Ngobaran Beach (Pantai Ngobaran) is located in the Gunung Kidul region, some 50km south-east from the city of Yogyakarta. It is a pristine beach with a number of marine and spiritual attractions to explore. Ngobaran beach radiates a thick atmosphere of natural and spiritual charm. Generations of Javanese seekers and mystics have been visiting this legendary beach in search of their ancestral roots and for connecting with the universe.
There are several ways to get to Ngobaran from Yogyakarta. Directions from the Ring Road: 1. Drive south on Jl. Imogiri to Selopamioro; then to Panggang; then to Saptosari, where you'll see signs for Ngrenehan and Ngobaran. 2. Drive south-east on Jl. Wonosari to Piyungan; then to Playen; then to Paliyan; then to Saptosari etc. Roads on both routes are in very decent condition. Total distance is ca. 60 km and driving time is 1.5-2 hours.
There is no public transportation to Ngobaran. People come with their own cars and motorbikes or rent mini-buses for visitor groups. There are several parking spaces on the beach. Some distance before entering the Ngobaran-Ngrenehan area, there's a gate where you will pay a 5000 IDR/person entry fee. There are no other charges.
Right by the shore is a prominent monument dedicated to King Brawijaya V and the ancestral wisdom of "Hasta Brata", the eight values of noble life, illustrated with large statues of characters from the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics. In the vicinity, you will also find a Balinese temple (which is mostly closed), a black stone monument built by the Sultan of Yogyakarta, and a small Mushollah facing the south sea.
The overall panorama of the cliffs and the ocean creates an indescribable sense of serenity. When the seawater level falls, you can see the pictoresque spread of both green and brown seaweed. Dozens of marine animal species are also present at the coral reef, ranging from sea urchin to starfish, crabs and various types of cockleshells. The reef is particularly charming around sunrise. Further inland, there's a cave with a striking underground stream. Beautiful views are found along the hills to the west.
In the morning (3 am until dawn) when the tide is low, you can join the local fishermen to collect seaweed or look for stranded fish and crabs at the reef. Low tide also reveals a fresh-water spring underneath the ocean, where many visitors come to take a purifying bath.
Most visitors come at daytime to admire the beauty of the beach and visit the monuments. At night-time, it's common to see people burning incense and meditating at the shrines on the beach, connecting with the spirits of their ancestors and the purifying and magical power of the sea.
Aside an invigorating dip in the fresh-water spring, Ngobaran isn't really the place for swimming. If you wish to swim, the nearby Ngrenehan beach has a beautiful bay with a sandy beach and reasonably tranquil waves. You can also visit the more touristic Nguyahan beach adjacent on the west side.
There are many local warungs at Ngobaran, serving standard Indonesian dishes, fresh seafood and drinks for modest prices. They also sell most standard amenities from bottled water to packaged snacks and cigarettes.
The nearby Ngrenehan beach (2 km east) also has several warungs, along with a fish-market (opens 10 am) where you can purchase fresh fish and other seafood and have it grilled or fried by the sellers for take-away.
There are no guesthouses on the beach. However it's common to see people sleeping overnight on the floor at the local warungs, many of which are very accommodating. They might even find a blanket or a pillow for you!