The town of Manokwari is located right on the top of the Bird’s Head Peninsula in Papua, otherwise known as West New Guinea or West Irian. During World War II, Manokwari was the stronghold of the Japanese army against the Allied Forces and the US under the command of General MacArthur, who was headquartered at Hollandia--today called Jayapura--on the north coast of Papua. But by 1944, Manokwari and the entire north coast yielded to the Allied Forces.
Manokwari stretches around Doreri Bay, and is attractively set among low hills dominated by the Arfak mountains to the south. Manokwari is the town from where Christianity spread in Papua, started by two German missionaries C.W.Ottow and G.G. Geissler who landed here on 5 February 1855.
The remains of these pioneer missionaries now lie at the Koawi Church under a monument just outside of town on the way towards Pasir Putih. Further down at Pasir Putih--or the White Sand Beach, there is a shallow coral bank where one can go snorkeling and see a variety of reef fishes.