Limestone and karst cover the majority of the area at Gunung Kidul Regency, Yogyakarta. Do not expect lush green forest, as many areas look barren and dry, especially in summer. Due to its rock formation, Gunungkidul has many caves, but a very little waterfall. Hence why Sri Gethuk Waterfall, at Bleberan Village, comes as a refreshing delight as a tourist spot.
Sri Gethuk Waterfall had another name, Slempret. According to the legend, the waterfall was the dwelling of a mystical king who loves gamelan, a Javanese traditional music instrument set. The sound of music came mysteriously from the waterfall, the legend says.
The most prominent sounds were a type of gamelan called kethuk (a type of gong) and slompret (a type of flute). These two instruments that contribute to the waterfall names today. The waterfall has three sources, springs called Ngandong, Dong Poh, dan Ngumbul.
These three water sources form a 25 high waterfall pouring down into the river below, Oyo River. 500 meters from the waterfall, there is a cave called Rancang Kencana which was a dwelling for the ancient human. Archaeologists found artifacts dated from 3000 years ago here.
Trekking To Sri Gethuk Waterfall
Trekking to the waterfall is relatively easy, especially the first part. The trek is a short 450-m walk through the rice field and coconut trees. Feast the eyes with the green view for a good 10 minutes. Before soon meeting with dozens of steps down toward the waterfall. Pay attention to the sound of roaring water that's only getting closer and closer – use it as an encouragement.
Going by Cruising Oyo River
If trekking is too tiring – or too boring – cruising Oyo River can be a more exciting option. First, head to Oyo River, it's only 300 meters from the parking lot. There will be a small port with self-made rafts waiting for passengers.
These rafts are made from used drums and wooden planks motored with a diesel machine. The cruise is slow but charming. See high canyons on the side of the river, some of which emit small lovely waterfalls.
Waterfall With Turquoise River
Depending on the season, Sri Gethuk Waterfall can form 3-5 streams of water at once. The waterfalls seeping into the limestone rocks below before begins to flow toward the Oyo River. There is a big rock with a wide surface between the waterfall and the river.
Water flows through it, enjoy the gentle stream by lying on this rock. The rock is also quite high. Do some cliff-jumping and make a significant splash on the river below. The water is turquoise, thanks to the lack of mud unlike in more fertile land.
Swim around or just dip, there isn’t a wrong way to enjoy this refreshing water. Rent an inflatable from locals, so visitors can sunbath while floating on the water.
Canyoning is for adrenaline junkies who are not enough with just taking a plunge. Using rope, climbers crawl down the waterfall from the highest cliff. It’s a test for both stamina and concentration. Maneuver over the slippery rock while having the sight limited by the cascading waterfall.
Canyoning requires a special permit. It usually is only allowed when there aren’t many tourists that day. Weather also plays a significant factor. As for the equipment, participants can bring their own or rent one from the official.
Goa Rancang Kencana
Once visitors reach the parking area of the cave, notice that there's a big tree on the site. The cave's entrance is underground, it's located behind the said tree. To enter, descend down several steps in front of the cave mouth. The steps lead to the main room, a large area still well illuminated by the sunlight.
Enjoy the beautifully nature-carved wall before continue heading to the second room. It’s pitch black further inside, so don’t forget the flashlight (rent one from locals). The second room is where the old kings meditated, as indicated by a sitting stone in this room.
The path to the third room is tricky and narrow, but the room itself is quite large. Here, observe the evidence of Indonesian Independence struggle. There's an inscription carved on the wall called Prasetya Bhinekaku, a soldier's promise to always fight for the country.
Sri Gethuk Waterfall Opening Hours
The waterfall opens daily from 7 AM to 04.30 PM. The holiday season and school summer holiday is the most peak time. Make sure to check the weather cast a day before planning to the waterfall.
|Sri Gethuk Waterfall Opening Hours|
|Every day||07:00 - 16:30|
Sri Gethuk Waterfall Entrance Fee
An admission ticket is IDR 15,000, including admission to Rancang Kencana Cave. The boat ride IDR 10,000 for a return trip. The last boat picks up from the waterfall at 16:30. Parking costs IDR 5000 motorcycle and IDR 10,000 for cars. Visitors will need to pay again if they want to rent inflatables and life jackets for swimming.
|Sri Gethuk Waterfall Entrance Fee|
Sri Gethuk Waterfall is equipped with standard facilities. Toilets and bathroom are available to change and wash after all the splashing. There is a locker room to store belongings. Small warungs provide food and beverage for hungry visitors. Parking is sizable and accommodating.
How To Get To Sri Gethuk Waterfall
To reach the waterfall from Yogyakarta, follow Yogyakarta - Wonosari road until Piyungan. The route then is as follows: Piyungan - Patuk - Lapangan Gading intersection (turn right) - Playen Market. 500 m from the market, pay attention for Sri Gethuk waterfall road sign.
Ask direction from locals, they will gladly help. The best mode of transportation is rental cars or motorbikes. Renting a motorbike is really affordable, starting at IDR 65k/day. Meanwhile, a car costs on average IDR 400k/per day to rent. From Yogyakarta, it takes around 1-1,5 hours to get to Sri Gethuk Waterfall.