A national park is a nature conservation area that has an original ecosystem and managed by a zoning system that is utilized for research, science, education, supporting cultivation as well as for tourism and recreation. The National park is a type of conservation area because it is protected, usually by the central government, from human development and pollution.
Indonesia itself has 54 national parks spreaded from Sumatra to Papua. Six of those 54 national parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, nine national parks are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Moreover, five national parks are wetlands that are internationally protected by the Ramsar Convention. Also, as many as nine national parks are dominated by water. Here are 10 best Indonesia National Park that you can visit for various purposes such as research, education or tourist destination.
1. Lorentz National Park in Papua
Lorentz National Park is the main tourist attraction in Papua besides Raja Ampat. Lorentz National Park has a total area of 25,050 square km. It is stretched from the top of Jayawijaya Mountain (famous with its eternal snow) to the Arafura sea waters.
In Lorentz National Park, there are many types of vegetation and animals found nowhere else. In fact, Lorentz National Park is dubbed as the most complete national park in the Asia Pacific.
2. Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sumatra
Kerinci Seblat National Park is the largest national park in Sumatra. It consists of the Bukit Barisan Mountains which has the highest plateau region in Sumatra. This national park also has hot springs, rivers, caves, caldera lake and waterfall which is the highest in Southeast Asia. This national park is a legacy of tropical rain forests in Sumatra. The diversity of flora and fauna inhabiting the park makes the Kerinci Seblat National Park designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The species found in this national park are very diverse, including the presence of Schneider Pitta, Salvadore and Sumatran Cochoa, which were thought to be extinct during the 20th century. More than 375 bird species have been recorded live here. This is also the most important location in Sumatra for the wild Sumatran Tiger. Other fauna include elephants, leopards, tapirs, sun bears and there are seven primate species.
3. Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan
Tanjung Puting National Park is located on the peninsula of Central Kalimantan. This park has the largest orangutan conservation in the world with an estimated population of 30,000 to 40,000 orangutans scattered inside and outside of this national park. Moreover, the Tanjung Puting National Park is also a biosphere reserve with an area of 415.040 ha.
Holding the national park and the biosphere reserve status, the preservation of Tanjung Puting is highly maintained and one of the best tourist attractions in Indonesia. In Tanjung Puting National Park, the guest can see directly the orangutan’s natural habitat in the wild.
4. Way Kambas National Park in Lampung
Indonesia is indeed rich in animal and biological diversity, so it is not surprising that in Indonesia there are many National Parks that have the main function to maintain the presence of animals and plants and to make sure they remain sustainable in their original habitat. One of them is the Way Kambas National Park in East Lampung Regency, Lampung Province, which is designated as the ASEAN Heritage Park.
Way Kambas National Park which was established in 1985, is the first elephant school in Indonesia. With the initial name of Elephant Training Center (PLG), but since the last few years the name has changed to the Elephant Conservation Center (PKG) which is expected to be an elephant conservation center for domestication, training, breeding and conservation. Until now the PKG has trained around 300 elephants that have been distributed throughout the country.
5. Wasur National Park in Papua
Wasur National Park is part of the largest wetlands in Papua and the atmosphere there is very natural. The wetlands in this national park are the most productive ecosystems in providing food and protection for the lives of various types of fish, shrimp and crabs that have high economic value.
According to Agency Researchers from the World Natural Reserve (WWF), they found around 390 species of birds in the Wasur National Park, Merauke Regency, Papua. In the national park, there are also about 80 species of mammals, 20 of them which are endemic.
6. Wakatobi National Park in Southeast Sulawesi
Wakatobi National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Indonesia, recognized worldwide and has a fascinating underwater paradise. It is located in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi. The area is around 1,390,000 hectares and has marine biodiversity which occupy the highest priority position of marine conservation in Indonesia. At this time, Wakatobi National Park is the world’s underwater research center.
The distinctive feature of Wakatobi National Park is a group of coral reefs that can be found along hundreds of kilometres of the coastline, where there are also underwater caves in several places along the reef. Moreover, Wakatobi National Park is also famous for the diversity of beautiful and charming marine life.
7. Cendrawasih Bay National Park in Papua
Another beautiful Indonesia national park is located in Papua Island called the Cendrawasih Bay National Park. The area of this national park reaches 14,535 square kilometers, with 90 percent of its territory dominated by water.
Cendrawasih Bay National Park is in West Papua Province and covers several islands which are Mioswaar, Nusrowi, Roon, Rumberpon and Yoon. There are more than 500 types of coral and 950 species of reef fishes live there. In Cendrawasih Bay National Park, tourists can also do diving to meet the whale sharks.
8. Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan
Sebangau National Park is a nature conservation area owned by Central Kalimantan Province government. The park is flanked by several rivers and some of them are Sebangau River and Katingan Rivers. Another one is the Koran River which has black water. This color is not a result of waste, but from the tannins in peat swamps.
Sebangau National Park is a peat forest land which covers three regions in Central Kalimantan which are the Palangkaraya City, Katingan Regency and Pulang Pisau Regency.
9. Baluran National Park in East Java
Want to have vacation in vast savanna with views of animals that roam in the wild? Then visit Baluran National Park in Banyuwangi District, East Java. It has vast savanna view called Savana Bengkol and often referred to as Little Affrica in Java.
Baluran National Park has an area of 25,000 ha and for Savana Bekol itself has an area of approximately 300 ha with views of Mount Baluran behind it.
10. Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Riau
Bukit Tigapuluh National Park holds valuable extraordinary flora and fauna. Inside the park, there are about 660 species of plants, 246 of which are medicinal plants which are often used by local residents. A total of 550 species are endangered species that have been recorded, collected and maintained. The rare species include the rimau fungus (rafflessia hasselti), jernang (daemonorops draco), pulai (alstonia scholaris), red gum (palaguyum sopi), jelutung (dyeracosculata) and many more.
In addition, in this national park area there are also nibung trees (oncosperm tigilarium), a type of wild palm, like areca trees, which are specifically classified as the palmae tribe. For the people of Riau, the Nibung tree has its own meaning, which is a symbol of the spirit of unity and brotherhood of the Riau people.