Monday, 21 October, 2019 11:51:45 PM

Sabah Islands > Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park


Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
Sabah, Malaysia

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park comprises a group of 5 islands located between 3 to 8 km off Kota Kinabalu. The park is spread over 4,929 hectares, two thirds of which cover the sea.

Before the Ice Age, it formed part of the Crocker Range mass of sandstone and sedimentary rock on the mainland. However, towards the end of the Ice Age about one million years ago, the melting ice brought about changes in the sea level and parts of the mainland were cut off by the sea to form the Islands of Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. Evidence of this can be seen from the exposed sandstone of the coastline forming the cliffs, caves, honeycombs and deep crevices. The beauty of its natural environment combined with its close proximity to the mainland makes the island group a favorite among picnickers, divers and nature lovers. In a bid to protect the natural environment with its coral reefs, marine life, and its flora and fauna, the islands were gazette as a National Park, beginning with Pulau Sapi and part of Pulau Gaya in 1974 and then embracing the three nearby islands in 1979.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
12,185 Acres

Less then 20 minutes by speed boat from Sutera Harbor's Marina or Jesselton Point, covering some 4,929 Hectares of land and sea. The 5 Islands were gazette as a National Park in 1974. Besides offering stretches of sandy white beaches and crystal clear water, the Park has some of the most diverse coral reefs and marine life in the world.
The marine park is a cluster of islands comprising Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug, all only 10-20 minute speedboat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches.
The reefs lie in shallow waters with little current making it an ideal location for novice divers, however, the diverse and sometimes rare marine creatures also make it an interesting dive location for experienced divers and underwater photographers. To dive in the marine park you must contact one of the local dive centers based in Kota Kinabalu who also offer a full variety of PADI courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Instructor.
Amongst the sandy seabed a good variety of marine life can be found such as Scorpion fish. Blue-spotted rays, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps and the occasional green or hawksbill turtle. At some locations, rare creatures such as harlequin ghost pipefish and mandarin fish can be found especially with the help from local dive guides. 
During the cooler months from November to February, plankton blooms attract krill which in turn attract whale sharks, the world's largest fish. At times, the density of the krill can be so thick in these murky conditions underwater encounters with these colossal animals can be exciting as they suddenly appear out of the gloom.

World Longest zip line

Sabah has the world’s longest zip line that enables users to traverse from the top to the bottom of a cable attached to a moving pulley.
That is literally sailing from the air from one island to another at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

This 250m-long zip line linking Pualau Gaya and Pulau Sapi.

Set up by local firm Ropeskills Rigging Sdn Bhd, the zip line enables visitors to cross the narrow straits between both islands in about 30 to 40 seconds.

The starting point of the line was atop a hill at Pulau Gaya, about 45m above sea level, and riders gradually descend to a 8m-high platform at Pulau Sapi.

The zip line used the latest technology to ensure the highest safety standards, adding that the trolleys with handles ensured riders always faced forward.
The zip line operates between 10am and 4pm daily.

Ropeskills Rigging Sdn Bhd earned a reputation for providing rigging during Prince William and Kate Middleton’s visit to the Danum Valley, 83km southwest of Lahad Datu, in 2012, and for renowned British naturalist Sir David Attenborough’s filming of Sabah’s wildlife at Gomantong Caves, outside Sandakan, earlier this year.

Sabah has 6 Marine Parks open to the public :
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Pulau Tiga Park
Turtle Island Park (Pulau Penyu National Park)
Tun Sakaran Marine Park
Pulau Sipadan Park
Tun Mustapha Marine Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Lying just 3 to 8 km West of Kota Kinabalu is the beautiful Tunku Abdul Rahman (T.A.R.) Marine Park, consist of 5 idyllic islands:
1-Gaya Island
2-Mamutik Island
3-Manukan Island
4-Sapi Island
5-Sulug Island

Ticket counters of Jesselton Point
Ticket counters of Jesselton Point

Main entrance to Jesselton Point - The boat terminal to nearby islands

Gear for rent

1 Mask & Snorkel Rm 12.00 per set
2 Life jacket, Mask & Snorkel Rm 18 per set
3 Fins Rm 12 per set

available in Tunku Abdul Rahman 's Park (TARP)


1 Snorkeling RM 180.00 per person
(minimum 2 person)
2 Discover Scuba Diving RM 310.00 per person  
(minimum 2 person) (Non-licensed) ~ 2 dives

3 Leisure Dive RM250.00 per person
(minimum 2 person) (Certified diver) ~ 2 dives
4 PADI Open Water Course (3-4 days)

1 person (personalized)

Minimum 2 person

Minimum 3 person


RM1,300.00 per person

RM1,000.00 per person

RM750.00 per person

5 Advanced Open Water Course (2-3 days)

1 person (personalized)

Minimum 2 person

Minimum 3 person


RM1,000.00 per person

RM800.00 per person

RM550.00 per person


Remarks: -

*All the above packages are inclusive return hotel (ex: city hotel) & boat transfers, jetty fee, packed lunch, use of snorkeling / diving equipment and accompanied by a professional Dive Instructor / Dive Master

*An additional charge of RM50.00 per person is imposed for outskirt hotel's pick-up

*Package does not include diving permit fee of RM20.00 per diver for Malays! an or RM 50.00 per diver for Non-Malaysian

Book through Tour agents :
1) Great n Famous Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd. +60 88 474 246

Jesselton Point

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Daily boat services are available from the jetty of Jesselton Point at Kota Kinabalu City Center. Here, express boats transport visitors to the park and back.

Departure times from Kota Kinabalu Pick up times from the Park
9 am 10am 11 am 1.30 pm 2.30 pm 3.30 pm

More about Jesselton Point...


