Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
There are hardly any places in the world with busy cities full of contemporary facilities that are privileged with a magnificent tropical marine paradise at its doorstep, just a mere 10 minutes speedboat ride from the central district. Kota Kinabalu is one of those places with Tunku Abdul Rahman Park as its paradise. Thousands of people annually make day-trips or overnight expeditions into the park and leave content with the tropical wholesomeness found within such a short distance of the bustling industrial capital. It is indeed a marvelous marine park that caters to the tourists wanting to enjoy the raw natural beauty in Sabah at its best.
Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, also shortly known as the TARP, is a set of five islands that was formed after the ice age brought about drastic changes in the sea level and parts of mainland were cut off by the sea, millions of years ago. This cluster of islands includes Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Mamutik and Salug. It was named after Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first prime minister.
Wonders of Nature at the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is home to some areas of old growth forests. Eucalyptus and Mangrove Trees are an important part of the coastal ecosystem within the park. It is the abode of wild boars, long-tailed macaques, monitor lizards, and proboscis monkeys. The park also has a rather rich marine life, with plenty of marine creatures like cuttlefish, moray eels, pipefish, stonefish, snappers, scorpion fish, crustaceans, sting rays, the prized blue ring octopus, and all seven species of clownfish.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park offers a variety of adventurous activities for the travelers to indulge in.
- Snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of the Marine Park offers fun-filled entertainment wherein professional snorkeling guides will show the guests how to use the provided equipment to swim with sea turtles underwater. The departure takes place at 8:30 am from the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. The cost including the pick-up and drop off, lunch and the essential equipment is around MYR 210.
- The Coral Flyer Zipline Adventure at TARP is the world’s largest island-to-island Zipline at 82ft. from Gaya Island to Sapi Island. It offers a mind blowing aerial view. The departure takes place at 9 am from the lobby of the guests’ respective hotels. The cost including the lunch and transfers is around MYR 470.
- A Private Tour of Hiking and Ziplining through the Marine Park with a professional hiking guide is a half-day tour. It includes hotel pick-up and drop off and an air-conditioned minivan for transport. It also includes lunch, tea & snacks, and dinner for morning, afternoon and evening tours respectively. Departure happens at 8 am from the respective KK city hotel. The cost overall is around MYR 240.
Getting to the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
The TARP is accessible via a 15-20 minutes’ speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu. The park is open daily from 7:30 am to 5 pm, and that is when the boat transfers to and from the islands take place. The departure and arrival point for the boat transfers is at Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal.
These rates are not inclusive of charged terminal fee, I.e., MYR 8 for adults and MYR 4 for children. Each entrance fee is valid for 5 islands per day. A tax of MYR 40 will be charged for special pick-up timings or overnight stays.