Makassar and its surrounding is one of those places in Indonesia that I often pass through, but I never really explore. At the end of 2015 and mid of 2016 I finally had a chance to explore the region and I had a lot of fun.
There was the Rammang-Rammang Karst (that unfortunately I haven’t been really inspired to write about, but I will soon!), a few things around the city center and two islands nearby. Who would have thought that there are pretty islands just stone away from the busy Makassar. If you are interested in finding more about what you can do in (and around) Makassar, head to this article.
Oh. Located really close to Rammang-Rammang Karst, Bantimurung Waterfall, in my opinion one of the most underrated destinations around Makassar. Literally… You should visit. The waterfall is inside the Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park.
Bantimurung Waterfall was the first destination on the #TripOfWonders (I’ll tell you about it next time). I would like to share several things that you can enjoy in the Bantimurung Waterfall area, why I think it is worth visiting and also my experience there. Let’s start!
The waterfall is a definite favourite with locals. The site can get 10,000 visitors over a weekend. In fact I visited the falls over the weekend and it was busy. Kids splashing around in the water with their friends or their parents, youngsters sliding down the falls on tubes and other people just sat relaxing and enjoying the view of the waterfall (and probably people watching too).
The picnic area
The picnic area is the first part you’ll see once you enter the Bantimurung waterfall park. There is a children’s pool equipped with the waterslides. Several areas with benches and I spotted a tree house. Well, it could have been a viewing tower. Unfortunately didn’t have enough time to check that one out.
You might find it a bit funny, but I actually liked the fact there were so many people in the park on the day we visited. I was happy to see families enjoying their weekend outdoors. There were people sitting on mats, having a picnic and connecting with their loved ones.
The Silent Walk and the Butterflies
On the left side of the waterfall you’ll see a concrete stairs that lead you towards Gua Batu (Batu Cave) and Kassi Kebo Lake. Most people who visit the park never get as far as these places. Yes the picnic area was crazy busy, but it was totally empty after the waterfall. I remember it was an enjoyable silent walk with cliffs of karst on the left and the beautiful river on my right. Several times I spotted pretty butterflies.
I read that a lot of people catch the butterflies and it seems that this is true, because there were plenty of people outside the park selling butterfly specimens. How that could happen and the park authority seems cool about it? I don’t have a clue.
Gua Batu (Batu Cave)
When I visited we arrived too late to explore Batu Cave with the group. Everyone started coming out from the cave just as we were deciding if we needed to rent a torch (we rented one in the end). Jeremy, who was one of the last out from the cave, decided to accompany Kama and I to explore the cave (again).
Gua Batu isn’t a large cave. There were plenty of stalactites and several random signs in the cave. There were also areas where we had to bend to continue exploring the cave. It takes around 10-15 minutes to explore the cave.
Kassi Kebo Lake and the extended exploration
Just outside of Batu Cave, you find Kassi Kebo Lake. The lake is beautiful with a white sandy beach! I spent some time looking at the Kassi Kebo Lake and several tiny waterfalls around the lake. It is the final place to explore around Bantimurung Waterfall.
“Fancy checking out another lake?” Our group guide threw us a very tempting offer.
After a brief discussion of how long it would take and how hard the trek would be (he was claiming it was going to be difficult), five of us including the guide decided to trek to Toakala Lake.
The journey to Toakala Lake was amazing and though it was not as difficult as I thought it would be, do hire a guide if you decide to visit the lake (there are a lot of sharp rocks and the route was a bit tricky). We passed some more epic caves as we walked around the lake and Jeremy has a nice quick swim.
Thanks Kama, Jeremy, Jo and Mr. fantastic guide for the fun walk.
If you’re visiting Makassar take the time to explore sites outside of the city. There are a lot of great places to visit and Bantimurung Waterfall is close to the top of the list. I know you’ll enjoy it.
Have you visited Bantimurung Waterfall? What did you think of the site? Share your thoughts in the comments below.