I’ve been receiving a lot of requests from guests who want to visit Timang Beach in the last few months. The Gondola, originally used by lobster fishermen, has become one of the highlights of things to do in Yogyakarta. So while I was in the area I thought I’d visit Timang Beach myself. Here’s what to expect if you decide to visit Timang Beach for yourself.
How to Get to Timang Beach
Timang Beach is a 3-hour driver from Yogyakarta in the region of Gunung Kidul. To get to the beach you’ll need to arrange a car rental for the journey. Most of the journey is along new tarmac roads and is an easy ride. When you get close to the beach you need to turn off the main road onto the final path to Timang Beach.
As I said before, Timang Beach has become popular with tourists. Unfortunately there are few systems in place to manage the tourism. As we were driving along the path to the beach we were stopped at an informal stop manned by some local volunteers who asked for a voluntary contribution to enter the beach. There are still no tickets and no fixed price, which can make it feel like a scam.
After 200 meters driving down the road we passed by a stop area. There was a parking area close by where we were told we could drop off the car and exchange to motorbike taxis. The motorbike taxis take you the final 3km along the road to the beach. The cost for the motorbike taxi is Rp 50,000 per person.
Two years ago Timang Beach was just an isolated spot at the end of a bumpy road. While there was the Gondola, there were no parking area and nowhere to buy food. The arrival of tourists has meant big changes for the beach. A lot of it is positive, but there are some problems.
The first thing you see when you arrive at Timang Beach is a cute little warung built of bamboo and rattan. A painted sign points to a small path that loops around a hill to the Gondola. It was a short walk along bumpy stones to the Gondola.
As we turned round the point I got my first view of Timang Beach Gondola. It’s quite an amazing view. The Gondola links the mainland with a rocky outcrop that is 20 meters or so off the shore. It’s built from wood, blue ropes, wood washed up on the beach and metal pulleys. The whole thing looks like a crazy inventor built it.
Of course most people come to the beach to try the Gondola, so the most important question is; “How safe is the Gondola?” Luckily the answer for me is “pretty safe.”
The people who were managing the Gondola looked organized. They worked in teams on the pulleys sending people over to the island. The people running the pulleys had walkie-talkies and everything just seemed well managed.
So the second question is the cost. This wasn’t really set. We were initially charged Rp 200,000 per person to take the Gondola across the sea to the rocky outcrop. However, I saw plenty of people negotiating with the people who managed the Gondola and getting the price down to Rp 150,000 per person.
The Best Timang Beach Itinerary
It takes 3 hours to reach the beach from Yogyakarta. That’s a long drive. If you plan to arrange a Yogyakarta car rental for the day to visit Timang Beach I would recommend combining the trip with other activities. My personal recommendation if you visit Timang Beach is the following…
I’d start the day by doing the Gua Jomblang cave tour in the morning, then in the afternoon go to Timang Beach. Finally in the late afternoon stop at the Gunung Gkidul viewpoint for some food. This itinerary allows you to visit some great tourist attractions, while not spending too long in the car.
I had mixed feelings about the Gondola before visiting Timang Beach. I felt safety was a real issue and it was something that I was worried about when people told me they wanted to visit Timang Beach. After visiting Timang Beach I was reassured that everything was so well organised.
Overall I think Timang Beach is an interesting place to visit. The Gondola is something really different, and though expensive, is interesting to see and try. However, there are better beaches to visit around Gunung Kidul. If you’re not interested in the beach, but just want to see the Gondola I think a visit to Timang Beach is definitely worth it.
Have you visited Timang Beach? What did you think of the Gondola? Share your thoughts in the comments below!