The first tourists to arrive in North Nias were long-distance sailors exploring the west coast of Sumatra. By word of mouth it became known in the sailing community that both Lahewa and Afulu harbours offers good and protected anchorage. Since Lahewa and Afulu were listed in the yachting bible 101 Anchorages within the Indonesian Archipelago the number of visiting sailing boats have steadily increased. Today many sailors cruising Indonesia prefer the west coast of Sumatra as the east coast and the Malacca Strait is becoming increasingly crowded. Most sailors visiting North Nias come with their own boat, but it is also sometimes possible to join a sailing charter boat as a guest.
N 1.398303°, E 97.172028°
Lahewa harbour is located inside a large, very protected lagoon. The lagoon is between 15-18 meters deep with mud bottom, making anchorage safe and easy. During rough weather it is an ideal location for shelter. Since reconstruction after the 2005 earthquake, the harbour has a new pier and today Lahewa is an excellent place both for safe anchorage and stocking up on supplies. Some sailors dock right next to the pier, but most choose to anchor further out in the Lagoon. Lahewa harbour officials have received positive feedback on several online sailing forums for being friendly, courteous and helpful. Even though Lahewa is basically a large village with very few English speakers, sailors will be able to get fuel, supplies and fresh vegetables and fruit here. Other services available are basic repairs, bank, internet, massage and transport to Gunung Sitoli.
N 1.26093° E 97.24285°
Afulu is another great choice for sailors visiting North Nias. Like Lahewa, Afulu is a large, protected lagoon with safe anchorage. There is a small pier here, but it is difficult to access and most boats anchor in the northern end of the lagoon just off the beach. Afulu village is 5 minutes’ walk inland from the pier, where fresh vegetables and fruit and other basic supplies can be found. There are several famous surf waves in this area and during May to October surf charter boats often anchor here. This lagoon is very scenic and it’s a great place to spend a few days.
If you need help with anything contact Mr Darius or his brother Makmur at their shop ‘Toko Darus’ in the village. The brothers speak some English and often helps visiting sailors and surfers.
N 1.22191°, E 97.09294°
Wunga Island is a true paradise island west of Afulu. Wunga used to be two separate islands and there was good anchorage between them. But after the 2005 earthquake and 2 meter land uplift, the Islands are now connected. The large lagoon is incredibly beautiful but it’s too shallow for most sailing boats to enter. Today most boats anchor just outside the entrance to the lagoon. If the weather is rough, Afulu is a better option. But if the weather is good, this is a great place to spend a day or two. Use a dinghy to enter the lagoon and explore the beaches around the lagoon.
Asi Walo-Teluk Bengkuang
N 1.51034°, E 97.42496°
Teluk Bengkuang is a small protected lagoon with good anchorage. This used to be an active harbour before the roads to North Nias was built and local fishermen use this lagoon for anchorage. There is a small beach with a restaurant here. On Sundays it is a popular place with local people. Some good snorkelling can be had here.
N 1.51297°, E 97.37548°
Teluk Siabang is a large protected lagoon with good anchorage. Local fishermen use this lagoon and there is a small pier here. It’s a good place for spending a quiet night. While it is a beautiful and peaceful place, there are no facilities here.