The 3,138 hectares Niah National Park was gazetted as a national park on 23 November 1974. It is located about 130 km away from Bintulu and 110 km away from Miri. It is about 3 km away from the nearest town known as Batu Niah.
Its importance was recognized when archaeologists found the oldest remains of humans in Southeast Asia in the Great Cave, believed to be 40,000 years old. The west mouth of the Great Cave is one of the biggest cave entrances in the world with a dimensions of 250 m wide and 60 m high.
The cave was believed to be a refuge for the early human civilization. You will encounter swiftlet birds and bats in the caves here. The locals collect the nests of the swiftlet birds to be processed and sold as birds nest cuisine, believe to be good for health by the Chinese. The guano which is the droppings of bats and birds is collected and used as fertilizer for vegetables and plants.
The Painted Cave is named so probably due to the small human-like figures drawn in red haematite.
There are two jungle trails that you can use to discover the flora and fauna here. They are Jalan Bukit Kasut Trail and Jalan Madu Trail. Look out for orchids, giant pandanus plants, fungi, balsam and begonia. Birds such as bulbuls, partridges, hornbills can be spotted as well. Look out also for the long-tailed macaques and squirrels.
Jalan Bukit Kasut Trail
This trail will lead you to the peak of Bukit Kasut or Kasut Hill. This trail will take you less about 50 minutes and is marked in green and white. See the vegetation and Kerangas forest at the foot of the hill. See the panoramic view of the tropical rain forest from this hill.
Jalan Madu Trail
This trail will take you along the banks of Sungai Subis, one of the tributary of Niah River. It is marked in red and white and will take you less than an hour to complete. You will pass though peat swamp forest.
Niah National Park Fees and Opening Hours
Entrance fee is RM10 for adult and RM5 for child. Remember to get a trail map of the park at the counter.
Opening Hours of the Park Headquarters
8.00am to 5.00pm daily
Basic accommodation is available at the park with chalets and hostels managed by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation. There are also inns such as Niah Cave Inn and Niah Cave Hotel for accommodation at Batu Niah town.
Niah National Park Cave Entrance
If you are coming from Miri, take a bus from the Miri Bus Station to Batu Niah. The journey will take you about 2 hours.
If you are coming from Bintulu, take a bus from Bintulu Bus Station to Batu Niah. The journey will take you about 3 hours depending on the condition of the road.
From Batu Niah, you will need to take a motorized longboat to the park headquarter at Pengkalan Batu, about 3km away. Other alternatives are taking a taxi or if you are not taking too many luggage, a 50 minutes walk will be another option.
Taking tour packages offered by local tour operators is another good option.
For bookings of accommodation and other enquiry, contact the park for further enquiries.
National Park Booking Office
Sarawak Forestry Corporation
Tel: +6 085 434 184