Pine forests in Indonesia
Hot, humid, and almost always hectic, life in busy Indonesian cities can make us long for a break. The city life is not without its charms, but just as in a relationship, we all need some time apart from time to time and there’s no better way to do that than in the beautiful pine forests of Indonesia.
With a pleasantly chilly air and tall pine trees all around, these 8 pine forests located across Indonesia act as a moment’s reprieve from your everlasting 9-to-5 weekdays.
1. Malino Pine Forest in Gowa, South Sulawesi – fresh air, tea plantations, and flowers
The amphitheatre at Malino Pine Forest
Image credit: @sofyan_hayat
Scuba diving in Bunaken National Park isn’t the only thing worth doing in the island of Sulawesi. At the southern tip of the island, just two hours away from the city of Makassar, is the small hill town of Malino, once used for recreation by the Dutch during the colonial era.
The open area inside the pine forest truly looks like something from an European postcard
Image credit: @rahmadania.27
The Malino Pine Forest, where the temperature tends to hover around 20°C even on sunny days, is the highlight. The amphitheatre inside makes for a perfect spot to take a load off amidst all of the tall pine trees.
The field of flowers in Malino
Image credit: @alyanatamii
Once you’re done taking in all of the greenery, take some time to explore all the colorful hues of the Malino Flower Garden located right next to the pine forest. Entrance to both sites is covered under a single ticket costing Rp. 5,000 (~USD0.34) and with the panoramic stretches of greenery and flowers, you’ll get your money’s worth.
View from the outdoor area of Green Pekoe Cafe
Image credit: @togarsidabutar
If you still have time, head on further uphill to get to the Malino Highlands tourist site where tickets cost Rp. 50,000 (~USD 3.37) each. Take a break at the Green Pekoe Cafe where you can sip some tea with a view of series of rolling tea plantations extending all the way to the horizon.
Playing around with a kid on the highland’s ranch
Image credit: @sem_muntcekarlo
Make sure you’re well rested as you’re going to need that energy to play around with the goats and ponies they have on the ranch. You’re not going to miss New Zealand any more once you’ve spent some time walking around the highland’s open fields with horses and goats flailing around.
Malino Pine Forest
Address: Malino, Tinggimoncong, Gowa Regency, South Sulawesi 92174
Opening hours: 6AM-12AM, Daily
Address: Pattapang, Tinggimoncong, Gowa Regency, South Sulawesi 92171
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 8AM-5PM | Sat – Sun 7AM-6PM
2. Mangunan Pine Forest in Bantul, Yogyakarta – serene wood amphitheater
Wooden amphitheater at Mangunan Pine Forest
Image credit: @wildan_msaid
From temples to traditional palaces, the city of Yogyakarta is in no shortage of interesting places to visit. But the next time you’re in the area, make sure to make a stop on the sub-district of Dlingo, Bantul just 45 minutes away from Yogyakarta’s city center.
This hilly region is home to some of the province’s most noteworthy natural attractions, headlined by the large Mangunan Pine Forest (Rp. 3,000, ~USD0.20 for tickets). Locals tend to refer to the forest as Imogiri Pine Forest, after the nearby graveyard that acts as the resting place of royalty from the ancient Sultanate of Mataram and the current Yogyakarta Sultanate.
Sunlight penetrating the morning mist in the pine forest
Image credit: @YogyakartaCity
Inside the forest is an amphitheatre with the stage and the seats made entirely of wood. In the morning, the sight of sunlight penetrating through gaps in the tall trees and breaking through the surrounding mist makes for a pretty ethereal experience.
Unlike some of the other forests in this list, Mangunan is still relatively untouched, especially as you head deeper into the forest where the crowds are thin. If you’re looking for more dedicated photo spots though, the surrounding area has plenty of sights to offer.
The wooden deck in the Asri Pine Forest
Image credit: @zonagrafi_jogja
Further up the road lies the Asri Pine Forest (Rp. 2,500, ~USD0.17 for tickets), where there’s a replica of Squidward’s and Spongebob’s house from the iconic cartoon show sitting inside. Past the pine trees, there’s also a wooden deck acting as a viewing platform where the gorgeous view is sure to take your breath away.
The star-shaped sculpture in Lintang Sewu Hill
Image credit: @hijabindotraveller
However, for the best nighttime views, head further uphill to the Lintang Sewu Hill (Rp. 2,500, ~USD0.17 for tickets) mountaintop. Up top, there are several Instagram-worthy photo spots, including a star-shaped sculpture, where you can get really creative if you want to.
