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Old 28 Jan 2010
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Location: Sydney
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Borneo: fastest way in from east

Hello Travellers,

We will be travelling Westard across Indonesia in a few months, starting from Kupang. After riding the length of Flores, we want to get to Borneo (any part) by the fastest route.

I have confirmed information from recent travellers that it is possible to get RORO ferry from Labuanbajo (Western tip of Flores) to Sulawesi, and from there to Borneo. However, both of these are weekly ferries, which puts a lot of pressure on our schedule if we miss one. Also it is quite hard to synchronise with our first shipment from Darwin.

By comparison, we can get a daily RORO ferry from Surabaya to Borneo (good), but that is quite a long ride from Labuanbajo with many short ferry rides that will all eat up time (bad...).

Does anybody know if there are RORO ferries to Borneo from any other part of Indonesia that is more Easterly than Surabaya? (other than Sulawesi, or other "outlying" islands that would be hard to get to)

Do any of the RORO ferries just keep on sailing from Labuanbajo all the way to Surabaya?

We need to take the bikes - I've heard that Pelni mostly won't allow them. That's why we are stuck with using RORO ferries, which have no published schedules

Colin (Sydney)
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Old 17 Feb 2010
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Sydney to Borneo - fastest way


Posting an answer to my own question...

Bikes can be shipped from Sydney to Kota Kinabalu for about AUD $600 each. The journey takes 28 days and there is one sailing per week. While this is not especially fast in terms of elapsed time, it works out well if you are OK with flying in to meet the bikes when they get there.

Refer to australiatrade.com.au for sailing details.

Travelling with the bikes from Dili to Borneo requires a minimum of three consecutive ferries that all are all once-per-week (and not synchronised) - Kupang to Larantuka; Labunabajo to Bira; Pare Pare to Nunukan.

Colin (Sydney)
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