Rote (also Roti) is the southernmost island in Indonesia. It is part of the southern province of East Nusa Tenggara and is really popular with surfers in the winter.

Rote is part of the Roti Ndao regency, which also includes many smaller islands. It’s around 100kms from tip to toe stretching off the bottom end of Timor toward the northwest coast of Australia.

The main town on Rote is Ba’a in the center/north of the island. Not much happens in Ba’a apart from some trekking for tourists amid rolling hills, plantations and palm forests. There is also a small museum in town with Chinese porcelain and art.

The main place to head for in Rote is Nemberala right down on the southwest of the island. It easily has the best surfing spot on the island, with great tubes over shallow reefs and the winter winds. The diving here is also good, with pods of manta and dugong. Dana and Ndao islands off the south coast make good daytrips.

Getting There & Away

There is no major airport on Rote, with access being through nearby Kupang in West Timor, 50kms to the northeast. Flights arrive here from all over Indonesia, including from Denpasar in Bali and Jakarta on Java. Bali’s Ngurah Rai is the nearest major international airport and about 1 hour, 20 minutes away. Ferries take about 2 hours to reach Rote from Kupang.

Onward Travel