The 4,929 ha Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park was named for Malaysia's first Prime Minister and comprises a group of 5 islands (Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Mamutik and Sulug) off Borneo's north-east coast fairly close to Kota Kinabalu. 
Gaya Island's name comes from the Bajau word "Gayo" ('Big') - it is the largest of the 5 islands. Gaya Island covers an area of 15 km2 (3,700 acres) and has an elevation of up to 300 metres: several ridges rise over 600 feet (180 m), up to 300m along its backbone. Sandstone of the coastline forms cliffs, caves, honeycombs and deep crevices. It is swathed in tropical rainforest and has some 20km of hiking trails. Infrastructure for tourists includes two 5 star  resorts: Gayana Eco Resort is where the Marine Ecology Research Centre is located and the Bunga Raya Island Resort on the north-east part of the island.
Sabah Parks administes the area and has an office is headquartered on the south-eastern part of Gaya Island in a bay shared with the Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures dive station. A development on the edge of Gaya island nearest to Sapi island is also used by Sabah Parks and offers a small, quiet beach for public recreational use. Scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities in the area are wonderful. 
Gaya island is also known for the picture-perfect beach by Police Bay which fronts Bunga Raya Island Resort: this 400 metres stretch of powdery fine white sand gently slopes out to the sea and makes Police Beach ideal for swimming in warm, gin- clear waters. Coral reefs along the coast of Gaya island are in healthy and vibrant condition, making it a very good diving destination.
The islands are easily accessed by boat from Jesselton Ferry terminal in Kota Kinabalu. 

Jack Brooker

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.
Total results: 3
Sort by:

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
British Travel Awards Crest
ATOL Protected ABTA Protected IATA Protected
Trust Pilot LATA Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office check

Stay in Touch

Subscribe for our newsletter and to hear about exciting offers and experiences

By clicking ‘accept’, you consent to our use of cookies to improve our website experience. See our privacy policy for full information.