Cycle South South Sulawesi Indonesia Cycle South South Sulawesi Indonesia
Islands of Bira


24 July – 1 August 2011
525 km

Enjoy an organized bike tour in South South Sulawesi, Indonesia

This trip is for adventure cyclists who want the physical challenge of mountains, new cultural experiences in traditional Indonesian society, off the beaten tourist track, on the eastern Indonesian island of Sulawesi (formerly the Celebes).

Trip leader bahasa Indonesia fluent Australian Colin Freestone has led 5 group trips around Sulawesi and has been riding on the island since 2000.

Riders in the forest, Malino South Sulawesi The trip starts and finishes in Makassar, the capital of Indonesia’s historic spice trade. It takes in the tea and coffee plantations of Malino, the waterfalls of Malino and Bantaeng, the beaches of Cape Bira, the weaving villages on offshore islands and the wooden sailing boat industry in Bulukumba. There’ll be visits to markets, schools and mosques. On some days we’ll buy veggies from roadside stalls for cooking further along the road.

Experiencing Indonesian life and culture as it really is

Riders will experience Indonesian life and culture as it really is. Food will be Sulawesi style Indonesian rice, v egetables and fish based. Overnight stops will be in mountains, along coastal cliffs and on beaches.

Riding early in South South Sulawesi, Indonesia

To beat the heat of the day we’ll start riding early. The pace will be relaxed with frequent stops for re-grouping, photos, fruit, village cakes, stretching, yarning with the locals, and group camaraderie. There’ll be many opportunities for spontaneous stops. After we’ve reached our destination and before dinner there’ll be optional yoga. Swimming will be available at 8/9 overnight stops.

The people

The people in South South Sulawesi are gregarious, friendly, hospitable, respectful and very tolerant towards overseas cyclists. The trip has police approval and in some places a police escort may show the way through town. The group will explore Makassar with local cyclists.

There’ll be visits to markets, schools, mosques, boat building and weaving villages. Riders will be encouraged and language assisted in conversations with locals at rest stops.

Makasar seaside promenade

Food on our cycling trip through South South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Food in Indonesia is rice based. It is tasty and often chilli hot. Food in Sulawesi is no exception, the difference being that it features lots of fish, soups and a local beef casserole dish called Coto. The chillies are easy to avoid if they don’t agree with you because they will be served separately.

Outside of Makassar the variety of food is limited (but more than adequate) because there are no cold storage facilities and most people, being farmers, eat at home rather than 'out'.

Along the way we’ll come across young ladies at stalls selling fruits in season, such as mangoes, watermelons, rambutans (the ‘hairy’ fruit), salak (snake skin fruit), sirsak (custard apple) durian (the spiky fruit), klengkeng and langsat (a bit like lychee). And most villages have distinctive village cakes and snacks, usually made from cassava or sticky rice flour, palm sugar and coconut.

There’ll be an effort to provide (modified) genuine Indonesian food. There’ll be no attempt to provide Western food because the expectation is that the trip will attract riders who want to experience Indonesian life 'as it is' and there’s very little western food available anyway.

Cycle and rest days on our ride through South South Sulawesi, Indonesia

We’ve planned a 9 day trip through the culture and countryside of South South Sulawesi. We plan 6 cycle days, one full rest day on the beach at Bira and an easy day in the cool Malino Highlands. The remaining non-cycle day will be in Makassar on pre-cycle organization, preparation and orientation.


Swimming will be possible on 8 of the 9 days. Pool and ocean swimming in Makassar. Pool swimming in Malino. Beach swimming at Bira and Jeneponto.

Yoga on our bike ride through South South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Daily led yoga sessions will be held in the late afternoons, before dinner. Those interested should bring yoga mats and yoga belts.

Accommodation on our cycle trip through South South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Malino Waterfall Accommodation will include an international hotel in Makassar, a colonial hotel in Malino, a commercial travellers’ guesthouse in Sinjai and beach resorts in Bira and Jeneponto. All of these places have hot water, flush toilets and AC with towels and soap being supplied.

Rooming will be 'twin share' meaning two single beds per room.

Room allocations will be gender sensitive and rotated.
In some places for an extra charge, it MAY be possible for riders to book single rooms or rooms with double beds.

Support vehicles on our cycle trip through South South Sulawesi, Indonesia

We plan to use 1-2 support vehicles with drivers who have some facility with English, plus a cycle mechanic who will provide technical support throughout. The vehicles will be for luggage and spells for those who really need them.

Group size

We’re planning on a group of 8 -10 cyclists hopefully from all over the world.

Janeponto countryside


You can bring your own bike or you can hire one from us (AUD 11 per day). If you bring your own bike it should be an MTB that it is comfortable for YOU and it’ll go the distance.

Bike Friday (BF) is featured in this website because I ride one and BF has been most supportive in the development of the Sulawesi cycle tours.

Support staff

We’ll provide a bike mechanic (Pak Anto) in addition to the drivers who’ll help out with all the little jobs that arise with any mobile group.

Safety and security

Takalar Ponytrap We’ll be obtaining approval from the Indonesian police authorities to hold this event. In case of any emergency the support vehicles will be available for rapid transport to Makassar.

Riders are asked to take out travel and medical insurance. At any point in the trip we should not be more than 1-2 hours from medical assistance. The Indonesian ministries for Police and Tourism will be informed of this trip before it begins and reports will be made to local police authorities as it develops.
We will be bringing a well stocked first aid kit.

What to bring list (WTBL)

We will provide you with a WTBL in the months before departure.