Ocean Ports of Call

Aru Islands - Indonesia Highlights:
Maluku (Molucca) Islands, Dobo, Australian fauna and flora
The Aru Islands are a group of about ninety-five low-lying islands located in the Arafura Sea southwest of New Guinea and north of Australia. They are part of the Maluku (Molucca) Islands in the eastern part of Indonesia. Over 90 islands, many quite small, make up the Aru group. The largest island is Tanahbesar (also called Wokam); Dobo, the chief port of the islands, is on Wamar, just off Tanahbesar. Other main islands are Kola, Kobroor, Maikoor, and Trangan. The main islands rise to low hills, and are separated by meandering channels.

The islands lie on the Australian - New Guinea continental plate, and where once on the land bridge that connected New Guinea to Australia before the end of the last ice age when the sea levels rose, flooding the plains and leaving only the high mountain peaks remaining to become the Aru Islands. Explore these Australasian islands and note the Australian Flora and Fauna. Also a good spot to swim and a snorkel.

The islands were first colonised by the Dutch beginning 1623, though initially the Dutch East India Company was one of several trading groups in the area, with limited influence over the islands' internal affairs. In 1857 the famous naturalist Alfred R Wallace visited the islands. His visit later made him realize, that the Aru islands must have been connected by a land bridge to mainland New Guinea during the ice age. In the nineteenth century, Dobo, Aru's largest town, temporarily became an important regional trading centre, serving as a meeting point for Dutch, Makasarese, Chinese, and other traders.

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