Tawau Hills Park: Surround yourself with Nature
Last January, I went to Tawau Hills Park after I attended one of my best friend’s wedding. Tawau is the third largest town in Sabah, after Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan. Additionally, Tawau is also the main gateway to one of the world’s top dive destinations – Sipadan Reef.
Tawau Hills Park is a recreational park and conservation area that is about 20 km away from Tawau Town. Getting there will be hard for non-local, as there is no bus available there. It is best to go there by using a taxi or Uber/Grab. Luckily for me, most of my friends live in Tawau, so I manage to get there without difficulty. The road from Tawau Town to Tawau Hills Park is quiet and secluded while passing by hills of oil palm plantations.
There is an entrance/ conservation fee that you will need to pay before entering Tawau Hills Park. With its size of 28,000 hectares, this park is open daily from 8 am until 4.30pm. Various comfortable facilities are available at the park for visitors. Such facilities are:
- Public toilets and shower rooms
- Barbecue and picnic area
- Suspension bridges
- Jungle trails
- Accommodations and hostels
- Meeting/seminar/workshop room
- Soccer Field/ Mini Hall & Court Games, and
Tawau Hills Park is also known by the locals as “Table”, which is based on a waterfall’s name. It became as one of the perfect places for family/group activities to do during the weekend or holidays. Several activities to do there are:
- Picnic and barbeque
- Swim in the river or the Sulphur Hot Spring
- Jungle Trekking Canopy Walkway
- Visit botanical garden
- Climb Mount Magdalena (1,312m) or Mount Lucia (1,202m)
If a day trip in the park is not enough for you, you can go do an overnighter at Magdalena Chalet or Bombalai Jungle Lodge. Besides that, there is a hostel available in the park, but it is a bit far from the headquarters. This hostel is for those who are going for climbing Mount Magdalena or Mount Lucia.
Unfortunately, my friends and I miss the chance to go for climbing activity at the Tawau Hills Park. So, if you like climbing, be sure not to make the same mistake like we did and left our hiking shoes at home! Since we don’t have that much time left in Tawau, we spent most of our time at the main headquarters park area.
Frankly speaking, being in Tawau Hills Park gave me a peace of mind and tranquility far beyond me chilling at home. Breathing in the cool clean air and swimming in crystal clear river while surrounded by lush green trees. Somehow, I regretted not bringing my hiking shoes that day, so I can explore more of the park area. I have read in one of the blogs that Tawau Hills Park do have some amazing waterfalls and Sulphurous Hot Springs (darn it!).
Apart from that, I manage to meet a few long-tailed macaques wandering around the park area. But, be aware and do not get close to the macaques. because they are mischievous animals and will grab anything from you. Funny thing is, it happened to us that day.(haha!) We were holding a plastic full of snacks, all of sudden one of the macaques jumped from the tree and frightened us. Lucky for us, we manage to run away from the macaques as fast as we could. (Haha!) It was unfortunate that it also happened to another visitor who left his backpack unattended. A group of cheeky macaques managed to steal a bag of chips and other things from his backpack! (Note: Keep an eye on your belongings and bags when visiting any Park)
Around 4 pm, time to head back to Tawau town, but it was not enough for me to explore Tawau Hills Park. I am sure to visit Tawau Hills Park again soon and this time I won’t be going for a short trip there. Planning to visit Sabah Borneo for Holiday? Be sure to put Tawau Hills Park as one of your must-visit for Borneo Holidays! Check out our choices of travel destination for this 2018, click here.
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