Saturday, 14 December 2019

Paradise Islands off Kota Kinabalu

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP) also nick named the KK Marine Park features 5 beautiful islands Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Mamutik and Sulug. This famous marine park has been a marine park for more then 40 years and its marine life is carefully monitored and protected by Sabah Parks. As a result this area is home to thousands of schooling fish, pristine coral reefs, cool creepy critters such as Frogfish, Octopus, Sea horses, Orangutan crabs and much more! We also have some of the larger marine life such as Turtles, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Eagle rays, Cowtail Rays and even during Spring season the Whale Sharks sometimes come and visit.

All types of divers are welcome here, it is a great place for beginners and also fantastic for experienced divers who want to do a bit of photography. We often have snorkelers too who enjoy the sites of the outer reef rather then the beach seeing much more and get a bit of island time between intervals.There is something here to meet every divers and snorkelers tastes

Gaya Island

The largest island within the marine park and the closest to Kota Kinabalu. The name Gaya came from a Bajau word "Gayo"which means big.  The island is 3,700 acres in size and has an elevation of up to 300 meters.  The island is covered in dense tropical forest which is a forest reserve. On the island, there is a 20km long hiking path . There is great wildlife to be seen such as monitor lizards, bearded pigs and the beautiful hornbill birds. One of the popular sites of Gaya island is the legendary beach at Police Bay. There is a long stretch of white sand which slopes out gradually to the sea and make its a perfect spot for swimming and snorkelling in the crystal blue waters. The reefs around Gaya are still in great condition, making it a fantastic spot for diving. 
A mixture of shallow macro diving and shallow sloping walls full of coral reefs! Dive sites around this Island range from 5m-30m and offers some amazing macro life such as Frog Fish, Scorpion Fish, Lion Fish, Seahorses, Nudibranch╩╝s as well as larger marine life such as Turtles, Barracuda, Tuna and even Reef Sharks can be seen.

Sapi Island

Sapi means 'cow' and the island is said to be shaped like a cow's head.

Known to be the most beautiful island within the KK marine park. Connected to Gaya via Zip line (a.k.a Flying Fox) which is 235 Meter-long 771 (feet), this is open to thrill seekers who want to fly across the ocean at a vast speed between the two islands, known as the Coral Flyer. This is the world's longest island to island zip line. 

Sapi island is only 25 acres and the second smallest island of TARP. There is not only a wide variety of marine life, but on the island there are also Bearded pigs and monitor lizards. 

Sapi offers some amazing white pristine beaches with fantastic reefs for diving. Diving ranges from 8-25m and divers can expect to see Stingrays, Fusiliers, Crocodile Fish, Cuttlefish, Octopus, Moray Eels, lots of nudibranchs, Stone Fish and Anemone Fish plus much more

                                                                 Photo of Gaya & Sapi island

Manukan Island
This is the second largest island in TARP quite a popular island for our residents as it has long stretched of beautiful beach for relaxing on and snorkelling around. It is also covered with dense vegetation and has great hiking trails. This Island has very healthy coral reefs teaming with many reef fish and you can even see the very rare and valuable Black Coral diving at this Island. Dive sites vary from 7-25m which makes this island ideal for all levels of divers.
                                                       Photo of Manukan, Mamutik & Sulug

Mamutik Island 
This is the smallest island in the clusters of TARP at about 15 acres in size. However this island goes to show that size is not always everything!  A peaceful and mesmerising island with a quiet beach to laze around on. The rich coral reefs are diverse in marine life. Mamutik Island offers divers and snorkelers very healthy coral reefs teaming with a large variety of large and small reef fish. There are also lots of rare macro life such as Frog fish, Lion Fish, Leaf Fish, plus many more. This island is also home to a giant underwater statue of a Seahorse! The Island itself is like an Island post card with pristine white sandy beaches-most of our divers never want to leave

Sulug Island
Located on the most southern tip of KK marine park Sulug is the most remote and least visited by tourists. It is around 20 acres. The island has no amenities, thus this island offers nature at its best! A long sand spit extending outwards into the ocean. The diving here is ranked among the best in the marine park with common sightings of sea snakes, turtles, rays, frog fish, morays, lots of nudibranchs, and the coral is pristine with an abundance of marine life-truly a divers haven. We highly recommend you dive here for your 2nd or 3rd day diving within the park.
                                                 Our rich coral reefs in TARP