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Our Journey to the Edge of Wildness.

We journeyed to NIHI Sumba in search of clean waves, slow travel, traditional villages, culture, and unspoiled nature. Just a short 50 minute flight from Bali, Sumba Island is one of the hidden gems in Indonesia.

When we first arrived off the flight in Sumba, we were greeted by the NIHI staff in an open air safari vehicle to take us on a one and half hour journey through the Sumbanese landscape to the resort, all with a fresh coconut in hand.

Leaving the bustling streets of Bali behind for a more Africa-meets-Asia experience, the journey took us past traditional settlements, waterfalls, structured rice fields, river valleys, traditional markets with sightings of water buffalo and local tribesman. Winding through local villages we eventually got our first glimpse of the Indian Ocean.

We know NIHI Sumba for its reputation of having one of the worlds most coveted and exclusive waves - “God’s Left’ or “Occy’s Left”. Having the opportunity to travel to the amazing island of Sumba, stay at NIHI Sumba and ride this epic wave, was a dream come true for our Billabong girls, Lilliana Bowrey, Grace Kama and Ruby Southwell.  Unfortunately for Ruby she got an epic fin chop a couple of days before, whilst on a boat trip in the Mentawais so she could only admire the wave from the shoreline.

The thing with strike missions, is the waves don’t always go your way. Unfortunately for us the highly sort after wave, wasn’t showing us it’s true beauty – an epic 300 metre long, thrilling left barrelling wave. In saying that, we still scored epic clean surf at Occy’s left and other breaks around the island.

NIHI Sumba, the resort itself, was something out of this world. It is no wonder it has been named ‘Best Hotel in the world for 2 consecutive years’. 

“NIHI Sumba – A place to connect with something larger than oneself.

A haven for the adventurer, the wanderer, the endlessly passionate and the curious.

Arrive with an open heart and leave changed forever.”

The people, the culture, the giveback opportunities, exclusive wave at your doorstep - oh and the food, were what made us fall in love with this amazing place. In the mornings on high tide, we surfed until our arms hurt, then after breakfast we would explore one of the many activities NIHI Sumba had to offer.

One morning we were chauffeured into the local village to see first-hand how the Sumbanese live and their traditional houses. We journeyed to the local school where we met and played games with the local children and learnt their way of life. Later that afternoon we had the unreal experience of riding bareback and swimming with Sumba horses at Nihiwatu Beach.

Over the course of the 5 days we were at NIHI Sumba, our itinerary was somewhat similar everyday. Sunrise surf, breakfast, activity, surf, lunch, nap, hopefully another surf, chill out time, then dinner.

One of the many activities we got to experience was the release of sea turtles. NIHI Sumba has it’s very own turtle hatchery initiative which was created to increase the population of these amazing creatures. Unfortunately due to a lack of understanding and need for food in Sumba, thousands of turtle eggs are sold within local markets. NIHI Sumba’s initiative encourages locals to bring turtle eggs direct to them, in exchange for a reward. NIHI then buries the eggs under the sand in their onsite hatchery and after 7-12 weeks, hundreds of baby hatchlings are scrambling in the sand, ready to be released into the ocean.

Sumba has everything we wanted, from untouched nature, incredible culture, to epic surf right on our doorstep. This surfer’s paradise is somewhere we hope to journey back too and experience again.

NIHI Sumba really is the Edge of Wildness.