Chocolate and cheese-flavored thiwul
Image credit: @jogjafood
For meals, there are plenty of small restaurants located in the area but locals swear by Thiwul Ayu Mbok Sum. This restaurant/gift shop serves unique flavored variants of thiwul, a cassava-based rice substitute, from chocolate to cheese that is now a popular oleh-oleh, or souvenir, of Bantul.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to cover all of the spots above though as the forest’s proximity to Yogyakarta means you can just hop back in the next day at your leisure.
Mangunan Pine Forest
Address: Sukorame, Mangunan, Dlingo, Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 66783
Opening hours: Thurs – Tue 9AM-5PM, Closed on Wednesdays
Asri Pine Forest
Address: Jl. Hutan Pinus Nganjir, Sukorame, Mangunan, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55783
Opening hours: 6AM-5PM, Daily
Lintang Sewu Hill
Address: Karang Asem, Muntuk, Dlingo, Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55783
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 7AM-10PM, Closed on Mondays
Thiwul Ayu Mbok Sum
Address: Jalan Mangunan KM.4.5, RT.15, Mangunan, Dlingo, Cempuk, Mangunan, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55783
Opening hours: 5AM-7PM, Daily
3. Pengger Pine Forest In Bantul, Yogyakarta – glittering night views of the city
The viewing platform atop Pengger Pine Forest
Image credit: @bayu_baskara96
Located to the north of the Mangunan Pine Forest on the other side of the hill, the Pengger Pine Forest (Rp. 2,500, ~USD0.17 for tickets) is the place to go if you’re on the hunt for some unique backdrops to go with your romantic shots.
The giant palm sculpture with a backdrop of Yogya’s city lights
Image credit: @fat_mawati26
Here, the main attraction is the several viewing platforms just past the pine forest, all arranged into unique shapes and made entirely of wood. Nothing beats the sensation of basking in Yogyakarta’s city lights with your significant other atop a giant open palm made of wood after all.
The hollowed-out triangle at Pengger
Image credit: @pungkywf
Alternatively, posing in the hollowed-out triangular sculpture next to the giant palm might be more to your taste. For those wanting to test their courage, try climbing on top of the Watu Ngadek standing rock nearby where your bravery will be rewarded with an unmatched view from the top.
Outdoor dining area at HeHa Skyview
Image credit: @hehaskyview
On your way back to Yogyakarta, roughly 45 minutes away, stop by HeHa Sky View, a popular picturesque cafe impossible to miss thanks to the hot-air balloon. The glass viewing platform is your main target here but be prepared for long lines as the place is almost always crowded on the weekends.
Pengger Pine Forest
Address: Jl. Dlingo-Patuk, Sendangsari, Terong, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55783
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 7.30AM-11PM, Closed on Mondays
HeHa Sky View
Address: Jl. Dlingo-Patuk No.2, Patuk, Bukit, Patuk, Gunung Kidul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55862
Opening hours: 11AM-9PM, Daily
4. Orchid Forest Cikole in Lembang, Bandung – fairytale-like night lights
The Garden of Lights installation in Orchid Forest Cikole
Image credit: @orchidforestcikole
Boasting one of the largest orchid collections in Indonesia, Orchid Forest Cikole is the pine forest-orchid garden hybrid you never knew you needed.
Wooden walkway at the Orchid Forest
Image credit: @regallery_
Tickets are a bit on the pricey side, costing Rp. 40,000 (~USD2.69) and possibly more depending on which activities you’d like to do. Rest assured though, there are plenty of attractions in the park to keep you busy.
Strolling through the hanging bridge during the evening
Image credit: @orchidforestcikole
At night, walking on the 150-meter hanging bridge located in the forest feels as if you’re floating on a bridge made entirely of light. Down below, the Garden of Light illuminated installation with a pathway that winds through the field of lights is a surreal experience.
Orchid House where the forest’s orchid collection is housed
Image credit: @orchidforestcikole
If you’re looking for something more low-key, the Orchid House garden with the small pond located in the middle makes for a nice zen garden substitute.
Playing around with some of the rabbits in the Rabbit Forest
Image credit: @dessyssidessoy
For a little bit more excitement, visit the Rabbit Forest where you can get up close and personal with some fluffy rabbits.
Amphitheater where music performances are regularly held on weekends
Image credit: @ismihilmani
As some of the attractions in the forest are meant to be enjoyed past sunset, we highly recommend spending an entire day at the forest if time permits. With several cafes and a cafeteria right inside the forest, you can even have a picnic without having to leave the forest grounds.
Pine Kitchen, one of several cafes located inside the forest
Image credit: @orchidforestcikole
Do note that while the forest is about 1 hour away by car from the city of Bandung, traffic to Lembang is notoriously awful and you’re better off staying at the many hotels in the area. That way, you could sample some of what the mountain resort has to offer, including the famed Bosscha Observatory featured in the classic kids’ movie, Petualangan Sherina.
