Last Updated on Monday, 12 September, 2016 10:35:55 AM


Tawau Hills Park's

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Tawau Hills Park

A Sanctuary For Tallest Trees in the World
... just 30 minutes drive from Tawau Town center...

TEL : (6088) 211881 / 212508 / 212719  FAX : (6088) 221001 / 211585
E-mail: my

Three fascinating features of Tawau Hills Park :

1) Sulphur Spring
2) Bukit Gelas Waterfall
3) Tallest tropical tree in the world

Been to Tawau Hills Park? Share your experiences!
Review from TripAdvisor community

The natural wonders of Tawau Hills Park, Malaysia
By Asian Correspondent Nov 01, 2012 11:12AM UTC

Fauna in Tawau Hills Park

Macaques, creamy white leaf monkeys, giant tree squirrels, civet cats and leopard cats inhabit the park's dense primary forests. Borneo's largest wild cat - the clouded leopard, though rarely seen is not uncommon. It preys on smaller mammals such as rats and even bigger wild pigs. Other inhabitants of the harmless kind include hornbills and pheasants and the slow-moving forest tortoise. More...

Fauna at Sulphurous Springs



Bird Breeding Centre
Tawau Hills Park



Tawau Hills Park Headquarter

Tawau Hills Park Headquarters
comprises of  :

1 - Park office
2 - Nature trails to waterfalls
3 - Nature trails to hot springs
4 - A Chalets and two Hostels
5 - Restaurants 
6 - Staff accommodation

The headquarter of Tawau Hills Park is at the southern boundary of the park and  reachable by good road.  Those pages in the web still describing the road condition as "a maze of some rather rough roads but that’s part of the adventure !" is outdated for more then 10 years.

The distance is merely 24 kilometers away from Tawau.  But no public bus service is available. Visitors have to make their own transport arrangements to the park by taxi or through hotel. Those buses you saw parking in front the park entrance are private charted by local people. These local village young people weekly come to the park in bus lots for "parties". Many "sneak through" the entrance gate with out paying entrance fees. The public park ground became a "cigarette smoking heaven" of the youngsters.


Canopy Walkways
Canopy Walkways
Tawau Hills Park

Many species of tropical rainforest animals spend their time in the forest canopy. The canopy layer is situated more than 20 meters above the ground and is a convenient natural hideout for many animals.

Canopy walkway is the best ways to observe such animals. Animals in the canopy appear less fearful to human compared to when observed on the ground.



Bombalai Hill (Bukit Bombalai)

canopy walkways


Bombalai Hill (Bukit Bombalai)
Tawau Hills Park


Tawau Hills Park lies 24 km NW of Tawau and was gazette to protect water catchments resources for Tawau Town and the Semporna Peninsula. At least 7 major rivers in Sabah originate here. The Tawau River flows through the middle of the 27,972 ha park and forms many natural deepwater pools and waterfalls, for example, the Table Waterfall.

The Park Headquarters comprises an office and staff accommodation. There are chalet, hostels and a restaurant operated by KOKTAS, the Sabah Parks staff cooperative. Nature trails lead to waterfalls and hot springs.

The terrain is hilly with two prime elevations - Gunung Magdalena ( 1310 meters) and Gunung Lucia ( 1201 meters). Bombalai Hill (530 meters) is a landmark with the remains of a crater.

Lowland dipterocarp forest dominates. Above 1,000 meters, thick damp mossy forest takes over. Orchids, epiphytes and forest herbs grow in abundance. The mengaris tree - notorious for its beehives - is common here. Animal life is varied ranging from Long Tailed Macaques and the Red Leaf Monkey to cats, hornbills and pheasants.

Tawau Hills Park is being developed as a field lowland research centre, particularly in tropical wildlife research. Among the facilities to be constructed are the research exhibits and laboratory building, an aviary and animal enclosure, canopy walkways and observation towers. Currently there are permanent ecological transects and plots and a lowland garden featuring wild orchids and other herbs and plants. Research projects include those on primates and hornbills.


Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan said in responding to Sabah DAP’s claims of illegal logging operations at the geothermal power plant project site in Tawau :

● Logging has been allowed at 150ha of the pristine Tawau Hills Park, which is about the size of Penang island, to make way for Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant.

● The clearing and extraction of 1,639 logs was for the project site located in Sabah’s east coast.

● The logging clearing were also meant for the drilling of seven thermal wells in the area. The logs were also extracted for the construction of roads and laying of pipes involving an area of some 40km.

● The logs had been sold at a loss as the extraction cost was RM475 per cubic meter while they were sold for just RM420 per cubic meter.

● Sabah Government had received some RM340,000 in royalties from the timber extracted from the area.

● Tawau forestry officers had carried out a thorough investigation on claims of illegal logging at the 27,972ha park.

Claims that logging at the park area was illegal and for profit were thus baseless and causing unnecessary public alarm, Datuk Sam Mannan said

“The only source of logs from the Tawau Hills Park was the site which had been cleared for the RM500mil geothermal plant project,” Datuk Sam Mannan said in a local daily.

