Mount Rinjani National Park

The park covers an area of 41,330 ha on the northern part of Lombok and locates the three administrative districts of West, East, and Central Lombok. The area covers 12,357.67 ha in the west, 22,152.88 ha in the east, and 6,819.45 ha in central Lombok. Mount Rinjani dominates the National Park of Lombok, an island east of Bali on the Indonesian archipelago.

At 3726 m, it is the second-highest volcano in Indonesia and part of the infamous ring of fire that encircles the basin of the Pacific. Within the crater are the spectacular Segara Anak Lake and the still-active volcano Gunung Baru (2,363m). It is surrounded by another 66,000 ha of protected forest, which also covers the three administrative districts. The park ecosystem is in the transitional zone between Asia and Australia (Walaceae zone). Average rainfall is about 3,000mm annually.

Gunung Rinjani is rich in a variety of flora, fauna, and vegetation types. There are families and more than 500 species of flora found, and about 50 species of plants are to be used for traditional medicine. While the fauna in Gunung Rinjani is about 12 mammal reptile species, more than 50 bird species, and several of butterflies, which are protected and have a limited area of spread, On the south-western side of the mountain is the most eastern extent of primary rain forest in Nusa Tenggara. This gives away monsoon forest and a drier climate in the east, and savannah in the north-east. Note that flora includes the everlasting edelweiss flower (Anaphalis viscida), tiger orchid, alang-alang grass (Imprerata cylindrical), and cemara trees (Casuarina trifollia and Caruarina ocidentale).

Mount Rinjani, one of the over 50 national parks throughout Indonesia, and the 21 that became national parks, including Gunung Rinjani National Park, was established in 1997, is valued and protected for its spiritual as well as natural values, and is worshipped by thousands of Balinese as well as Sasak pilgrims. Hot springs near the crater lake are sought-after for their healing powers.

Over 38 villages spread out in 12 sub-districts surround Mt. Rinjani, and there are many routes up the mountain, but the main access is from Senaru in the north and Sembalun to the east. The challenging three-day Rinjani Trek routes from Senaru to the crater rim (Plawangan), down to the stunning crater lake, and on to Sembalun are considered the best treks in Southeast Asia. Those heading for the summit usually prefer to start in Sembalun.

The village of Senaru is the main gateway to Mount Rinjani National Park, the most popular start point for the three-day Rinjani Trek up Indonesia’s second-highest peak (3,726m). For the people of Lombok Sasak and Balinese alike, the volcano is revered as a sacred place and the abode of God. Within the spectaculer crater, Segara Anak Lake is the destination of many pilgrims who place offerings in the water and bathe away disease in the nearby hot springs.

A model for ecotourism in Indonesia, the community-based activities focus on the Rinjani Trek Center in Senaru, the most populous starting point for the tough trek. Developed with New Zealand Government Assistance since 1999, the Rinjani Trek Centre embodies under one roof (satu atap) the unique partnership of the National Park, the tourism industry, and local communities that has been forged to manage and protect the Rinjani mountain environment.

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