Tunku Abdul Rahman Park lies 3km to 8km outside of Kota Kinabalu and consists of five islands, Pulau Gaya, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi and Pulau Sulug. The parks shallow waters make this a perfect location for novice divers and the rare marine creatures attract underwater photographers and experienced divers. Some of the marine life that can be found include scorpion fish, cuttlefish, blue-spotted lagoon rays and with the help of our experienced dive masters even mandarin fish and ghost pipefish can be seen.
During the British rule in 1882, a trading settlement was set up in Gaya Island by British North Borneo Chartered Company. This company later shifted to the mainland, Kota Kinabalu. After 92 years, finally in 1974, Pulau Gaya and the whole of Pulau Sapi became Tunku Abdul Rahman Park , named after the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.. The park today covers an area of 12, 185 acres (4,929 hectares) of which two-thirds is sea. In 1979 Manukan Island, Pulau Mamutik and Sulug Island also became part of TARP.
TARP can be visited all year round. The islands are basically made up of sandstones and sedimentary rocks and are part of the Crocker Range rock formation. According to some experts, about a million years ago during the Ice Age, major changes in the sea level caused portions of the mainland to be cut off by the sea, thus forming the islands we see today. Exposed sandstone outcrops still feature the along the coasts of most of these islands forming cliffs, caves, honeycombs and deep crevasses.
In each of the 5 islands many different types of flora and fauna can be found.Plant life on the islands is a mixture of typical shore line vegetation and trees such as those found in lowland dipterocarp forests. The most common animals that have made their homes on the islands here include squirrels, monkeys, pied hornbills, sea eagles, monitor lizards and various types of snakes, bearded pigs and scaly pangolins commonly known as Anteaters.
Activities on all islands include scuba diving snorkelling, kayaking, para-sailing and good old swimming and sunbathing to name but a few!
Sabah Parks charge a conservation fee for visitors to the islands. For non-Malaysians the fee is RM10 for adults and RM6 for children.