Tembagapura, a beautiful town at east of Indonesia

Tembagapura, –a small, unique, and pretty town located at Mimika regency in Province of Papua, was built to support Freeport operation in the late-1960s. The town is a residence for more than 10 thousands people, consist of Freeport and contractor employees and their families. Only few people have a chance to live there.

Center of Tembagapura

Tembagapura means tembaga and pura. “Tembaga” means copper and “pura” is equivalent with temple or town, meaning a copper town. The town is surrounded by mountains, with height of 6,200 feet asl. By the height of elevation, Tembagapura is always covered by clouds, every day. Like a traveling destination, Tembagapura offers most beautiful untouchable rain forest, world mining company, and the Tembagapura’s culture. In Tembagapura, we’ll see many neat buildings and enjoy cold weather ranging 10 – 20 oC.

Mining at the clouds


In Tembagapura, you will see a miniature of Indonesia, oh no, even a miniature of the world. Acehnese, Bataknese, Javanese, Manado, and Papuan mingle in the town. Not only Indonesian, there are many foreign national people coming from USA, Canada, Australia, Philipines, New Zealand, Chile, and more. Total more than 20 foreign nationals live there working to Freeport, Redpath, Trakindo, Metso, and other contractor companies. Indigenous people of Tembagapura are seven tribe people. Freeport employs some of them and develops 3 villages to better live. Religion in Tembagapura is dominated by Christian and Moslem; I don’t know exactly what the percentage of each. The most well known community in Tembagapura is AGUTE (Mountain Kids of Tembagapura). Every one who born, grows, and lives there is part of the community.

The Mountain kids of Tembagapura

The town

Well managed by Freeport, Tembagapura grows up to become a modern town with strict regulation. Each resident must have personal ID card issued by Freeport management. All data of residents are saved and controlled in database. By this way, no one out of Tembagapura could stay and enter the town. Formal visitor who wants to visit and enter Tembagapura should have visitor ID card. The ID card is really very important for each resident. The ID card can be used to enter access to supermarket, mess hall, and all check points in Freeport work area.

Tembagapura view

Tembagapura at night

There are several types of housing, such as barrack (for single employees), sharing house, and family house. For all residents, Tembagapura has some facilities, such as hospital, supermarket, sport hall, bus transportation, fitness center, TV cable, radio, mosque, church, and more. Those facilities are governed by Pangansari Utama, Kuala Pelabuhan Indonesia, and some of Freeport business units. Anyhow, Tembagapura seems becoming one of the most clean, save, and low crime rate town in Indonesia. Located at remote area in the center of Jayawijaya mountains, only two ways to reach Timika,- a capital town of Mimika regency. The ways are road way (by bus and light vehicle) and air way (by chopper). It takes 3-4 hours to reach Timika, and only needs 15 minutes by chopper (helicopter).

Road to Tembagapura

Every one who ever lived, visited, and worked there will love the town, I guarantee. Me too, and I am happy to live here though I’ll leave it someday. Finally, Tembagapura is one of the most extraordinary towns I ever know.

Source of pictures: AGUTE facebook


18 thoughts on “Tembagapura, a beautiful town at east of Indonesia

  1. Norma Lockhart June 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Been There , Done That, it is a very beautiful place to have lived there, it was awesome , lots of good memories .. and good friends

  2. febriantara June 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Yap, city of heaven..nice to live here 🙂

  3. Janine gosling. July 12, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Was great to lived there, i had some great time and met some wonderfull people.Great memories.

  4. epong February 13, 2012 at 11:10 am

    rumah adalah istanaku…… disana aku di lahirkan and dibesarkan

    tanah Papua ,,, tanah yg suci ,, surga kecil jatuh ke bumi

  5. Katie Elkin May 5, 2012 at 3:53 am

    We lived there in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Eighteen years later, we returned for a visit. The beauty and spectacular majesty had not changed. It was a thrill eighteen years later, as it had been on day one.

  6. asif May 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    yeh your photos dont show the true side of the dump must be paied by Freeport to post these

  7. Ary September 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve been there…nice place to live…lots of memories and friends

  8. mervyn reynolds November 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I have lived there building Banti and other villages during 1999 and into 2002….great place…..and now after 5 years in the Congo I am heading back to the mountains to build some more local infastructure….

  9. abeth baan August 20, 2013 at 4:45 am

    kota yang tidak pernah terlupakan………

  10. SIMSON November 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Tembagapura adalah Sebuah kota dan Dapur dunia, tapi sangat disayangkan Madu diatas tanah Miimika ini, dinikmati oleh binatang-binatang bunglon.



  11. Lindsay November 14, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Hi, any idea if pets are allowed in the town? Appreciate your assistance, considering a move but Freeport are saying no pets. Thank you!

  12. carolf December 1, 2013 at 5:19 am

    No Pets were allowed when I lived there, however there were some cats there. I wouldn’t recommend taking your pet.

  13. Arlan (Buzz) Cook January 8, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    The original town, built for 1500 residents. including school grades1-8, shopping ctr, movie theater, &tennis court was started in 1970 and completed in 1973. The portsite, mine, & mill facilities were also developed/constructed during this time period’

  14. Anonymous June 11, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Loved living there. Absolutely beautiful!

  15. Sari Musdar June 13, 2016 at 2:58 am

    I only worked there at UG division 2 years but the memory will stay in my heart forever cause as book author now, I am working on my second novel “AMOLE” it’s fiction but most based on my experience there

  16. Anonymous December 8, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Hi all, I worked there in 2002-2003 as Supt. HR Services and moved to Jkt office as Sr Supt. Industrial relations , yes thie TPR town means a lot to me….

  17. Anonymous June 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Harriet, live there from 2002-2007 and loved it such a beautiful place. I miss it and all the people I met along the way.

  18. mila December 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

    The information is very useful!
    Information for surf lovers can visit the site grajagan.com

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