a side of it you don’t often hear about. The Sumba Foundation is providing fresh water, supporting schools and medical centres on the island. It’s a brilliant and heartfelt experience to go and visit these communities on the island, meet tribes and be welcomed to witness their ritual ceremonies.” 

Rated best hotel in the world for two consecutive years and boasting a spa that would rival any first-class hotel, but with the added bonus of ocean views and an utterly mesmerising location, NIHI Sumba is the hotel of dreams.

From here, Geordie trekked inland to explore jungles, encountering exotic birdlife and wildlife, coming across spectacular waterfalls as the welcome gift to the end of a challenging hike across varied terrain.

This is a truly magical part of the world – and given its 17,000 islands, offers a completely diverse and unparalleled experience from island to island. Whether you want to explore in summer or winter, would like to encounter birdlife as you trek through jungles, or witness extraordinary sealife in epic diving experiences. Based on land or discovering these azure seas by yacht… the experiences are endless.


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