If you are looking for a family holiday with your children, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park in Sabah is worth considering going. Located about 20 minutes away by speed boat from Kota Kinabalu, this marine park consists of five islands and coral reefs. It is named after Malaysia's first prime minister, Tun Abdul Rahman when gazetted as a National Park in 1974.
The Sutera Harbour Jetty is one of the jetties that you can go to take a speedboat to the islands.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park taken from the aeroplane.
The five islands that formed this park are Gaya Island, Manukan Island, Mamutik Island, Sapi Island and Sulug Island. Gaya Island is the biggest island in the park and has been a forest reserve since 1923. There is a Marine Ecology Research Centre in the island. As this island is occupied by illegal immigrants from the Phillipines, it is not advisable for tourists to go to this island.
Manukan Island is the second biggest island in this park and is the recommended island to go for snorkelling, diving and swimming. There are many coral reefs and plenty of colourful fishes that will make your snorkelling fun especially if you are taking your children along with you. Do remember to wear a safety vest to enable you to float if you are not good at swimming. You can rent one at the beach.
Manukan Island is the most developed island with 20 units of chalets, clubhouse, restaurants and a diving centre. If you are staying here, you can enjoy other facilities such as squash, tennis courts, swimming pool and even a football field.
If you are not keen to stay here, you can always take a day or half a day as a family outing to this island. Many visitors stay at the city and travel here for half a day's trip before going back in the afternoon. The higher end hotels include the Sutera Harbour Resort, The Magellan Sutera andThe Pacific Sutera. Other hotels at the city include Gaya Centre Hoteland Hyatt Regency Kota Kinabalu.
The budget hotel Tune Hotel is located further away from the city centre but is near the 1Borneo Shopping Mall. The 1Borneo Mall is the largest shopping mall in East Malaysia.
The entrance to Manukan Island Marine Park at the jetty.
The crystal clear beach for you to do your snorkelling, diving and swimming. Remember to bring alonga loaf of bread or purchase it from the centre when you do your snorkelling or diving. The colourful fishes will come near you as you feed them.
Remember to bring along your snorkelling and diving gears. Otherwise, you can also rent them at the beach.
Though it is the smallest island in the park, Mamutik Island or Pulau Mamutik has some good beaches and coral reefs for you to see and enjoy. Limited facilities such as rest house, toilets, changing rooms, barbeque pits, fresh water and electricity are available.
Sapi Island is located at the South West of Pulau Gaya. It has one of the nicest beaches in the park for tourists to do snorkelling and scuba diving. It too has basic facilities such as barbeque pits, changing rooms and toilets.
If you are looking for a quiet place to go far away from the crowd, Sulug Island is the island to go. Not as developed compared to other islands, there are good reefs and beautiful fishes to see.
Once you arrived at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, the entrance fee charged is RM3/adult and RM1/child. You only need to pay once even though you will be doing island excursion within the park.
The conservation fee entrance ticket.
Getting To Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
If you are staying in Sutera Harbour Hotel, the jetty is just beside the hotel. There are regular boats that go to the marine park of which you can book in advance. For an island trip, the cost is approximately RM35/adult and RM21/child.
One such service provider is Sea Quest which is located just within walking distance from Sutera Harbour Hotel.
Sea Quest Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd
1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard
88000 Kota Kinabalu.
Tel: +6 088 248006 or +6 088 230992