Last Updated on Sunday, 10 June, 2016 11:17:58 AM
|PLACES OF INTEREST IN TAWAU > TAWAU HILLS PARK|
|8 Parks of Sabah:
– 3 terrestrial parks (our main concern)
– 5 marine parks
• Total terrestrial park areas: 234, 261 Ha
Jungle Trekking to Mountains
Jungle Trekking to
Route B -
Route C -
For adventurous hiker there is a 14 km jungle trail to the
highest peak in Tawau Hills Park at Mt. Magdalena. The walk
meander through the lowland forest and lower montane forest.
3 days is required for Route A (two mountains) climb.
There are 2 routes. Route A to
Magdalena and Lucia; Route B to Maria
Clouded Leopard Programme
Dr. Andrew Hearn has been studying Bornean wildcats for several years and is the leading expert on Sunda Clouded Leopards and the Borneo Bay Cat.
He conducted, 2008-2014, his field research in Tawau Hills Park for his PhD, studying multiple aspects of the ecology of the felids including population size, density, habitat preference, habitat use and prey base.
In Tawau Hills Park, Andrew Hearn runs a camera trap survey partially funded by Sime Darby Foundation, as part of Clouded Leopard Programme.
More about NGO Non-governmental organizations in Sabah
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...
If not because of the leeches, Tawau Hills Park can easily a popular crowded public area in Tawau. (After all this town has no other more interesting place to go)
While the open space in recreation areas are not common with leeches, they are plentiful in the jungle. Those going for a jungle hike, beware of the leeches. Though they are "harmless" other then just sticking on your skin sucking your blood without any of your feeling. Unlike mosquito, leeches can stick on you skin for hours.
They are every where during rainy days in the jungle trails. On the ground, on the trees, on the leaves.
Leeches inject our skin with an anesthetic so that we are not feeling these unwelcome hitchhikers on our skin, an anticoagulant that prevents the blood from clotting, and chemicals that prevent the blood from decaying.
But the good thing of Tawau Hills Park is that there are no mosquitoes. Mosquitoes spread disease. Leeches do not. There are no mosquito is because of the well developed nature ecology of the forest. Mosquitoes breed well only in human dwelling areas such towns and cities.
A campsite, 1 chalet, 1 jungle lodge and 1 mountain lodge are available for visitors.
The campsite can accommodate 500 to 1000 campers.
Rainy day - bad day for the
Tawau Hills Park is about nature. Nature needs sunlight and nature's beauty shine under sunlight. So choose a sunny day to come. This choosing a time may not be possible for travellers who are passing Tawau on transit or in a tide schedule.
Rain can easily ruined your day in the park. Visitors can easily stuck with rain hour or hours. Even after the rain is over, the park is no more an delightful place to wonder around.
This is also an excellent location for "Hug A Tree Exercise"
Properly dress for hiking. Walking with shorts and T-shirt
only becoming easy targets for leeches.
Many poor knowledge city people thinking Tawau Hills Park is
like their city-parks back home. Coming with poor outfits ruined many of these
If you are not a adventurous nature lover, going all the way out to a park like this has nothing special interesting enough. But then if you are really a nature lover, a jungle park is a different world of wonders.
If you aim is for hiking, Tawau Hills Park offers 2-3 day hikes to distant hills Mount Magdalena, Mount Lucia and Mount Maria. You require a guide (inexpensive). Once you are out of the public recreation area, the only lodge available in the jungle is at 10.5Km. This is the place hikers spend overnight on their way to Magdalena or Lucia. Remember, pre booking is required with the park office.
If you do not plan to stay over night but only have a day or half day in the park, then wandering through thick lowland rainforest near by the recreation area will keep you fully occupied for a nice half-day visit.
If you are not a nature lovers,
Tawau Hills Park is a very boring park. During raining seasons, you may
see no wildlife except leeches on your body. Be well prepared for
leeches. This creature is what keep tropical jungle parks unpopular for
many soft skin tourists. Adventurers and nature lovers are hard skin.
Those who plan to hike up to Mt. Lucia and Mt. Magdanela can expect to spot interesting animals such as Gibbons, red leaf monkeys, hornbills, birds, civits and small wildlife such as scorpions, snakes, spiders.
Those do not hike can just enjoy peaceful stay at the only hostel with near by cool stream, canopy walk, a water lily and short jungle walk near by.
The hostel is a low cost Rm25.00 per bed ideal for backpackers. So for conform seeking tourists may not expect the service of a 5 stars hotel.
There is no bus going to Tawau Hills Park which is 24Km from most hotels
in Tawau town center.
Get a taxi or a GRAB from Tawau Town center.
A taxi costs us RM 40 to RM50 one way.
From the airport, the park is 45 km away and about 1 hour car journey.
A taxi from the airport to the park cost around RM 70-80 one way and takes around 1 hour. A GRAB is almost half the cost. But rememb er to make confirmation with drivers for return journey. There is no bublic bus or Taxi stand at the park. During weekdays when few local come to the park with their cars, a visitors may not find any passing vehicles for free rides hitchhikingback to town.
There is a small caffe at the park's entrance but do not expect much beyond teh, kopi and teh tarik with fried noodles. The park was crowded when I was there as it was weekend but most of the locals stayed for picnic only around the park's entrance or ventured to the waterfall. I met several bird watchers with high-end photographic equipment so the life is definitely there.
You also need to call for a Taxi for you return journey. Or a GRAB which is difficult to get in return journey from the park.
Many visitors hitchhike back to town. During weekend when the park is crowded with local picnickers, foreign visitors can find friendly local generously offering a free ride to town.
It is a local habit to close operation for small matters. So do expect to find the canopy walk is blocked, bird sanctuary is closed and botanical garden is locked for no good reasons. Even the managers themselves do not know when will it be opened again. After 1 week? After 1 months?
Tawau Hills Park's
|A SANCTUARY WITHIN PLANTATIONS
Tawau Hills Park lies 24 km NW of Tawau and was gazetted to protect water catchment resources for Tawau Town and the Semporna Peninsula. At least 7 major rivers 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.
Before the present sealed road was completed in year 2000, visitors had to passed thought a network of mud roads passing through private oil palm plantations.
Today visitor still see oil palm and cocoa fringe the park's boundaries. But rubber trees is of the pass. And the Manila Ham plantations established by the Japanese before the second war has long gone out of trace.
The terrain is hilly with two prime
elevations - Gunung Magdalena ( 1310 metres) and Gunung Lucia (
1201 metres). Bombalai Hill (530 metres) is a major landmark.
here are chalets, hostels and restaurants operated by KOKTAS, the Sabah Parks staff cooperative.
There is not restaurant in the park. What local say Restaurant is actually means Canteen.
A simple to follow nature trails lead to waterfalls and hotsprings.
MORE ABOUT TAWAU HILLS PARK
You can find useful personal remarks of Tawau Hills Park from internet TripAdvisor https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Attraction_Review-g1071671-d2647102-Reviews-Tawau_Hills_Park-Tawau_Division_Sabah.html
HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS:
Three fascinating features of 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.
|LOGGING IN TAWAU HILLS PARK IS
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 :
Source : The Star Online.
Published: Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
|Tawau Hills Park – Exploring Mother Nature
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.
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.
It is highly recommended for you to visit the park with yoecious 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.
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
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.
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.
The Tropical Rainforest http://termitesandants.blogspot.com/2011/11/tropical-rainforest.html
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.
NOTES ON THE FLOWERING PLANTS OF TAWAU HILLS PARK, SABAH
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.
Reefs Project Marine
conservation project partnerships including