Ambon - information for sailors


For those not staying on yachts there are a number of accommodation options.

Homestays in Amahusu
Why not make it a truly cultural experience and stay with a local family. Contact for more information.

Tirta Kencana

Located directly opposite the moorings and race office. There are a combination of twin and double rooms.

Hotel Mutiara & Swiss Bel-Hotel

These are both located in Ambon City (approx 15kms from Amahusu).


For crew flying home there are 2 options.

  1. A charter flight direct from Ambon to Darwin with Hardy Aviation. This usually takes 2.5hrs and generally leaves on the Sunday after the presentation. There are also spaces on the inbound flight from Darwin to Ambon on the same day for crew who may be joining you in Ambon for the cruise home.
  2. Fly from Ambon to Ujang Pandang and then onto Denpasar. Jetstar & Air Asia both offer daily flights from Denpasar to Darwin at very affordable rates.

Moorings, Fuel and Water

Fuel & drinking water will be arranged for yachts prior to outward clearances in Ambon. Further details will follow closer to the race start.


Moorings are available next to the finish line in Amahusu. You will be directed to an available mooring upon arrival prior to clearances.

Race Social Events

Tuesday 8th August
First boats arrive

Wednesday 9th August
Boats continue to arrive 

Thursday 10th August
Welcome Ceremony @ 1000 – 1200
Traditional Games @ 1300 – 1500
(Gila Bamboo, Greasy Pole, Becak Racing) 

Friday 11th August
Visit to local villages and schools – hosted by local guides

** Crews can visit Ambon City or other villages and check out the island **

Saturday 12th August
Dragon Boat Race @ 1300
Presentation Ceremony @ 1500 – 1700
Beach party with locals @ 1830

Sunday 13th August
Sail past with locals @ 1000
Fuel & water supplies @ 1300

Monday 14th August
Outwards clearances @ 0900

Cruising after Ambon

Sailor Tips

  • Change some money prior to departure and get plenty of small stuff
  • Indonesian phrasebook is worth its weight in gold!
  • Take supplies of second hand clothes, notepads and pens, old reading glasses, sunglasses & hats etc. to giveaway.
  • International roaming for your mobile


The capital of the fabled Spice Islands.

In Ambon can be found a large deep water port, air and sea connections to other parts of Indonesia, a beautiful Australian War Cemetery, and interesting road travel all around the island, modern supermarkets to re-supply, Asian markets, and of course spices of all sorts.

Close to Ambon

  1. Kass
    A small National park island on the on the north-west side of Ambon. A quite place to have a sort out after a hectic week in Ambon.
  2. Saparua
    An island on the east side of Ambon Island. A good anchorage. A large fort.
  3. Nusa Laut
    A quite village island off the south-east end of Ambon. A good jumping off point for going south or east to Australia.

Heading South

If the south-east trades are blowing, consider going north out of Ambon first as it gets you closer south and east.  See item 2 above.

Banda Neira
24 hours from Nusa Laut depending on conditions. Excellent anchorage, stunning scenery under an active volcano, great history, nice and quiet. It’s the reason for the early discovery of Australia by the Dutch and the scene of the world’s biggest real estate deal. For more background read “Nathaniel Nutmeg”.

From Banda there are 3 alternatives to Australia depending on the time available.

  1. The Shortest Route
    Head south stopping at Pulau Babar.  There is a safe anchorage off Tepa.  Thence to the west side of Melville Island. Overnight in Gordon Bay if you need a rest (it’s shallow so don’t go too far in).
  2. The Middle Route
    Head East then south to the Tanimbar Islands.  There are lots of anchorages. Saumlaki the main town has supplies and a great pub with a huge veranda.
  3. The Longer Route – via the Kai Islands.
    Kai Belarus is long and narrow, with a safe anchorage right at the top. Elat harbour on Kai Besar is a safe anchorage, take a Bemo to the other side. Kai Kecil is flat. Tual is one of the 18 clearance ports. Lots of islands to the SW. Overnight to the top of the Tanimbars.

Heading North

There is a narrow passage on the west side of Seram, and lots of anchorages along the top coast, with a big resort about half way (Ora Beach Resort). From Seram you can travel north through fascinating off the grid islands. You can anchor on the equator in a Sandy Bay.

You follow the Wallace Line (Darwin’s competition for the origin of species) to the Kingdom of Ternate. Thence north to the Philippines or west to Asia.

Heading West – to the Buton Straight

The Buton Straight is a 100 mile long protected waterway. Bau-Bau is the main town on Buton Island.  From here you can either continue west towards Singapore or south to Flores. From Flores you can continue west through Indonesia or east via Wetar back to Darwin & Australia.