The 30mW geothermal plant is being built by Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd, which signed a 21-year power supply deal with Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd in 2012.

Tawau Hills Park was established in 1979 and has seven major rivers flowing through it.

The highest points in the conservation area are the 1,319m Gunung Magdelena and the 1,201m Gunung Lucia.


Source : The Star Online. Published: Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tawau Hills Park trees to be replaced by geothermal plant

Exploring Mother Nature in Tawau Hills Park

Exploring Mother Nature in Tawau Hills Park

Mother Nature is Earth’s precious treasure we should always try our best to preserve.
We must do the very best to protect and preserve the Mother Nature for as long as we can remember.
When you visit Tawau , be sure to witness with your very own eyes the protected nature of the Earth -start off with Tawau Hills Park.



Tallest tropical tree in the world


"We were surprised when the scientist told us that the world's tallest tropical rainforest tree is here. To us it is like a treasure to Tawau. Even though some years ago, this area was known as a logging district, we still have a treasure for future generations"

Tawau Hills Park manager Ariffin Johari
told BERNAMA on 6th August 2010

This  tropical tree is only 900 meters from Tawau Hills Park's Office.

The park has constructed a natural trial for visitor to see this tallest tree in Malaysia (the Tallest TROPICAL TREE in the world). Along the trial visitors breath the fresh forest air, view the lush greenery of various plants in this protected forest and, if you are lucky, see the friendly Red Leaf Monkey that live in this protected jungle.


Hot Springs - Mother Nature's very own spa - the Hot Springs, where you can ease your tired muscles and weary bones while luxuriating in the therapeutic warmth of the 'geo-thermal' pool. More on Tawau Hot Spring ...

Tawau Hills Park – Exploring Mother Nature

by SIMON LEE on APRIL 17, 2012

Mother Nature is Earth’s precious treasure we should always try our best to preserve.

The local government and local people of Sabah had been trying their very best to protect and preserve the Mother Nature for as long as we can remember.

Thus, if you are to visit Sabah, be sure to witness with your very own eyes the effort the local government and the local people poured in to protect this nature of the Earth.

The one place which you can start off is the Tawau Hills Park, located in Tawau.

Upon reaching the place, you will find yourself being instantly immersed in a very green environment which will make you feel even closer to the nature than you usually are.

Breath in the fresh air and smell the freshness of the green plants surrounding you. This is a chance you will not obtain often, judging on the fact that you always spend most of your time in the big city with the huge buildings and busy streets distorting and blocking your view of the beautiful nature.

In order to get closer with the Mother Nature, there are also various activities you can attempt to conduct when you are in the park.

 It is highly recommended for you to visit the park with your friends and family to share the enjoyment of being immersed in the precious Mother Nature.

Here, you can start off by having a picnic session in the park in which you can grab the chance for more bonding session with your love ones; or you can also camp in the park to be further immersed in the green environment while obtaining a thrilling experience of spending the night out with the wildlife.

If you are interested with the different flora species in Sabah, the Tawau Hills Park is also the perfect place for you to venture in.

You can find a lot of labels as you explore the park, which helps you in enhancing your knowledge on the plant species being preserved in the park.

Here, you can even get the chance to witness some rare flora species such as the Elephant Ear’s Orchid which you would not get to see elsewhere.

Various fauna species also stroll around the place.

It would not be surprising for you to catch a glimpse of the giant tree squirrels, and even various monkey species when you are exploring the park.

There are also clean rivers in the park for you to have a good swim which you can wash away your tiredness and sweat after a good day of exploration in the park.

 See also The largest rock-and-gravel filled dam on earth

Walking on the mountain trial you may be allured by the sound and  sight of cool mountain streams that tumble downslope as frothy waterfalls and cascades.

Sabah's  tropical  frequent rains results in streams that flow consistently throughout the year. Where layers of hard rock occur and water  unable to cut downward to the same extent they have in softer surrounding rock, the result is often a sharp precipice and a waterfall. Throughout Tawau Hills Park each valley has a system of branches, streams and rivers that provides natural beauty and pleasures.

I always enjoy hiking to a waterfall or just listening quietly to a stream and observing the creatures  living in these cool waters. Water splashing over mossy rocks seems to evoke a response in people as though they were drawn to it by some ancient instinctive attraction.
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

This is an nursery rhyme I learned in primary school from my American Peace Corps English teacher many many years ago. Today as I watched this water gently flow downstream and ponder the past, life is indeed but a dream.

There is nothing very special at the entrance of Tawau Hills Park. To see the real Tawau Hills Park you will need to jungle trekking into the forest to see the beauty of this place. 

From Tawau town, take a cab of 30 minutes drive to get there. Entering this park is actually walking into the oldest virgin forest in the world. In a good day you might be lucky enough to see some small animals in the jungle.

After trekking of about 1 hour you will arrive Hot springs in this park. Or just less then 30 minutes walk you come to touch with your own fingers the Tallest Tropical Tree of the world -- and tie a wish ribbon with a wish.

Tawau Hills National Park is located in south-eastern Sabah and is bounded by the Ulu Kalumpang Forest Reserve on the northern side and Mount Andrassy Forest Reserve on the south. The eastern and western sides are bordered by agricultural lands mainly cocoa and oil palm plantations.

