Surf a variety of quality uncrowded waves in an amazingly pristine environment whilst enjoying the high quality accommodation on offer at IstanaOmbak Eco Resort. Run by a former Lennox Head local and veteran Indo traveller, Rod Steeles knows exactly what travelling surfers need. This holiday package ticks all the boxes for a very special surf trip experience to be shared between a maximum of 12 surfers.
Resort owner / manager Rod Steeles refers to his dreamlike bay as Istanaombak, which translates to 'Wave Palace' in Indonesian. An idyllic bay with palm trees to the shoreline and tall cliffs. A left flanks one side of the bay and a right the other, with a channel separating the two. A perfect bay barrelling down both sides - God couldn't have designed it better.
Intrepid surfers have been exploring this region for a short while but only those with a knack for the language and intimate knowledge of breaks have found success. IstanaOmbak Eco Resort (or East Java Wave Palace as it’s also known) offers a chilled out surf trip with world class waves on the doorstep.
In this region of Java, there is no G-Land or Desert Point but there are at least half a dozen great waves of all types to be had, catering for all levels of surfers. Get ready to be surprised. There are also many unsurfed breaks ready to be explored and we have the guides to get you there. The resort caters for the surfer who has limited time and wants to experience a surf trip without all the hassle.
The resort is a collaborative project between the Indonesian Government, Javanese locals and Australian and Indonesian surfers. IstanaOmbak provides the locals in the area with an ecologically sustainable industry with economic benefits to the community. The resort is built to western standards and you certainly won't be roughing it.
East Java is a diverse cultural area. IstanaOmbak Eco Resort is located in an unspoilt pristine area and with Indonesia’s recent infrastructure improvements, the area is becoming increasingly accessible. This surf-focused resort has created an opportunity for surfers to access this remote area without spoiling its natural beauty.
Your trip starts in Yogyakarta, Java where you are met by a friendly representative of IstanaOmbak Eco Resort. The drive is approximately 3 hours through diverse scenery including Javanese jungle terrain, until you arrive at the incredible, picture-postcard-like bay. IstanaOmbak Resort commands absolute beachfront and is set on approximately 4,000sqm of prime land, with a high quality left and right directly out front within a short paddle from the beach.
Your surf experience at IstanaOmbak is not limited to just the surf out front and your expert hosts are happy to show you other surf spots within close proximity. At least half a dozen other breaks catering to all standards are within an hour’s drive. Non surfers will be as happy as the surfers with plenty of snorkelling options; sunbaking on the pristine sand beach or by the infinity pool; or taking a stroll through the local village.
Packages are ‘all inclusive’ and ALL meals and drinks including beer are provided in your package. Dining will certainly be a highlight at IstanaOmbak Resort with fresh produce in abundance. From fresh lobster and fish to imported meats accompanied by fresh organic fruit and vegetables and cooked in a variety of ways to suit your taste... traditional Indonesian flavours from mild to spicy, with some western dishes in the mix as well.
Your hosts will cater to all your requirements from surf to food, fishing trips, sightseeing etc. and there is nothing rigid about their management style. From your arrival at this remote surf resort, you will be showered with wonderful genuine hospitality and you will leave feeling surfed out, well fed and culturally enriched.
The holiday accommodation at IstanaOmbak Resort is super comfortable with well-appointed bungalows featuring private facilities. As you can see in the photos, no expense has been spared in the construction of this eco resort. All materials used are high quality and the timber used is 100% local. The resort is undergoing constant improvements and the additional of the infinity swimming pool is just one example of the ultimate places to chill in between surfs. Rod has created a piece of paradise that you will not want to leave and you will vow to return to. Those already lucky enough to stay at IstanaOmbak Eco Resort have been blown away by this incredible location. This area of Java is unlike the Indonesia you may have previously experienced. No hawkers, no nightclubs and best of all, NO CROWDS! Just a total escape from the hustle and bustle of Western society with incredible surf, friendly locals, pristine environment and no mosquitos!
News for 2016 surf trips: All IstanaOmbak accommodation now has air-conditioning installed as well as the ceiling fans. All rooms have Wi-Fi (now upgraded to about 3G speed, video streaming, surf comps, NRL, Viber etc).