Orchid Forest Cikole
Address: Genteng, Cikole, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40391
Opening hours: 9AM-6PM, Daily
5. The Lodge Maribaya in Lembang, Bandung – hilltop glamping tents with outdoor jacuzzis
Pine’s Deck, a viewing deck in The Lodge, Maribaya
Image credit: @gholun07
Getting in touch with nature doesn’t necessarily mean you need to leave some of the comforts of modern civilization. In The Lodge Maribaya’s adventure park, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The hot-air balloon visible from the hilltop within the complex
Image credit: @nrlnadiahali
Rather than a simple pine forest, it’s more appropriate to think of The Lodge as a theme park that happens to be located inside a pine forest. Tickets cost Rp. 120,000 (~USD8.09) and grant you access to several attractions within the complex.
The Sky Tree photo spot, where you also get to enjoy a view of the surroundings
Image credit: @siskajglow09
The headliner is The Lodge itself, where you can enjoy the view from a hilltop viewing platform or grab some selfies at the many photo spots inside the park, including a hot-air balloon. Do note that these designated photo spots might require additional tickets.
Relaxing by the Lotus Garden
Image credit: @osidharta
For those in the mood for a more introspective experience, you can have some herbal tea while enjoying the calmness of the Herbal & Lotus Garden at the Mulberry Hill. Of course, there’s also the option to sign up for a simple trek through the surrounding pine forest.
Glamping tents at Mulberry Hill
Image credit: @jimmyhermanto21
As with the Orchid Forest Cikole, The Lodge has everything you need with several restaurants and even accommodations located inside the complex. The main area has several glamping tents and villas inside the main park but we’d recommend upgrading to the ones located in Mulberry Hill.
Outdoor jacuzzi with a stunning view of Lembang
Image credit: @jawabaratbeautiful
Aside from a more private location, the glamping tents in Mulberry Hills are blessed with a great view of Mount Tangkuban Perahu. To make the best out of your stay, hop inside the outdoor jacuzzis in the area where you can simply forget about all of the problems waiting for you in the outside world.
Mulberry Hill by The Lodge
Address: Jalan Maribaya Timur No 1, RT.01/RW.10 Desa Cibodas Lembang, Kab Bandung Barat, Cibodas, Lembang, Cibodas, Lembang, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40391
Opening hours: 24 Hours, Daily
Instagram | Website
6. Kayon Pine Forest in Semarang, Central Java – perch on a bent tree
The bent tree in Kayon Pine Forest
Image credit: @dayan_ali_225
Located at the foot of Mount Berbabu, the lesser-known sibling of Mount Merapi, the Kayon Pine Forest (Rp. 5,000, ~USD0.34 for tickets) is an example of what a pine forest relatively untouched by civilization looks like.
The paved footpath inside the pine forest
Image credit: @kisahsemarang
Part of the Merbabu conservation area, there are few man-made structures within the area other than a paved footpath for those looking for a simple walk among the trees. The undisturbed nature of the forest is what makes it so tempting, with even the popular bent tree inside the forest being simply a byproduct of nature.
The Sky Resto where the dining tables are perched on treehouses
Image credit: @kopengtreetop
If you’re keen on returning to civilization, the nearby Kopeng village about 20 mintues away has been made a designated tourist area. We highly recommend the Kopeng Treetop Adventure Park as it’s not every day that you can have lunch while sitting in a treehouse.
View from the garden at the Kopeng Tourism Park, with Mount Merbabu shrouded in clouds
Image credit: @suggiw
Also of note is the Kopeng Tourism Park (Rp. 15,000, ~USD10.00) where on a clear day, you can see Mount Merbabu in all its glory from the viewing platform. To make the best of your trip, start with the pine forest early in the morning before heading out for lunch and finishing your day at Kopeng.
To get here, the easiest would be flying in from Semarang, that’s also roughly 90 minutes away by car. However, we recommend staying at the nearby town of Salatiga just 30 minutes away as accommodations are quite easy to find there.
Kayon Pine Forest
Address: Pulihan, Tajuk, Kec. Getasan, Semarang, Jawa Tengah 50774
Opening hours: 8AM-5.30PM, Daily
Kopeng Treetop Adventure Park
Address: Jalan Raya Kopeng, Batur, Getasan, Selo Ngisor, Batur, Kec. Getasan, Semarang, Jawa Tengah 50774
Opening hours: Fri – Sun 10AM-4PM, Closed on Mon – Thurs during the pandemic
Kopeng Tourism Park
Address: Jl. Raya Salatiga – Magelang KM. 15, Kopeng, Getasan, Dukuh, Kopeng, Kec. Getasan, Semarang, Jawa Tengah 50774
Opening hours: 8AM-4.30PM, Daily
7. Nongko Ijo Pine Forest in Madiun, East Java – nongkrong in rustic gazebos
The wooden gazebos inside the Nongko Ijo Pine Forest
Image credit: @tabithalily
Among Indonesians, the city of Madiun is primarily known for being the home of the country’s railway industry but this small city in East Java boasts some lesser-known gems as well. One of them is the Nongko Ijo Pine Forest, located about 45 minutes away southeast of the city.