The plant life feature a mix of typical shoreline vegetation such as Pandanus dubius and Podocarpus polystachyus with those of the dipterocarp forests. Representative of the latter group are the Keruing with their narrow crowns of large dark green leaves and unique ridged two- winged fruits. The Seraya, Kapur and Selagan Batu are also to be found in abundance. The only undisturbed coastal dipterocarp forests are on Pulau Gaya, where the Hopea phillipineansis and Quassia borneensis are abundant. The Fish Tail and Nibong Palm flourish in the shady gulleys.

The park is home to the bearded pig, scaly pangolin, rats, squirrels and monkeys. Snakes and monitor lizards make up the reptile population. Large birds such as the white breasted sea- eagle, pied hornbill and green heron are found in large numbers. Smaller varieties such as the sandpiper, the pink-necked green pigeon, bulbul, flycatcher, sunbird and swiftlets also flourish within the tranquil park environment. One of the most intriguing birds around is the Megapode or Burung Tambun, a 'chicken look-alike', with large feet and which meows like a cat! It lays its eggs in huge mounds of sand and leaves at the edge of the beach. The fermentation of the leaves produces the heat necessary to incubate the eggs for successful hatching.

The best coral reefs are those between Pulau Sapi and Pulau Gaya. The colorful and delicately beautiful corals are living organisms which feed on the plankton floating in the sea. The reefs is home to many different kinds of fish, in all shapes and colors of the rainbow-the
butterfly fish, parrot fish, clown fish in stripes of bright yellow and white, and dragon fish: and/ those of the bigger variety such as the red grouper, barracuda and catfish. Other marine life include molluscs, giant clams, sea cucumbers, the beautiful feather starfish, sea urchins in brilliant hues, cowries shells and scorpion shells.

Pulau Sapi : A small island of 25 acres with some of the nicest beaches of clean white sand and sparkling crystal clear water and a coastline fringed with beautiful coral reefs. An ideal place for snorkeling, diving and swimming and discovery of the rich underwater treasures
Hiking trails through the interior provide an excellent opportunity for nature appreciation..

No accommodation facilities,
Facilities available are picnic shelters, barbeque pits, tables, changing rooms and toilets are provided for day use. Camping is allowed with the permission of the Park Warden.

Pulau Manukan : Shaped like a boomerang, Manukan covers 51 acres and is the second largest island in the group. The southern and eastern coastlines have a number of beautiful beaches - the best stretch being on the eastern tip. The surrounding crystal clear waters is ideal for snorkeling, diving and swimming. Trails around the island provide endless hours of exciting trekking in the cool, shady forest.

Facilities such as chalets, a clubhouse, restaurants, souvenir centre, diving centre, a swimming pool, tennis and squash courts are provided to make your stay an enjoyable and fun-filled experience.

There are 20 units of wooden chalets, situated on the lush green slope overlooking the sea. Set within a garden of swaying palms and vivid tropical blooms, they provide the perfect hide-away for overnight stays or leisurely weekends.

Reservations for accommodation can be made at:

Kinabalu Gold Resorts Sdn. Bhd.
Lot 3.46 & 3.47. 3rd Floor, Block C, Kompleks Karamunsing 88300 Kota Kinabalu.
Tel : 6-088-243629/245742 Fax : 6-088-242861 e-mail:

Mamutik Island
Pulau Mamutik : The smallest of the group, this island covers only 15 acres. Nevertheless, it is endowed with rich coral life which surrounds the island with a colorful underwater treasure trove. The rare white distichopora and reddendrophyllia are to be found in the reef at the north- eastern tip. This is the place for diving enthusiasts and snorkellers!
Mamutik Island and Sapi Island are less developed and hence beaches are cleaner.
Facilities such as changing rooms and toilets; picnic shelters and tables are provided for day trippers. There are no accommodation facilities but overnight camping on the island is allowed with prior permission from the Park Warden.

Pulau Sulug : This 20-acre island, being the least developed and the farthest away, has an almost untouched quality making it ideal for those seeking a more tranquil and deserted atmosphere. The shoreline is mostly rocky with beautiful patches of reef at the southern end. Corals such as the Acropora, Echnipora, Montipora
and Seriapora are a visual delight with their variety, delicate shape and brilliant colors.

Facilities such as changing rooms and toilets; picnic shelters and tables are provided for day trippers.

There are no accommodation facilities but overnight camping on the island is allowed with prior permission from the Park Warden.

Pulau Gaya : The largest island, is located about 15 miles from Kota Kinabalu. The 3,665 acre island has 16 miles of shoreline, certain stretches consisting of fine white sand. Popular beaches include Bulijong Bay and Police beach, a quarter mile of beautiful sand sloping gently into the crystal clear bay, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The untouched coastal dipterocarp forest makes it ideal for trekking and graded nature trails through the inland forest provides opportunities for a study of the various species of plant and animal life within .

Day use facilities include public shelters, changing rooms and public toilets.


The park was created for the protection of the natural environment, including the coral reefs, marine life and the flora and fauna. Certain guidelines have

 therefore been created to ensure the conservation of these natural treasures and visitors are advised to observe the regulations which are prominently displayed on all the islands.

Visitors are strictly prohibited to engage in any of the following activities:

• Hunt or carry firearms, poison, spearguns, and dangerous weapons within the park.
• Harm or disturb any plant, animal or other living things.

• Pick, cut, or collect plants, insects, corals, shells, and any other materials, dead or alive.

• Write names on rocks, trees, or shelters.

• Bring pets into the park.

Collecting of any plant, animal or other living or non-living things is strictly forbidden without prior written permission from the Director of Sabah Parks. Fishing, however, is permitted with hook and line only.
• Camping :
Adventurous visitors will enjoy an overnight camping trip at Pulau Sapi and Mamutik. Camping tents are available for rent.


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