Lying just 3 to 8 kilometers off the
coast off Kota Kinabalu, The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park covers an area of 49
square kilometers comprises of 5 islands surrounded by coral reefs and sea.
The islands are Pulau Gaya, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi and Pulau
Established as a marine park in 1974, it is named after the first Prime
Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. The islands natural vegetation,
white sandy beaches and its surrounding shallow clear waters with its
underwater gardens of the coral reefs, plus the nearness and accessibility
makes it a popular destination for beach beach goers, picnickers, divers and
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
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.
Those wishing to stay and enjoy the coral reefs, mangrove and lowland tropical
rainforest, have three great choices. Firstly, there's an
international-standard resort on Gaya Island, with luxurious chalet
accommodation. Second, Manukan Island offers several wooden chalets. Finally,
public shelters, a restaurant and picnic tables, and a rest house are
available on Mamutik Island.
TAR Marine Park ~
Comprising of 5 islands - Details and information on Pulau Gaya,
Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi and Pulau Sulug.
TAR Marine Park ~ Diving
Info on Diving in TAR Marine Park, description of Dive sites