Usun Apau & Julan Waterfall Trek

The Usun Apau Plateau is a National Park of intense splendour. Often referred to as the garden of eden, this thick jungle is no easy feat to trek through. The reward is setting eyes upon the tallest waterfall in Malaysia. The Julan waterfall drops a stunning 300 meters from the cliff of the plateau into the green rainforest below.

The trails are rarely traveled and can only be navigated by a handful of locals. This trek will challenge you. It’s worth it though, as the jungle is in pristine condition because people rarely venture here.

The Usun Apau plateau can only be visited by a long journey over four-wheel drive trails and many hours of trekking. This tour is not for the faint-hearted. However, once you conquer the plateau, you will be overcome with a feeling of true accomplishment as you lay eyes on this stunning Julan waterfall.

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About the Tour:

Our 3 day Usun Apau National Park & Julan Waterfall trek will take you to an area where not many people venture and for good reason. It takes 5-hours in a four wheel drive to even reach the Usun Apau. You will drive along mountain ridges with views spanning many kilometres far and wide. You will eventually reach a small community, who live at the foothills of the mighty Usun Apau Plateau.

This trip is all about trekking and experiencing the undisturbed Borneo jungle. Together with your local guide, you will make your way through the overgrown jungle along small paths. Small rivers and other obstacles will have to be crossed in order to reach the top of the plateau. You’ll spend two nights camping in the forest with only the sounds of nature surrounding you.

The ultimate highlight of this tour is to view the intense 300-meter high Julan waterfall, one of the tallest waterfalls in Malaysia. The river drops from a breathtaking height from the plateau onto the rocks below, creating a strong windy force felt at the foot of the drop. Even though you will battle leeches and mosquitoes, the feeling you will get while standing in front of this majestic waterfall will make the challenging trek worth it.

About Usun Apau National Park and the Julan Waterfall:

The Usun Apau Plateau is part of the Usun Apau National Park, located in the interior of Northern Sarawak at some 250 kilometres from Miri city. The area can only be visited by four-wheel-drive, which takes approximately 5 hours from the nearest international airport in Miri. The mountainous area is covered in thick and pristine forest.

The plateau of Usun Apau lies some 820 meters above sea level. Usun Apau plateau is considered the ancestral home of the Orang Ulu tribes, specifically the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan. In the early 1900s, the communities that once lived in this “garden of eden” resettled closer to the larger rivers. This migration was due to the difficult connection to the outside world from this remote place.

Usun Apau is the barrier between Sarawak’s two major rivers, the Rejang River that meets the sea near Sibu and the Baram river that flows into the sea near Miri.

The Usun Apau Plateau was created millions of years ago from the eruption of three, now extinct, volcanoes.

About Usun Apau National Park’s Wildlife:

Mammals:

  • Banded Linsang (Prionodon linsang): A tree-dwelling animal that is endemic to Southeast Asia. It can grow up to 75cm in length, including its tail. Its fur is a pale yellow with dark bands. Its tail is covered in several dark bands. The animal has very sharp teeth and retractable claws.
  • Tufted Ground Squirrel (Rheithrosciurus macrotis): A squirrel endemic to the island of Borneo. The diet of this animal consists of nuts, seeds and insects. Listed by IUCN as Vulnerable and a totally protected species in Sarawak.
  • Hose’s Langur (presbytis hosei): A black and white langur that is endemic to Borneo. It can only be found in the north-eastern parts of the island. Listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable.
  • Oriental Small-Clawed Otter (Amblonyx cinerea): a small otter found at Usun Apau to up to 1300 meters above sea level. This otter lives in groups and has shorter claws than other Bornean otters.

Birds:

  • Bornean hill-partridge (Arborophila hyperythra): A small bird endemic to Borneo. It prefers to live around bamboos and thickets.
    Bulwer’s Pheasant (Lophura bulweri): A white tailed pheasant found only in Borneo. The bird has blue facial skin and can grow up to 80 centimetres in length.
  • Whitehead’s Broadbill (Calyptomena whiteheadi): A vivid green broadbill with a black throat that lives in the montane forests of Northern Borneo.
  • Bornean Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo melanops): A kingfisher endemic to Borneo. The bird has a red beak and shiny blue head and wing feathers.

Itinerary

Day 1 Miri – Farmhouse

  • Pick up from Miri Hotel.
  • Transfer to Lapok village (approximately two hours).
  • Visit the Lapok village and together with the guide purchase food for the coming days.
  • Continue a gravel road along the mountain ridges to the Sky View Café (approximately one hour).
  • Have lunch at the Sky View Café.
  • Proceed along the gravel road towards the farmhouse (approximately two hours).
  • Arrive at the farmhouse and meet the local guides.
  • Make yourself comfortable at the farmhouse.
  • Dinner and overnight at the farmhouse.

Day 2 Farmhouse – Usun Apau Plateau – Basecamp

  • Wake up early and have breakfast.
  • Gear up and start trekking along an old and forgotten logging trail for about six kilometres.
  • At the end of the logging trail, continue along a small hunting trail.
  • Cross various streams and start climbing to the top of the Usun Apau Plateau.
  • Enjoy a packed lunch along the way.
  • Arrive at the top of the plateau at about 1100m height in the mid-afternoon.
  • Proceed to cross over the flat plateau towards the basecamp.
  • Depending on the speed, arrive at the base camp in the mid-afternoon.
  • Set up camp and help the porters make dinner.
  • Dinner and overnight in the basecamp.

Day 3 Basecamp – Julan Waterfall – Basecamp

  • Wake up to the sounds of the jungle and have a simple breakfast.
  • Gear up with your day-pack and follow the guide to the base of Sarawak’s tallest waterfall – the Julan Falls.
  • Climb down the slope for about two hours and reach the base of the powerful waterfall.
  • Relax nearby the base of the waterfall.
  • Retrace your steps to the top of the plateau.
  • Reach the basecamp and have lunch.
  • Spend the afternoon free at leisure. There is an option to visit a jungle pool where you can swim.
  • Dinner and overnight at the basecamp.

Day 4 Basecamp – Farmhouse

  • Wake up and have breakfast.
  • Retrace your steps back to the farmhouse.
  • Have a packed lunch along the way.
  • Trek for about six hours back to the farmhouse.
  • Arrive at the farmhouse and relax.
  • Dinner and overnight at the farmhouse.

Day 5 Farmhouse – Miri

  • Wake up and have breakfast.
  • Pack up your gear and hop aboard the transport vehicle back to Miri.
  • Lunch is served along the way at a local restaurant.
  • Reach Miri in the mid-afternoon.

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