On the western most tip of Sarawak’s coastline lies Tanjung Datu, one of Sarawak’s smallest National Parks. Tanjung Datu is beautiful it has been called the ‘Heaven of Borneo’ by some visitors, but is only accessible by boat. It is the juxtaposition of rugged mountains sweeping down to a clear turquoise sea that makes the place so exquisite.
It’s swift flowing mountain streams are crystal clear, like the sea into which they flow. This allows coral to grow close inshore, a rare feature in Sarawak and makes it an ideal dive and snorkeling site even though scuba divers have yet to explore the area’s full potential. However, anyone can appreciate the park’s beautiful beaches and translucent waters with their mountain backdrop.
Hornbills can be sighted at Tanjung Datu, and Rafflesia flowers, among the world’s biggest flowers, grow along the hiking trails.
The mountains, which form the border between Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan, are abound with beautiful plants and interesting animals.
Equally fascinating is the life of the local people lived at a far more leisurely pace than modern city life. Experience it for yourself through the Telok Melano Homestay Programme, where you will live with a local family and really get to know their traditional lifestyle.
Tanjung Datu has four short walking trails, offering a variety of rainforest and beach scenery as well as some spectacular coastal views. The following table provides details of trekking times and the colour codes used in the park.
|Trail Name||Trail length||Trekking Time To/ From Park HQ||Colour Code|
|Telok Melano Trail||3.7km||1 hr 30 mins||Orange|
|Pasir Antu Laut Trail||2.7km||1 hr 30 mins||Yellow|
|Viewpoint Trail||500m||20 mins||Green|
|Belian Trail||2km||1 hr 30 mins||Red|
Telok Melano Trail
This trail leads from the nearby fishing village of Telok Melano (the main access point for the park) to the Park HQ. The trail passes through abandoned farmland at first, then weaves its way along the coastline, through picturesque bays, with the possibility of seeing pig-tailed macaques and Bornean bearded pigs. The trail emerges at Telok Upas, a pleasant white sandy beach with patches of hard corals just off shore which are ideal for snorkelling. A further 10 minutes brings you to the Park HQ. Visitors may walk back to Telok Melano by the same route, or arrange to be picked up by boat from the beach.
Pasir Antu Laut Trail
This 2-hour loop trail starts at the Park HQ, and passes parallel to the beach and through foreshore vegetation, to Tanjung Antu Laut, a picturesque beach where a clear freshwater streams flow around big polished granite boulders into the ocean. The trail then turns inland, and back through mixed dipterocarp forest, crossing several small creeks and ending back at park HQ.
This short, steep trail leads to the Viewing Point at Tanjung Labuan Gadong, an 80m high cliff-top, which offers superb views of the entire shoreline of the park. Dolphins may frequently be seen swimming in the brilliant blue water, and on a clear day you can see the islands of Pulau Talang Besar and Pulau Talang Kecil, part of the Talang-Satang National Park, some 18km away.
This 2km trail is steep and quite hard work, but the effort is worth it as it leads through mixed dipterocarp forest to the highest point in the park, the peak of Gunung Melano, some 542 metres above sea level. From Gunung Melano there are spectacular views of both the Malaysian and Indonesian coasts of Cape Datu, as the international border is only 200m away. Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to view Tanjung Datu’s rich plant and animal life.
Tanjung Datu’s coral reefs are home to a number of venomous creatures, including Sea Snakes, Coral Snakes, Stonefish and Cone Shells. Marine Snakes are usually harmless if undisturbed, and if seen should be left well alone. Stonefish may conceal themselves in mud or sand surrounding the coral, especially at low tide, so do not walk or swim barefoot around coral reefs. Cone Shells are highly venomous and should not be handled under any circumstances.
National Park Opening Hours:
8.00am to 5.00pm
Monday – Sunday including Public Holidays
Park accommodation consists of forest hostel (4 bedrooms with 2 single beds), forest huts and a camp site. There is no canteen or other visitor facilities, so visitors should bring food and drink with them. Visitors can also stay in Telok Melano and visit the park by boat or on foot. Telok Melano is a traditional Malay fishing village that operates a Homestay Programme where guests stay with local families, so a visit to the park becomes an enjoyable cultural experience as well. A designated tour operator administers the Homestay Programme – please contact the National Parks Booking office in Kuching for further details.
A permit is required for professional photography or filming, which should be arranged in advance with the National Park Booking Office.