IstanaOmbak's Resort accommodation includes 7 Bungalows/Rooms as follows:
1. Family Bungalow = 1 Queen + 2 Singles
2. Triple-share Bungalow = 3 Single Beds
3. Twin-share = 2 Single Beds
4. Twin-share = 2 Single Beds
5. Deluxe Double Room = 1 Queen Bed
6. Deluxe Double Room = 1 Queen Bed
7. Beachfront Villa = 4-6 persons across 2 storeys/rooms
IstanaOmbak translating to Wave Palace is a bay hosting a left on one side and right on the other with both working consistently and surfable at all tides (although low is for experts only). This East Java bay faces south and catches any kind of swell from south west to the rare south east swell. The best time of the year is the dry season (April through to October) however during the wet season (November to March) there is plenty of swell but the winds tend to be more variable and offshores not as common over this period.
IstanaOmbak Left: The left has many moods, from playful and ripable to heavy, powerful and unpredictable. The more southerly the swell, the longer and more predictable and playful the left will be. Behind the wave a shelf drops quickly to deep water. This rapid transition makes it a really heavy wave when over five foot, especially at low tide. On bigger swells and lower tides you can get the biggest barrel of your life, but below five foot on high tide it's a powerful but super rippable wave. Compared to Bingin at under 5, Padang from 6-8' and Chopes at over 8'. Seen on many magazine covers in 2011 with Bruce Irons and Rizal Tanjung.
IstanaOmbak Right: The right is a hollow peak on most tides, providing more ripable waves with more water over the reef. Westerly swells are best for the right, pushing further down the reef for a longer ride. Long-period southwest swells in the two-to-six foot range are ideal. The bigger it is the higher it needs to be. The higher the tide the more it turns into a ripple wave and the end section isn't too shallow. When the swell is bigger than 5 foot. The current can cause bumps up the face on the outgoing tide as the water rushes out over the reef as the channel is very small. When bigger and lower tides it’s for experienced surfers only. When it's a little higher and small it’s a safe wave for all levels of surfing. Keiran Perrow compared this wave to backdoor Pipe on a perfect 6' day recently.
Other Waves: This area of Java has loads of bays and waves‚ many still uncharted because of the landscape, thick forests and lack of access. In saying that, there are several other waves within a short drive and walk, and the resort has a boat to access other spots. But 98 percent of the time you will want to just surf out the front of the resort.
Puncher: Longboard/Shortboard - Basic to Intermediate wave. Rivermouth/beachbreak: 1 hour drive from Wave Palace. This is a long left hander that is a great beginner and intermediate wave with an easy take off and a sloping wall to carve along. 1-4 foot is an easy wave and it can break up to 10 foot and if the sand banks are in correct position. This can be a 200metre+ wave. Over 4foot for intermediate and experienced surfers… PERFECT longboarders wave.
Harbour: Intermediate beach break: 1 hour drive from Wave Palace. Right hander that breaks when there is a decent swell. This breaks around a break wall, a long righthander that has some nice wally sections and the occasional barrel.
Surfpoint Y: Intermediate wave: 20 mins drive from Wave Palace. There are 3 coves here all with waves although there is one cove that has the best of the rest… there is a right hander that barrels and some steep wall sections and then the left hander that is a nice wally wave both for intermediate surfers.
April - October
Best breaks: Bay Left & Right, Pancer Beach.
November – March
Best breaks: Bay Rights, Pancer Beach, Harbour and Surfpoint Y.
Note: Even though our scheduled departures run between March and November the resort is open all year and some great wet season waves can be had during the November - March period.
Fishing: Some great fishing awaits in the tropical waters off Java and in the unlikely event of small surf, a boat is ready and waiting for you to jump on and start reeling in some whoppers. Rod and his team love to take you out in their boat and the fishing is amazing in this region. You can also have a crack at spear fishing directly out front of the resort.
Cave Walk: An amazing natural feature is this area of Java is Gong Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in South Asia. The limestone cave is worth visiting even if the surf is pumping and if you can fit it in your schedule you’ll be rewarded.
Bat Island: Visit by cruise boat
River Activities: SUP's and Canoes now available for exploring the river.
Alternatively, check out the waterfalls recently discovered in the immediate area; go snorkelling; swimming or simply relax at the resort with an in-room massage.