district in Halmahera Utara Regency, Maluku Utara Province, Indonesia

Tobelo is the capital of the North Halmahera district in the Maluku islands of Indonesia. It is also the second largest town in the province of the North Maluku after the provincial capital, Ternate.


Tobelo and environs is predominantly Christian and this is expressed colourfully at Christmas with bamboo poles arching over the side of the roads hung with lights and multi-coloured flags. At Easter, local church congregations hold a competition to see who can create the best Easter garden. Tobelo and environs boasts large swathes of locally owned coconut plantations, supplying hundreds of tonnes of copra (dried coconut flesh) every month to the ports of Bitung (North Sulawesi) and Surabaya (East Java).

Get inEdit

Tobelo is accessible by ferry from Bitung (Manado), North Sulawesi. It is accessible by a very good road from Sofifi (four hours by car), the Halmahera port with hourly speedboat connections to Ternate (1 hour journey time). There are small airports in Kao and Galela with flights from Ternate and Manado by small plane run by Merpati Nusantara and Trigana airlines. They fly on one or two days a week and schedules vary.

Get aroundEdit



  • Luari beach (Pantai Luari), Desa Luari (20 min north of Tobelo). A nice white sand beach right in front of Luari town. You can take a minibus there. Snorkelling is nice off the beach, in low tide however it's hard to swim across the shallow part without scratches. Snorkelling in front of the headland connected with a sandbar just north of the beach is even nicer. The beach may be very crowded on weekends and groups of schoolchildren may want to take many pictures with foreigners.
  • Dukono volcano (Gunung Dukono) (Hike from Desa Mamuya). An impressive 1,259 m high active volcano. It can be climbed, usually in a two day hike with a night near the top. Only recommended for the physically fit. A guide is absolutely necessary, the active volcano spews ash clouds and can be very dangerous. The ash makes it far into the forest below and may irritate your eyes, especially if dripping down with rain from the leaves, take a good hat, some people hike with swimming goggles. Inquire at your hotel for a guide. If the guide has a good motorcycle you don't have to hike for the first part.





  • Kupa Kupa Beach Cottages, Jl. Pertamina Tobelo Selatan, Halmahera (15 km south of Tobelo). Kupa Kupa has a few cottages from basic to comfortable and is situated right on a small nice beach overhanged by huge trees. Tasty meals are served in the restaurant. Owned by a German-Indonesian couple, the retired owner Lutz will show you his orchid and insect collections.

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