Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

 

The TAR marine park is a cluster of islands comprising Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug, all only 10 to 20 minute speedboat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches.

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 underwater photographers.

Among the sandy seabed a good variety of marine life can be found such as Scorpion fish, Blue­spotted rays, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps and the occasional green or hawksbill turtle. At some locations, rare creatures such as the 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.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Dive Spots

Gaya Island
(Police Bay & Merangis Reef)

The dive sites around Gaya Island offers a fine mixture of shallow macro diving and shallow sloping walls full of coral reefs! You can also spot some amazing macro life such as frogfish, scorpionfish, lionfish, seahorses and nudibranchs. Depending on the season, you can also come across larger marine life such as turtles, schools of barracuda and tuna.

Sapi Island
(Agill Reef, Clement Reef, Sapi Reef, Ron Reef & Edgel Patch)

Known to be the most beautiful island within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sapi Island offers some amazing white pristine beaches and azure waters that offer sightings of stingrays, fusiliers, crocodile fish, cuttlefish, octopus, moray eels, nudibranchs, stonefish, anemone fish and more.

Manukan Island
(Manukan Reef & Mid Reef)

Manukan Island has healthy coral reefs that is teeming with a large school of reef fish. You may even be able to spot the very rare and valuable black coral while exploring the dive sites here. There is a small wooden wreck at Mid Reef that houses many unusual critters, such as shrimps, cuttlefish, frogfish and moray eels.

Sulug Island
(North Sulug & South Reef)

Situated at the southern tip of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sulug Island offers some of the best diving in the marine park with common sightings of sea snakes, turtles, rays, frogfish, morays, nudibranchs and the pristine corals.

Mamutik Island

Mamutik Island is the smallest island within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, however, don’t judge a book by its cover as Mamutik has got plenty to show under its water! Mamutik offers sightings of healthy coral reefs teeming with reef fish, both big and small. You may also be able to spot macro life, such as the frogfish, lionfish, leaf fish and more. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the giant underwater statue of a seahorse!