Dawn in Komodo National Park. The mountain peaks that you see – rising dramatically from the ocean like a dragon’s back – as well as the water are part of the 1817-square-kilometre park that was established in 1980 to conserve the Komodo dragon. In 1986 it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site:
Located at the juncture of two continental plates, this national park constitutes the “shatter belt” within the Wallacea Biogeographical Region, between the Australian and Sunda ecosystems. The property is identified as a global conservation priority area, comprising unparalleled terrestrial and marine ecosystems and covers a total area of 219,322 ha. The dry climate has triggered specific evolutionary adaptation within the terrestrial flora that range from open grass-woodland savanna to tropical deciduous (monsoon) forest and quasi cloud forest. The rugged hillsides and dry vegetation highly contrast with the sandy beaches and the blue coral-rich waters.
As well as around 5700 Komodo dragons, the islands in this park – Rinca, KomodoPadar and a few smaller ones – are also home to the Timor deer, orange-footed scrub owl and an endemic rat. The waters these islands rise from are part of the incredibly diverse Coral Triangle, the richest marine ecosystem in the world that is home to more than 600 species of corals.
Dunia Baru is equipped with all the diving gear you need to explore these waters, and our guests often enjoy swimming with manta rays and stingless jellyfish. Sometimes we see whales from our deck, watch a volcano erupt (okay, we did that once), walk on a pink sand beach, and there’s even a chance that one day one of our guests might discover a new species of fish. And the sunsets out here are exquisite.