Nihiwatu, Sumba 2015 or 2016


Every now and again, Jo and I stumble across a destination that simply blows us away in terms of what it has to offer the visiting adventure angler… Nihiwatu Resort on the Indonesian island of Sumba is exactly such a place, and now YOU have the chance to be part of a very small group of sport fisher who will join us on a follow-up expedition to uncover more of this remarkable area’s virtually untapped fishing potential! But don’t fret… you won’t be roughing it, nor fishing from little local boats. Instead, it will all be done in absolute style! Read on and learn more…


"Well, Hello... Dolly!" Sumba is full of surprises. We found mahi mahi like this chasing down trolled lures within a kilometre of the shore!

“Well, Hello… Dolly!” Sumba is full of surprises. At times, we found mahi mahi like this beauty chasing down trolled lures within a couple of hundred metres of the shore! Further out, around the FADs, they were as thick as fleas on a dog!

Where The Hell Is Sumba?

The island of Sumba forms part of an extensive archipelago that runs west to east between Java and Timor, and includes Bali and Lombok to the west, Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores to the north, along with Sawu and Roti to the east. Sumba hangs down below these others, thrusting deep into the northern Indian Ocean, far to the north west of Broome and the Kimberley coast.

All non-motorised activities are included at Nihiwatu Resort, which affords a fantastic opportunity to get out, explore the culture and meet the locals.

All non-motorised activities are included at Nihiwatu Resort, which affords a fantastic opportunity to get out, explore the culture and meet the locals.

With a land area in excess of 11,000 square kilometers, Sumba is almost three times larger than Bali, yet it has only a sixth of Bali’s population (less than 700,000 souls living in Sumba, compared with well over 4 million now crowded onto little Bali).

With a mostly Christian and animist population, Sumba remains one of the poorer parts of Indonesia, at least when it comes to average incomes, community services and public infrastructure, but it’s definitely one of the richest in terms of natural beauty and resources… including fish!

Nihiwatu Resort

Tucked away discretely amongst the leafy western slopes of the island, Nihiwatu Resort is a fishing base like none other.

Tucked away discretely on the forested south western slopes of the island, luxurious Nihiwatu Resort is a fishing base like no other we have ever visited.

Nihiwatu Resort is located on the south western side of Sumba, a couple of hours drive from the main airport at Tambolaka, in the island’s north west. This airport is serviced by both scheduled and chartered flights from Denpassar in Bali, and Kupang, in West Timor. Nihiwatu Resort runs dedicated jet charter flights to and from Bali each Thursday, which are met by air-conditioned 4WDs and mini-buses to complete the transfer of guests to their accommodation. These are the flights and transfers we’ll be using for our adventure.


Traditional horseback battle contests happen on the beach in front of the Resort… when the time is right.

On the drive south from Tambolaka, you will travel through several other towns and villages and traverse areas of reasonably intensive cultivation before climbing the high, central ranges and then descending through much more sparsely populated rainforest country to the rugged and wild southern coastline. It’s a fascinating journey that feels as much like traveling through time as it does traversing geography.

This part of south western Sumba has long been a badly-kept secret on the serious international surfing fraternity’s bucket list, and the spectacular reef break directly in front of Nihiwatu Resort is informally but reverentially referred to as “God’s Left”. It regularly finds its way into the upper half of “world’s top 50” listings of premier surfing destinations. Suffice to say that if you’re a keen big wave rider, this is the promised land!

Beyond Five Star


Even the base level rooms are astounding at Nihiwatu!

Nihiwatu Resort is nothing short of a knockout. I’ve been lucky enough stay at some pretty wonderful establishments over the years, but this place is in a league of its own, in my opinion. With roughly five or six staff members for every guest (seriously!) the level of service is mind-boggling, but never invasive nor over the top. Jo and I quickly began referring to the “fairies” that magically manifested themselves whenever our backs were turned to sweep paths, replace towels, fold discarded items of clothing or deposit strategically-placed bowls of fresh local fruit.

The rooms and villas are enormous and can only be described as sumptuous, and the meals and drinks are first class in every way, with a mix of local, Indonesian, Asian and European flavours on offer.


IF you don’t want to fish all day, every day, there’s ample to keep you occupied, both on and off the water.

Naturally, this level of service comes at a price (let’s not forget that stars like Pink use the place as their getaway from the paparazzi!). However, those familiar with genuine five and six star establishments in the First World might still be pleasantly surprised at just how much bang you get for your Aussie buck in this part of Asia, not to mention the fact that many activities come without any extra charges. No, the rates here definitely aren’t Bali-basement… but neither is what you get in return!

Fishing Charters


“Hold up the sail!” she says. “It’s not all about YOU!” she says… SHEESH! What does a bloke have to do to get some attention around here? Yep, that’s me in the middle, helping hold my PB sailfish.


