Nias is a place that conjures up images of lost forgotten tribes, perfect waves, deserted beaches and a culture that was once untouched for centuries.
Although it has been said that getting here can be a pain, once you arrive, you will find it hard to leave this little gem of an island in the Indian Ocean.
The majority of places of interest lie in the south of the island and Lagundri bay is the place where the hardened surfer heads straight for. It's also here where the best beaches can be found such as surfer's paradise. There are a number of fascinating hilltop villages also in the south such as Orahili and Bawomataluo.
Lagundri is a horseshoe bay that is situated 12 kms west of Teluk Dalam. This place has been popular among surfers since the very early 1970s. It is not actually in Lagrundi where you will find the waves, the place to head to is Sorake on the western tip of Lagrundi. Be advised that these waves can reach up to 5 meters and travel for over 150 meters – a real surfers dream! Of course, because of the size of this wave and the sharp coral hidden beneath the tropical waters, it is most definitely not a place to learn how to surf- only Hawaii has more consistent big surf. In December the waves are not as big and can reach up to 1 meter high.
Sorake is not the only break in the area. Waves can be found on bay east of Lagrundri called "the Machine" and of course "Jungle Beach" east of Sorake. To get to the latter break you will have to walk around 1km. The beautiful and isolated islands of Bawa and Asu can be reached by boat. You can also find world-class breaks here too. If you want to spend the night on these islands there is basic accommodation on both islands.
If surfing isn't your thing then just relaxing on the beaches is something that will transport your mind to the early explorers of the 1600's. Lagrundri and Sorake is probably the best place to base yourself and has wooden thatched bungalows along the beaches. It is a very laid back place and very much geared towards the surfer. If you don't have your board, there are numerous places to hire one at a very reasonable rate.
Trekking to the hilltop villages of Bawomataluo and Orahili is a great way to escape the beach life. Bawomataluwo is the most impressive of the two villages and it only takes around an hour to access by foot up the long hill. If you do not want to walk you can always hire a motorbike taxi at a small charge. The beauty of Bawomataluo is it's stone carvings, however, you may find that they are being used to dry the village's laundry. Head to the Chiefs house as it is here where you will find the best stone carvings. If you really want to adventure, you could head into the heartland of Gomo where the last few remnants of Nias' megalithic culture survive.
Getting to Nias can be hard but very rewarding once there. The most common route taken by the traveller is the ferry to Sibolga from Padang. Sibolga doesn't really have much to offer the traveller although you can find two or three hotels that could break your journey up before heading to Lagrundi.