Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 25 May 2017, 16:19 NZST
  • Still current at: 22 September 2017

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High Risk

There is high risk to your security in Papua and West Papua provinces due to civil unrest and the risk of kidnapping. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these provinces.

Some Risk

There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Indonesia, including in Jakarta and Bali, due to the ongoing threat of terrorism. We advise a high degree of caution.

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Terrorism
There is a high threat of terrorism in Indonesia. While effective counter-terrorism measures have reduced the risk of attacks, Indonesian authorities continue to arrest terrorist suspects in the advanced stages of attack planning. Terrorist cells still exist and have the capacity to carry out attacks anywhere in the country, including Bali. Terrorists may specifically target Westerners or Western interests in Indonesia. This threat is heightened through the Christmas and New Year period.

New Zealanders throughout Indonesia are advised to exercise a high degree of personal security awareness at all times, choose destinations and activities carefully and ensure appropriate security arrangements are in place. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising particular vigilance in public places, especially in areas where Westerners congregate or there are identifiably Western interests. You should monitor the media and other local information sources for any new information on potential threats to your safety and security. 

Possible targets include any location associated with Western interests or known to be frequented by expatriates or foreigners. These include (but are not limited to) embassies, hotels, bars, restaurants (including fast food outlets), identifiably Western businesses, banks, shopping malls, schools, places of worship, tourist resorts, transport hubs, residential areas and all other areas where foreigners frequent or tend to gather. Particular care should be taken around locations that have a low level of protective security. Recent targets have also included Indonesian security and police forces.

Previous terrorist attacks in Indonesia, including in Jakarta and Bali, have resulted in the deaths of a significant number of Indonesians and foreign nationals.   

  • On 24 May 2017, a suspected suicide bombing at the Kampung Melayu bus terminal in East Jakarta killed three police officers and injured more than 10 other people.
  • On 14 January 2016, an attack took place near the Sarinah Plaza on Thamrin Street in downtown Jakarta, involving a number of explosions and gun battles with security forces. At least seven people were killed in this incident, including at least five attackers.  
  • In July 2009, two suicide bomb attacks took place at the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in Jakarta, killing eight people and injuring more than 50 others.   

Further attacks, including low-scale or opportunistic attacks, cannot be ruled out.    

Civil unrest
Demonstrations are a feature of Indonesian life, especially in Jakarta. Most demonstrations pass without incident, but we advise New Zealanders to avoid all demonstrations, rallies and large crowds as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.  

Papua and West Papua Provinces (high risk)
We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Papua and West Papua provinces. The security situation remains unpredictable and there is a risk of kidnapping. Political tensions associated with anti-government groups and local rivalries can lead to violent clashes.  Sporadic violence has occurred in Papua province, mainly in Jayapura, parts of the central highlands, around the Grasberg mine and on the road between Timika and Grasberg.  There were a number of clashes in 2014 between security service personnel and civilians which resulted in deaths and injuries.  If you are travelling to Papua or West Papua provinces for reasons other than tourism, a travel permit from National Police Headquarters in Jakarta is required.  

Aceh (some risk)
You should exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to Aceh, particularly in remote areas.  Indonesian authorities and the Free Aceh Movement signed a peace agreement in August 2005, officially ending hostilities.  Although the situation has stabilised, the overall security situation remains unsettled.  Violence against foreigners is rare, however a British national was abducted in June 2013.  New Zealanders are advised to avoid all political gatherings and demonstrations as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.  

Maluku (some risk)
Long-standing communal tensions, including religious tensions, have led to violence in the past.  The situation is currently stable, but the potential for violence remains.  New Zealanders are advised to exercise a high degree of caution.  

Central Sulawesi (including to Palu, Poso and Tentena) (some risk)
We advise exercising a high degree of caution in Central Sulawesi due to long-standing religious tensions and terrorist activity.  Security operations against terrorists are ongoing. Previous attacks have not targeted tourists however the potential for violence remains.   

Seismic Activity
Indonesia is located in an active seismic zone (known as the Ring of Fire), and is prone to earthquakes with the potential threat of tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.  Slips, flooding and landslides can occur with little warning, commonly in mountainous and remote areas, but also in urban areas. There are a number of active volcanoes in Indonesia and many have high alert levels which, at times, can necessitate the evacuation of people within a 3 – 6 kilometre radius.  These volcanoes erupt from time to time and in the past have caused destruction and loss of life.  Ash clouds have also caused disruptions to flights.  

New Zealanders are advised to exercise caution, check news reports and follow local advice before travelling to areas within Indonesia that are prone to volcanic activity.  Daily updates (in Indonesian) can be found on the Indonesian Directorate of Volcanology and Geological Mitigations website and Smithsonian Institution’s weekly updates.  More information is available from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.  

Maritime Safety/Piracy
Inter-island travel by boat has its risks and a number of passenger boats have sunk in bad weather and due to mechanical failure.  Passenger limits are not always observed and sufficient safety equipment may not be provided.  We advise against boarding any ferry you believe to be overloaded or unseaworthy.  We also recommend caution when taking tourist boats and checking that appropriate safety and communications equipment are on board.  

Piracy is a problem in South-east Asian waters, particularly in the Straits of Malacca.   Mariners are advised to take appropriate precautionary measures in these waters.  For more information, view the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy report.  

General travel advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Indonesia to avoid offending local sensitivities.  

New Zealanders travelling or living in Indonesia should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.  

New Zealanders in Indonesia are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

Street Address Sentral Senayan 2, 10th Floor, Jl Asia Afrika No 8, Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta Pusat 10270, Indonesia Postal Address PO Box 2349 JKT 10024, Jakarta 10210, Indonesia Telephone (+ 62 21) 2995 5800 Fax (+ 62 21) 5797 4578 Email nzembjak@cbn.net.id Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/indonesia Hours Mon-Thurs 0730 - 1600 hrs, Fri 0730 - 1300 hrs

See our regional advice for South East Asia

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New Zealand Embassy Indonesia

Street Address
Sentral Senayan 2, 10th Floor, Jl Asia Afrika No 8, Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta Pusat 10270, Indonesia

Telephone: (+ 62 21) 2995 5800

Fax: (+ 62 21) 5797 4578

Email: nzembjak@cbn.net.id

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/indonesia

Hours: Mon-Thurs 0730 - 1600 hrs, Fri 0730 - 1300 hrs

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