The Marine Park is a cluster of islands; Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. Pulau Gaya hosts the Gayana Eco Resort, Bunga Raya Resort and the Gaya Island resort by YTL. Visits to these premises require prior bookings. Pulau Sapi, Manukan and Mamutik host beach activities as well as snorkeling and diving. Island tours can be booked on the spot at the Jesselton Jetty except for diving which requires prior arrangements with a dive center. Island hopping is also an alternative.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park lying from 3 to 8 kilometers off Kota Kinabalu, comprises of 5 islands surrounded by coral reefs, It covers an area of 4,929 hectares of which two thirds is sea. The islands are Pulau Gaya, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, Pulau Sapi and Pulau Sulug. Because of the natural environment and clear waters that is typical for all the islands, plus the nearness and accessibility, picnickers, divers and nature lovers alike are attracted to them.
In 1882 there was a trading settlement on Pulau Gaya set up by the British North Borneo Chartered Company which was later moved to the mainland, now known as Kota Kinabalu. In 1974, the major part of Pulau Gaya and the whole of Pulau Sapi was gazetted as the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, covering an area of 8,990 acres (3,638 hectares). In 1979 it was increased to 12,185 acres (4,929 hectares) with the inclusion of the 3 nearby islands Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug.
The islands can be visited all year round. Temperatures are between 23.8 – 29.4 degrees Celsius and humidity remains relatively high throughout the year.
The islands, underlaid by folded sandstone and sedimentary rock, are part of the Crocker Range Rock Formation of the western coast of Sabah. Towards the end of the Ice Age about a million years ago, changes in sea level occurred, resulting in portions of the mainland being cut off by the sea, thus forming the islands as we know today. Exposed sandstone outcrops still feature the coasts of most of these islands forming cliffs, caves, honeycombs and deep crevasses along the shore.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is open daily from 8.30am to 5pm.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is accessible via 15 – 20 minutes speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu. The departure and arrival point for the boat transfers is at the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, situated next to the Malaysia Royal Custom Department. Boat transfers to the islands are available daily from 7.30am to 5pm.
Adults: RM3 per pax
Children (below 18 years old): RM1 per pax
Adults: RM10 per pax
Children (below 18 years old): RM6 per pax