Where the only tourists are surfers

Where the only tourists are surfers
By admin


An archipelago of 70 pristine islands sits 150 km off the Sumatran coast in Indonesia. 

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Known as the Mentawai Islands this remote part of the world is well and truly off the tourist map, except for one hardy group of travellers – surfers. 

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In 1989 a Kiwi salvage diver and surfer Martin Daly discovered the regions' surf potential, which for the last 20 years has been widely regarded as having the best waves on the planet. 

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The swell season runs for a 30 week period with surfers chartering boats and travelling from all corners of the globe. 

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In fact 63,000 surfers visit each season – more than double the number that visit Antarctica – creating $18.9 million
in revenue for the boat owners, but how much reaches the local economy is another matter.

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In 2010 the islands were obliterated by the tsunami killing hundreds and flattening entire villages.

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However the annual influx of rich surfers softened the financial blow and has led to the construction of an airstrip on Sipora, and a new air service direct from Singapore.

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The Perfect Wave offers trips from $2300.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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