The terrain within the park is quite rugged and hilly with three main peaks in the form of extinct volcanoes namely:

  • 1) Gunung Magdalena (1,310 m asl)
  • 2) Gunung Lucia (1,189 m asl)
  • 3) Gunung Maria (1,067 m asl)

Both Gunung Maria and Gunung Magnalena are off-limits to the public, but a jungle trail is being constructed to Gunung Lucia for hiking of the public.

The southern perimeter contains some of the last remaining non-swampy land under primary forest in Sabah. Seven important rivers with water catchment areas are confined largely or entirely within the park boundary. They are :

  • 1) Sungai Tawau (the main river in the park)
  • 2) Sungai Kinabutan in the centre
  • 3) Sungai Mantri
  • 4) Sungai Balung in the east
  • 5) Sungai Merotai Kanan,
  • 6) Sungai Merotai Kecil and
  • 7) Sungai Junap (a tributary of Sungai Merotai Besar) in the west.

From Tawau, one can further venture to Maliau Basin- the lost world of Borneo. Be well prepared mentally and physically to take up this challenge. This is one of the few remaining areas virtually untouched by man - not just in Sabah and Malaysia, but in the whole World!.

Lowland Orchid Garden

Taman Tanah Rendah (Lowland Garden) Lush dipterocarp forest vegetation and lianas cover the lower regions giving way to thick damp mossy forests as the altitude gets higher and temperatures get cooler. The variety of plant life found within Tawau Hills Park include Agathis, Mountain Ru, Tree ferns, different species of orchids and begonia. More...



Cool streams of mountain water meandering through a lush tropical forest and waterfalls and into .......... our drinking cups.

The water we drink comes from here.

The lush area of 27,972 hectares forests of the Tawau Hills Park serves as an important water catchments area for Tawau and Semporna. The area was gazette by Malaysian Government in 1979 as a National Park to protect the natural environment with its unique flora and fauna and to ensure an uninterrupted water supply for the region.

This park is the water catchments area for five major rivers in Tawau - Sungai Tawau, Sungai Balung, Sungai Merotai, Sungai Kalumpang and Sungai Andrassy.

This makes Tawau Hills Park the main water supplier to three districts in the Sabah's East Coast - Tawau, Semporna and Kunak that have almost one million population.

The source of  life giving water of one million people comes from here. So PLEASE do not destroy our forests.



Cool streams meandering through a lush tropical forest setting and waterfalls cascading excitingly into frothing rocky pools down below, make it an ideal location for picnics and refreshing dips away from the stress and strains of everyday life. More...



Accommodation in Tawau Hills Park
1 hostel and 2 jungle lodges are available for visitors. The campsite can accommodate 500 to 1000 campers. More...


 Rugged volcanic terrain cover the natural landscape, in sharp contrast to the neatly cultivated plantations of oil palm, cocoa and rubber on the flat coastal plains.

There are also jungle trails for those who wish to explore the forest, study its varied plant life at closer range and, maybe be fortunate enough to spot its shy inhabitants.

For something more challenging, climb the Bombalai Hill. At 530 meters above sea level, it offers a sweeping panorama of the plantations, Tawau town in the far distance and the Sulawesi Sea on the horizon.


The park headquarters at the southern boundary is merely 24 kilometers away from Tawau. Visitors have to make their own transport arrangements to the park which is accessible via a maze of some rather rough roads but that's part of the adventure!


The following information generally applies to all parks in Sabah

Park Regulations Visitors are advised to observe the Park's regulations while in the Park. Under the Sabah Parks Enactment of 1984, it is an offence to: -

• kill, capture, disturb or remove any animal, nest or eggs.

• remove, damage or set fire to any vegetation or any object of geological, historical or scientific interest.

• introduce any outside plant or animal.

• deface or write on any rocks, trees or buildings.

These regulations protect the Park for your benefit, the benefit of your children and for future generations.

Favorite weekend outing spot of the local people.... More photo

A newly completed sealed road leads to the park passing through Oil palm and cocoa estates.

 The Tropical Rainforest

The Tawau Hills National Park was gazette in 1979 and comprises 27,972 ha.  Located 24 Km from Tawau town, this area is accessible by road and the Park Head Quarters are located at the entrance of the park. The highest point of the park at 1310 m is Gunung Madalena. The park offers picnic areas, a vast camping site, and chalets, and is very popular with Tawau local residents on weekends.


Sabah's Hidden Treasure
Gunung Mulu The Mulu Cave in Miri

 WWF-Malaysia’s Semporna Coral Reefs Project

Semporna Coral Reefs Project  is a project on managing coral reefs with fisheries and tourism.  So that  these coral reefs and marine ecosystems will remain healthy and  managed  to protect biodiversity.

This Semporna Coral Reefs Project Marine conservation project partnerships including :
Department of Fisheries
Sabah Parks
District Office of Semporna
Commercial and traditional fishers
Dive and resort operators for tourism



 September 12, 2016 10:35:55 AM

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