The Nongko Ijo sign near the entrance of the forest
Image credit: @aymstk
The word nongko ijo means green jackfruit in Indonesian and as the story goes, there used to be a large jackfruit tree here before the area was developed into the pine forest it is today. As it’s relatively new, entrance to the area is still free, with only parking fees being charged for visitors.
The shallow river with the pine forest visible on the left
Image credit: @nongkoijo.kare
Historically, the forest used to be the source of water for nearby villages during the colonial area. Today, there’s a path leading down to a shallow river where the crowds like to get their feet wet on sunny days, and a small dam dating from the colonial era as well.
Wooden platform perched in one of the trees in Nongko Ijo
Image credit: @henry3saputro
Once you’re done exploring, there are several wooden gazebos in the area where you can nongkrong with your mates over a bowl of warm bakso, or Indonesian meatballs, from the nearby food stalls.
The city’s trademark Pecel Madiun, served with a fried egg
Image credit: @ceritamakan
There aren’t as many attractions in the area but we recommend embarking on a culinary journey in Madiun. The city’s trademark Pecel Madiun, mixed vegetables served with a peanut-based dressing, rice, and lempeng crackers, is a delight and among the many pecel stalls in town, Nasi Pecel Yu Gembrot is the local favorite.
Do note that the city of Madiun is only accessible by train but as a railway hub connecting East Java with the rest of the island, plenty of routes have a stop there.
Nongko Ijo Pine Forest
Address: Kare, Madiun, East Java 63182
Opening hours: 7AM-5PM, Daily
Nasi Pecel Yu Gembrot
Address: Jl. Imam Bonjol No.33, Klegen, Kec. Kartoharjo, Kota Madiun, Jawa Timur 63117
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 7AM-9PM, Closed on Mondays
8. Kalilo Pine Forest in Purworejo, Central Java – underground caves and natural pool formations
The Titanic peak resembling a ship’s bow
Image credit: @harry_clavis
Sitting roughly halfway between the city of Purworejo to the west and Yogyakarta to the east, the small village of Kalilo hosts several of the region’s most interesting hidden gems. The biggest is the Kalilo Pine Forest (Rp. 5,000, ~USD0.34 for a ticket) where you can spot several interesting rock formations just past the trees.
The solitary swing located inside the pine forest
Image credit: @sijirorotelu
The most Instagram-worthy is no doubt the Titanic Peak, so named because the shape of the fencing and the rocks resembles a ship’s bow. For those not a fan of heights, the pine forest itself is full of interesting photo spots, including a swing set nestled among the tall trees.
Floating vests are provided if you want to take a swim in the Mudal River Park
Image credit: @sxtzahra
Once you’ve well-rested, get closer with nature with a visit to the Mudal River Park (Rp. 6,000, ~USD0.40). This natural spring-turned-pool is famous for its green-hued waters and the wooden bridge leading to the pool gives visitors a great vantage point to view the pool’s natural beauty.
Replica of the golden statues located at the entrance
Image credit: @tigaa_iy
For a bit of a cultural trip, make sure to visit the Seplawan Cave (Rp. 3,000, ~USD0.20), an underground cave that is believed to be the remnant of an ancient Hindu temple. The cave first gained fame when a pair of golden statues was excavated in 1979 and replicas of the same statues can be found sitting in front of the stairs leading down to the cave.
The old spiral staircase that used to serve as the cave’s entrance
Image credit: @fadil_ghazy
Above the cave, there’s also a viewing platform overlooking the nearby Menoreh Mountains and the experience is just as incredible as spelunking through the underground cave.
Kalilo Pine Forest
Address: Kalilo, Tlogoguwo, Kaligesing, Purworejo Regency, Central Java 54175
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 8AM-5PM | Sat – Sun 7.30AM – 5PM
Mudal River Park
Address: Banyunganti, Jatimulyo, Girimulyo, Kulon Progo Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55674
Opening hours: 8.30AM-4PM, Daily
Address: Katerban, Donorejo, Kaligesing, Purworejo Regency, Central Java 54175
Opening hours: 8AM-4.30PM, Daily
Beautiful pine forests in Indonesia
Lush, tropical jungles and white sandy beaches aren’t the only natural beauties you can find in the country. Sitting at the foot of many volcanoes around the archipelago, these pine forests of Indonesia are the perfect escape from the concrete jungle.
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