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Connecting you with Nature


Edition #59 Blue Whales of the Banda Sea
Edition #59 NOV/DEC 2018, How Blue Whales combat climate chaos


Earth is a solid ball surrounded by seawater, hurtling through space, spinning and under the influence of gravity. These unimaginable forces make the oceans swirl, which coupled to the atmosphere, makes for a chaotic climate. 

Over millions of years, complex ecosystems involving every species have evolved to moderate this chaos, so its energy is released at just the right time and in the right quantity, for life on Earth to thrive. The largest of these is the Blue Whale and we're only just beginning to understand its significance. 

In the short time humans have existed, conditions have been made perfect for the growth of our civilisation by the animals we share our planet with.

When I visited last month, I wasn't prepared for the sheer magnitude of ocean processes in the Banda Sea. When fifteen million cubic metres of water flow into an area with over 17,000 islands, that's bound to generate life like nowhere else on Earth. 

Here is the latest written installment about how life literally depends on wildlife: in this case the Forgotten Islands of Banda Neira and the Blue Whales that live there. 

Australians are incredibly lucky to have all this on the doorstep - yet it's few of us who travel to Indonesia - except to Bali, and even then, Bali Barat a few hours from Denpasar is arguably one of the most beautiful parts of Indonesia and no-one goes there. Instead, Indonesia is getting popular with Europeans, Americans and Southeast Asians, who long-ago discovered the incredible experiences they could have here. 

So why not ask your travel agent to give us a call? Or drop us a line directly. 

... and CHECK OUT the trips below 

A final point. There are a few things that define Indonesia for me:

  1. It's easy to reach anywhere within 24 hours of leaving home.
  2. Customary hospitality is as good as it gets almost anywhere in the world, no matter where you stay. 
  3. The nature experiences are exceptional ... on a par with anywhere in the world. Borneo's Orangutans; Komodo's dragons and tribal cultures; the world's largest Buddhist temples; Raja Ampat is comparable to Galapagos; Sulawesi has more endemic birds and mammals than Madagascar. Wakatobi offers a luxury reef experience. There are ancient civilisations; huge temples, incredible cultural diversity, old and modern history.
  4. There is a lifetime of unexplored places where you can feel like the only people on Earth. 
  5. Everyone ends up going back more and more. 

You won't be disappointed, so get in touch now while there's still chance to explore these little-known areas of the world that are so close to home.  

Best wishes,  


Simon Mustoe
Founder, Wildiaries


Blue Whales of the Banda Sea and Forgotten Islands

Blue Whale

There are a handful of places where the history of oceans, life on Earth and Western civilisation collide in spectacular form; where networks that stabilise weather systems, create fisheries, our economy, determine our farming seasons, regulate climate and fuel global food production, can be appreciated through what you observe in plain sight. One of these is the Banda Sea.   




South east Asia's top bird breeding island

Manuk Island

Manuk Island is one of only six seabird colonies left in Indonesia and one of the few left in the entire southeast Asia and south China Sea. It was formally the country's largest seabird colony but despite being protected, numbers of seabirds continue to decline. Part of the cause ... 




1. Travel with Stella and Juergen Freund 27 May -  7 June

Stella and Juergen Freund trip

The underwater world of Raja Ampat is nothing like we’ve ever seen elsewhere in our travels. 

Juergen (Yogi) first dived on the Pindito in 1996 when this beautiful Indonesian phinisi vessel Pindito was starting out. Yogi was the first to find the Raja Ampat pygmy seahorse for owner Edi and his crew.   

Many trips later, there are so many great stories of discoveries and adventures we can tell. We have so much respect for Edi & his Pindito crew as the pioneers of diving in Raja Ampat and are so happy to be leading this tour.

Warmest regards,

Jüergen & Stella






Jürgen Freund is a judge in this year's prestigious Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 

Stella and Juergen Freund trip

A natural history and conservation photographer living in Tropical North Queensland, Australia. He is as much at home taking underwater photographs in the ocean as he is in freshwater, rainforests, deserts and up in the air. Jürgen is a senior fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and his photographs have been published in many magazines and books worldwide, as well as shown in international exhibitions. For more than two decades he has been working with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) network, who use his images in their international conservation campaigns. In 2009, Jürgen and his wife, Stella, embarked on a milestone photographic expedition for WWF, travelling for 18 months through the six countries of the Coral Triangle. There Jürgen photographed nature, wildlife and the many people living in the world's most biodiverse marine ecosystems. Their photo stories from this epic journey culminated in the 2011 coffee-table book The Coral Triangle.  


2. Travel with Tim Harvey to Banda Sea (dates on enquiry)

Spice Islands Tour

Banda Neira is not the easiest place to get to but when you know how, it can be done. At the invite of the grand-daughter of the 'King of Maluku' (who once entertained Princess Diana and Mick Jagger on the island), we will stay in the Maulana. This once-opulent hotel, a relic of the post-pearling era, is much run down these days but is being restored. This is a rare chance to see a place with an incredible history and get a real behind-the-scenes tour.

The trip will be led by Tim Harvey (see below).

Dates will be confirmed once we have a group of six people.






Tim Harvey

Tim is leading trips to Banda Neira [expressions of interest here please] for the first SIX lucky people who enquire. He is also co-leading our immensely popular (and sold out until 2020) Raja Ampat trip with Wildiaries.

Tim was just recently honoured as being written up as one of Traveller Magazine's Heroes of Travel for 2018 ... "the brave, big-hearted and indomitably determined men and women who work all year around to make the world a better place, with inspiring results".

Anyone who has travelled with Tim will know what he brings to a tour can't be defined by anyone with less passion or experience as him. 

Read more: 

3. Travel to Raja Ampat, The Last Paradise 24 Feb-6 Mar 2020

Raja Ampat, Last Paradise

This incredibly popular trip is about to sell out!!

This is your last chance to book a spot before it goes out to the European and US markets. 

Led by Tim Harvey and Wildiaries, this trip explores Raja Ampat, Indonesia's 'Galapagos', a place like nowhere on Earth. 

Birds of Paradise, abundant whales and dolphins, coral reefs, secluded islands and beaches. Raja Ampat has it all. 

Join our team and ecologists to learn what makes this place so extraordinary and why it may just become the last place on Earth where coral reefs could survive climate change. 

[This gentle trip is SUITABLE FOR NON-DIVERS] 




4. Blue Whales of the Banda Sea

Blue Whales Banda Sea


The trips we've just run have SOLD OUT for the next couple of seasons. 

We are looking at options.

These are incredibly popular and will sell fast to our European and US customers. 

If you would like to join one of these exclusive trips, you will need to get in early. 

Download a brochure (left) and get in touch so we can contact you as soon as there are dates available.








To enquire about any of the latest deals or offers, or for advice on travelling


CALL +61 (0)3 9014 9687

Missed our previous editions? Here they are again

Edition 58Edition 57Triton BayEdition 55