Jo gets amongst the wahoo with skipper, Chris Bromwich.

Fishing is one of the resort’s activities that guests normally do need to pay for on top of their room rates, but again, charter costs compare favourably with many other parts of the world, especially if those full or half day charters are shared (and there are certainly enough fish on tap here to ensure that everyone aboard should catch a few). However, a set number of offshore fishing forays are included in the package price for our hosted trips (see the details below) and you can always add even more sessions at an extra cost if you really want to spend every waking moment fishing!

Forget dodgy island boats and outrigger canoes with disreputable motors, too. This resort boasts a fleet of three well-maintained, American-made fiberglass sport fishing vessels powered by large, modern outboards. Flagship of this fleet is a magnificent 35-foot (10.5 m) walk-round cab’ game boat with three 250 HP Suzukis hanging off its wide transom and a full set of state-of-the-art electronics gracing the expansive dash. Again, it’s a cut-and-a-half above anything I’ve previously encountered in this part of the world or through the Pacific islands.


A more-than-handy fishing platform! Four to six anglers can easily fish in style from this 35 footer.

Unexplored Potential


Popping for GTs has proven successful through 2014.

To be honest, Nihiwatu’s fishing co-ordinator, Chris Bromwich, and his able crew of local boatmen are still discovering exactly what these waters have to offer in terms of angling opportunities, and each season provides new surprises. So far, they’ve focused heavily on working the waters around coastal islands, reefs and bommies, a couple of nearby sea mounts, and the growing flotilla of rumpons or FADs (fish aggregation devices) they’ve painstakingly built and installed themselves in deep water an hour or so out from the resort. These various locations have produced monster GTs to at least 45 kg (with larger fish hooked and lost), dogtooth and yellowfin tuna, as well as abundant Spanish mackerel, wahoo, dolphin fish or mahi-mahi and smaller tunas such as skipjack (stripeys) and juvenile big-eye, not to mention various reef fish and exotics such as tripletail.


Jigging the fads for wahoo is a fun game!

Billfish are encountered almost by accident, but are clearly there in seasonal abundance, and sometimes come very close to shore (I caught my PB sailfish—the one I’m hiding behind in the pic above— just 800 metres beyond the famous reef break in front of the resort!).


The FADs also play host to some pretty yummy residents. How’s this for a tripletail? On a Squidgy, too!

There are also both black and blue marlin in these waters at the right times (I’m tipping that September through November will be hottest months for billies) and I’ll be very, very surprised if some night time or deep-drop daytime efforts out around those FADs don’t turn up seriously large tuna and possibly broadbill swordfish. The sheer abundance of juvenile amberjack around the FADs also leads me to suspect that there might be some much larger AJs lurking on the deeper seamounts and submarine pinnacles in this area, too.

Tackle & Tactics


Chris and the crew examine some fresh bait that’s just come in.


We left shoes and clothes behind to make room for our own, lighter tackle… but it’s certainly not necessary.

At the moment, Nihiwatu’s fishing emphasis tends to focus on the use of relatively heavy tackle in comparison to the average size of the fish encountered, and this is perfectly understandable when one considers both the level of expertise of the typical clientele and the fact that the majority of fish landed are kept to feed the resort (and I’ve never eaten better or fresher seafood anywhere!). But Chris and his team are happy to cater to those who may wish to fish with lighter gear and even chase line class records and the like. We will be carrying certified weighing scales and other recording equipment for those who wish to pursue such goals.

Seems it’s never too late to start playing with dollies.









The tackle on board Nihiwatu’s fleet of vessels is all high quality, well-maintained and comprises mostly modern Shimano gear, but you are also welcome to bring your own favourite outfits! These are details we can discuss as we plan our hosted trip here.

Join Us!


The crew awaits the return of the last fishos, being ferried in from the moored vessel by rubber ducky.

We’d love to be able to share the once-in-a-lifetime adventure and sumptuous luxury of an unforgettable Nihiwatu fishing safari with a small group of like-minded Aussie anglers. If that sounds like you, click here.

Sumba is a surprising and exciting part of the world with first-class bluewater fishing opportunities, and Nihiwatu is in a league of its own when it comes to tropical resorts. The combination of those two assets creates a very special destination that now sits high on the Starling’s personal list of favourite fishing get-aways. Perhaps it might also appeal to your sense of adventure…














INTERESTED? All the info you need to make your decision is below... read on!

6 Night Nihiwatu Fishing Adventure Like No Other!

$US 4,850 per person** (2 people, twin-share, per room) in a Ratu One Bedroom Beach Villa.

