Gunung Kidul Regency

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Gunung Kidul Regency
Kabupaten Gunung Kidul
Regency (Kabupaten)
Baron Beach, one of the many beaches in Gunung Kidul Regency
Baron Beach, one of the many beaches in Gunung Kidul Regency
Official seal of Gunung Kidul Regency
Nickname(s): [Thousand Mount City] Kota Gunung Sewu,[Gathot City] Kota Gathot,[Cave City] Kota Gua,[Chalk Mount City] Kota Gunung Kapur
Motto: Handayani
Gunung Kidul Regency in Special Region of Yogyakarta
Gunung Kidul Regency in Special Region of Yogyakarta
Country Indonesia
Special Administrative Region Yogyakarta
Capital Wonosari
 • Regent Hj. Badingah
 • Total 1,485.36 km2 (573.50 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 702,104
 • Density 470/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zone WIB (UTC+7)
Post Code 55800
Area code(s) 0274

Gunung Kidul Regency is a regency in the southeast part of the province of Yogyakarta Special Region, Indonesia. The regency (the name of which means South Hills in Javanese) is bordered by the city of Yogyakarta to the north west, Bantul Regency to the west, Sleman Regency to the north west and the Indian Ocean to the south.

The southern coastal of Gunung Kidul is rough and wild but exotic with several beautiful beaches: Baron, Kukup, Krakal, Drini, Sepanjang, Sundak, Siung, Wediombo and Sadeng. Some of these beaches provide fresh fish and other sea product supplied by local fisherman. The most notable is Baron beach. There is a park next to the beach surrounded by seafood restaurants and hostels. There is a fresh fish market in the east side of the beach. On the west side, a river flows out from an almost sea-level cave on the side of western ridge. The beach itself is khaki-colored and sprawled with traditional fishermens' boat. Beside the main beach there is a kilometre of almost untouched white sand beach lying beyond its eastern ridge. It can be reach by small hike; there is a rest area with a beautiful view on top of the eastern hill.

There are also tourist sites to visit near the beach area of Parangtritis which is located on the border of the Kidul and Bantul districts. There are some temples, springs, and underground rivers in the village of Girijati near Parangtritis.[1]

The Gunung Kidul area in earlier times was heavily forested. However most of the teak forests have now been removed and many reforestation projects occur on the western edge of the regency. The regency has been subject to extensive drought and famine within the last hundred years. Water shortages and poverty remain serious problems in the region.[2]


Gunung Kidul Regency is in a karst region. This leads to difficult geography for farmers and contributes to considerable poverty in the area because of water shortages.[3] Much of the Regency is included in the Mount Sewu (literally "thousand mountains") collection of limestone hills which stretches across parts of southern Java from parts of Kebumen Regency in the west near the border with West Java across to close to the city of Malang in East Java. The Menaroh Hills in the area south of Yogyakarta in Kulon Progo Regency, for example, are part of this series of limestone hills.[4]


The limestone hills are reported to contain hundreds of caves. These are classified locally as vertical caves (known as luweng in Javanese) and horizontal caves. Jomblang cave (Luweng Jomblang) and Grubug Cave (Luwung Grubug) located in the Semanu subdistrict in Kulon Progo, as well as other caves in the area, are well-known to local caving (speleological) groups. Some of the caves are quite long; Cerme cave, for example, has an entrance in Bantul Regency and stretches for quite a distance eastward into Panggang subdistrict in Gunung Kidul Regency.[4]

UNESCO Geopark[edit]

Gunung Kidul Regency and the nearby Imogiri area (in Bantul Regency) and Pacitan Regency (East Java Province) is being promoted by the Indonesia government to be a UNESCO Geopark, due to their unique and scenic karst landscape. An accessor from UNESCO has visited 4 areas in July 2014. These include:[5]

  • Pindul Cave, in tectonic active area, the cave and the Gunung Kidul Karst Region give more variative karst stone/land, if it is compared with Gunung Sewu area in Pacitan and Wonogiri
  • Nglanggeran Primeval Volcano
  • Bobung Tourism Village
  • Siung Beach
A halo at Ngobaran beach, one of many scenic beaches in Gunung Kidul Regency

As a karst region Gunung Kidul Regency has many caves, some of which have underground rivers. At least two of them (Pindul Cave in the Bejiharjo area and Kalisuci Cave in the Semanu area) are regarded as tourist sites[6] where tubing activities can be carried on.[7]

Nglanggeran primeval volcano in the Patuk area is only 600 meters high but there are excellent views from the peak to the north towards Mount Merapi and to the south across to the coast of Java. Scattered giant granite and andesit rock formations called "watu wayang" (puppet rocks) are found at the Mt Nglanggeran area as well as a nearby man-made lake. It takes around 3 hours to hike from the Pendopo Kali Song entrance point to the peak.[8]

Siung Beach Bay is about 300 meters length, but swimming is prohibited because of dangerous rocks and severe waves. The cliff surrounding the beach, with over 200 tracks, is suitable for rock climbing.[9]

200 meters east of Siung Beach there is a 10-meter Jogan Tide Fall in Tepus district which is 70 kilometers from Yogyakarta in 2 hours drive. Rainy season is the best time to see the Jogan Tide Fall, because in dry season the water level is low.[10]

Administrative districts[edit]

Gunung Kidul Regency is divided into 18 districts (kecamatan), listed below with their populations at the 2010 Census:[11]


Gunung Kidul Regency is located in the limestone uplands of Java, thus soils are not very good for growing rice. Cassava replaced rice in this area. Some famous Gunung Kidul cuisine includes thiwul, gathot (both are cassava-based food), and a delicacy called walang goreng (fried grasshopper).


  1. ^ Dalih Sembiring, 'A Girijati Getaway: Hidden Allures in South Yogyakarta', The Jakarta Globe, 25 October 2010.
  2. ^ Oei Eng Goan, 'The Thinker: For Want of Water', The Jakarta Globe, 20 September 2011.
  3. ^ Slamet Susanto, 'Ponijo: Sunny disposition keeps water flowing', The Jakarta Post, 16 August 2007.
  4. ^ a b 'Sewu mountain, a paradise for cave explorers', The Jakarta Post, 30 June 2001.
  5. ^ Hari Susmayanti (July 7, 2014). "Kristin Terkejut dengan Keindahan Gua Pindul". 
  6. ^ "Cave Tubing Kalisuci". Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Selamat Datang di website resmi desa Wisata Bejiharjo". Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Diyah Hayu Rahmitasari, 'A piece of heaven on earth', The Jakarta Post, May 13, 2013.
  9. ^ "Siung, Pantai Indah Bertembok Karang". May 15, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Pantai Jogan, Panorama Air Terjun Di Bibir Pantai". Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Gunung Kidul at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 7°58′00″S 110°36′09″E / 7.966680°S 110.602561°E / -7.966680; 110.602561