Rote Island (Indonesian: Pulau Rote, also spelled Roti) is an island of Indonesia, part of the East Nusa Tenggara province of the Lesser Sunda Islands. According to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. The surprised farmer, who could not speak Portuguese, introduced himself, "Rote".

Rote Island
Rote (Island) 123.05527E 10.71620S.png
Satellite photo of Rote.
Rote Island en.png
Map of Rote.
LocationSoutheast Asia
ProvinceEast Nusa Tenggara
RegencyRote Ndao
Additional information
Time zone


Rote lies 500 km (310.686 miles) northwest of the Australian coast and 150 km (105.633 miles) north of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands. The island is situated to the southwest of the larger island of Timor. To the north is the Savu Sea, and to the south is the Timor Sea. To the west lie Savu and Sumba. The uninhabited Pamana (or Ndana) island, just south of Rote, with an area of 14 km2 (5 sq mi), is the southernmost island of Indonesia. Along with some other nearby small islands, such as Nuse Island, Ndao island, it forms the kabupaten (regency) of Rote Ndao Regency, which in 2010 decennial census recorded a population of 119,711.[1] Rote island has an area of 1,200 km2 (463 sq mi).

The main town, Ba'a, is located on the northern side of the island. Rote has a good surf area in the south, around the village of Nembrala.


There is a daily ferry to the island from Kupang, the provincial capital on West Timor, which provides transport for local passengers and goods as well as tourists. The trip between Kupang and Ba'a takes around two hours. The ferry leaves at 8.30 AM and costs 80,000 IDR.[2]

Wings Air operates daily flights between Rote's David Constantijn Saudale Airport and Kupang's El Tari International Airport. Flight time is about 30 minutes.

Rote consists of rolling hills, terraced plantations, acacia palm, savanna and some forests.


Town Market in Baa, Rote

The Rotinese depend, like the Savunese, on the lontar palm not only for basic survival but also as a supplement to their income from fishing and jewelry making.

Agriculture is the main form of employment. Fishing is also important, especially in the eastern village of Papela (east of Londalusi in the map), which has led to disputes with Australia over the water between them.[3]

Tourist attractionsEdit

Rote has many historical relics including fine antique Chinese porcelain, as well as ancient arts and traditions. Several prominent Indonesian figures were born in Rote. A popular music instrument, Sasando, is made of palm leaves.

In the eastern part of the island is a pond in Landu Village that has non-poisonous jellyfish. The pond also has a white sandy beach.[4]

Rote Island, also known as Rote Ndao, is an island consisting of 96 small islands and 6 of them are inhabited. Many islands have natural beaches and other natural and frequent tourism, but so far only local tourists often come to Rote. 10 of the most famous tourist attractions in Rote that are Bo'a beach, Nemberala beach,[5] Lutu Babatu beach, Falii water located in West Rote, Oesosole beach in East Rote, Termanu stone in central Rote, Laguna Nirwana in Southwest Rote, Oekode Waterfall, Zero Point Rote and Inaoe beach in South Rote.[6]


The ti'i langga is a traditional hat with a horn-like protrusion at the top that is a symbol of Rote cultural identity.[7]

There are many languages spoken on the island, all related to the languages on nearby Timor island. These languages are: Bilba, Dengka, Lole, Ringgou, Dela-Oenale, Termanu, and Tii


The critically endangered Rote Island snake-necked turtle is endemic to Rote Island.

The US-born Australian scholar, James J. Fox, has written extensively about Rotinese culture.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ BPS Provinsi NTT
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ Jill Elliott, 1996, "Fishing in Australian Waters," Inside Indonesia vol. 46; Richard Tanter, 2000, "After fear, before justice: Indonesia and Australia over the long haul, as if ethics mattered." Inside Indonesia vol. 61
  4. ^ "Tujuh Danau Ubur-Ubur Unik di Indonesia". Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Caratri, Endah (2019-06-17). "Indahnya Pantai Nembrala di Pulau Rote". Berita Daerah. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  6. ^ "Most Famous Tourist Attractions In Rote Island Indonesia". Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Caratri, Endah (2021-01-27). "Tiga Fakta Unik Pulau Rote". Berita Daerah. Retrieved 2021-03-15.

Further readingEdit

Coordinates: 10°45′S 123°08′E / 10.750°S 123.133°E / -10.750; 123.133