This historical, 12 hectare island is located 14 kilometres in the north of Jakarta. Onrust, along with its neighbouring islands, Kelor, Cipir (or Cuyper or Kahyangan) and Bidadari make part of Thousand Archipelagou (Kepulauan Seribu) in the Bay of Jakarta. Administratively the area belongs to South Kepulauan Seribu. The area in 1972 was assigned as preserved historical and in 1999 as cultural heritage reservation sites by the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta.
Trip to Onrust (the largest of three), usually include visiting Cipir and Kelor Islands, but exclude another neighbouring island, Bidadari, since it is managed by a private company. The islands can be reached by speedboat from Marina Ancol or fisherman boat from Kamal Muara. The wooden boat is the cheapest and adventurous way. To enter these three islands are free of charge. Having been on these islands is amusing, they have pleasant warm atmospheres under the trees’ shades and surrounded by the sea.
Cipir Island was our first stop. It is located very near to Onrust. There was a dock connecting this island to Onrust, its remains can still be seen. Exploring this island was truly amusing. The remaining old structures of the Hajj Pilgrimage Quarantine Hospital found in every corner of the island, brought our imagination back to the first quarter of 19 century, to imagine the life at that time. Many visitors were around, some of them were campers, they did swimming, fishing, barbequeing, cooking, chatting, or just lying on mats. From Cipir, we can see Bidadari Island.
The second stop was Kelor Island, the smallest of three. The outstanding structure is the Martello Tower which can be seen from faraway. A part of the island is made of white corally, and gently slope beach, convenient place for sunbathing, caressed by sea breeze. The island is uninhabitated and therefore has no facilities. Before noon we left Kelor for Onrust.
From midday toward the end of the day we stayed on Onrust. We performed day-prayers and had lunch, played games, explored the land, and took pictures. There are many old structures found, some are remnants, such as the foundations of a windmill and a warehouse, a few are still in good condition, such as medical staff residence and registration office for hajj pilgrimages dated back in 1911-1933. Some sites were built after Indonesia declared its indepence, such as DI/TII executees’ tombs.
The structures which are found on these islands were built at different historical times. Visiting Onrust (and its neighbouring islands) means learns their histories, which are part of Indonesian history. Colonization of Nusantara by the Dutch was started in Onrust (see: History of Onnrust). These islands are good for recreational as well as educational purposes. There are public facilities, such as toilets, rinse rooms and simple coffe shops. Unfortunately, the facilities are still far from satisfaction, unconvenient ones and the water tastes brackish, need to be managed seriously and improved here and there, concerning the healthy and clean environment.
The day was running toward late afternoon when we back to the mainland. The afternoon sun slided to the west, shaded golden colour to the bright blue sky. We were exhausted but happy… (Imtihanah————)