Imagine a fishing morning that begins with you awakening, cocooned in the comfort of a linen-curtained four-post bed with the sound of one of the worlds renowned surf breaks beating on the beach outside your front door. It’s 6am, the sun is broaching the horizon and breakfast beckons. You have a date with a game fish of who-knows-what species and your heart starts to pound with anticipation.

Nonetheless, it’s still not going to be easy to leave that gorgeous bed. No need to stress… it’ll be there when you return triumphantly with food for the resort and village… and the fairies will have been! Your four-poster will beckon like a siren and you may well flop down on it for a quick nap, resting your muscles after a day of memorable action. Again, don’t stress… when you come back from dinner, the fairies will have been again! Nihiwatu is imbued with luxury. Spoiling guests is in its nature… consideration courses through its veins. This is a world-class resort on the rim of absolute wilderness—and it’s only just discovered that it has FISH! This fishing adventure is like no other… and you’ve got the chance to get in before the rest of the world realizes.

**Your Trip Includes:

  • At least 3 days of group fishing per person***
  • All your meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon teas and coffees
  •  All non-alcoholic beverages
  • 1x group excursion to Nihioka Valley, surrounded by thousands of tropical palm trees and nestled in between two rice paddies overlooking the Indian Ocean, followed by breakfast
  • 2x 60 minute massage per person during stay
  • Return flights from Bali to Sumba, with baggage allowance of 20Kg per person
  • VIP assistance at Bali Airport pre and post Sumba trip
  • VIP Lounge for group at the Bali Airport prior to the flight to Sumba
  • Return airport transfers from Tambolaka airport to Nihiwatu Resort
  • Wi-fi internet
  • Scheduled excursions and activities on Land : trips to local sumbanese villages in Rua / Lamboya and Sumba Foundations Projects; treks to nearby Lamboya and Mountain Biking
  • Activities by Sea : stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling around Nihiwatu beach (when weather conditions permit)
  • All guest can participate in our scheduled group Yoga classes at the Creek-side Pavilion
  • 50% discount for Laundry

NOTES: Price is ex-Bali. Airfares to and from Bali are NOT included and should be arranged by you, at your cost. Rates provided are for accommodation on a twin sharing basis. If you want single occupancy, extra fees apply. Please see the Options below. Accommodation rate quoted is based on the Ratu (entry level) category, but don’t let that scare you… entry level at this resort is spectacularly high! ***4 days boat rental is included for the group (must be six guests travelling with us for the trip to proceed) – with each individual allocated 3 days of fishing in that booking. Allocation may be taken as full or half days. Guests not wishing to take advantage of their total fishing roster may pass their ‘rod’ to another guest. All rates are inclusive of to 21% tax & service charge.
Optional inclusions and upgrades (these are at your cost, if you choose them)

      • VIP service upon arrival in Bali to get through customs is available from the wonderful people at Nihiwatu. This is a great option if you are not a frequent international traveler. Varying fees apply, which can be advised closed to date. This service should be arranged directly with the Resort when you are booking.
      • Being a fishing adventure, you may wish to bring your own tackle (although the Resort can provide for you, their tackle is typically very heavy), which may well push your luggage weight over the included 20kg. Fees for this can be made directly to the airline upon check in.
      • ***Additional days fishing (over and above the 3 days per person included) can be arranged and are charged on a boat per day basis… so we’ll see if we can get extras interested and split the costs. The charter costs at Nihiwatu are very reasonable, compared to global standards, so we are sure this option will be enthusiastically taken up if the weather is good to us!
      • Supplement for Single Occupancy is at $US 3,850 per room for the 6 nights (based on Ratu level).
      • Supplement for room upgrade : 
      • to Ombak Category at $US2,500 per room per package
      • to  Marangga Category at $US4,400 per room per package
As we are paying for fishing charters in advance and there are never any guarantees with weather, we have arranged that if weather intervenes and we are not able to benefit from the 4 days of fishing booked – a prorated cost will be calculated and given back to the us as resort credits. These credits can be used against any incidental charges (i.e alcohol or other activities bill), the amount of which will be determined prior to our check out and divided fairly (based on how the fishing has been shared amongst us all) between the group.
Payment Terms  • 25% deposit upon confirmation • 25% deposit 6 months prior to arrival • 50% final payment 3 Months prior to arrival Group sizes are limited to six people on a first-in basis. Places are not confirmed until paid in full.   Cancellation Terms • More than 181 days prior to arrival – 1 night cancellation fee based on room published rate • 180-151 days prior to arrival – cancellation fee is 25%   • 150-91 days prior to arrival – cancellation fee is 50% • 90 – 61 days prior to arrival – cancellation fee is 75% of total booking • 60 days prior to arrival – cancellation fee is 100% of total booking
  EVEN MORE KEEN THAN BEFORE? Click on the link at the bottom of this page to register your interest. This trip is filling fast, so jump on board to secure your spot.


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