Top 9 Outdoor Activities in Johor Bahru

Top 9 Outdoor Activities in Johor Bahru

Get close to wildlife and nature in Johor Bahru with these attractions.

The city of Johor Bahru is not a one-off destination. With its huge size, there are various attractions and points of interest to explore, with new ones popping up every few days. After visiting all the malls, dining in the best restaurants and going cafe-hopping, it’s time to see a different side of JB. Want to get outdoors and close to nature and wildlife on your next trip to Johor Bahru? 

Here are some things to do and places to go:

1. Go on a cycling tour around downtown JB

Image credit: JB Ride Facebook Page

The downtown area in Johor Bahru is a hotspot for visitors and the best way to enjoy it is on two wheels. You can go on a three-hour cycling tour along a suggested cycling route. To avoid the sweltering heat, start your trip in the morning or evening. Depending on how many people there are in your group, you might need to book ahead before you collect the bikes. You can take your pick of city bicycles, foldable bicycles or mountain bikes.

Address: 4, Jalan Haron, 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday (7am to 7pm), Closed on Monday
Duration: Around three hours

2. Take the kids to Johor Zoo

Image credit: Phalinn Ooi

There are many zoos in Malaysia and Johor Zoo is one that is often overlooked as it is not as well-known as Taiping Zoo or the National Zoo. It is, however, less crowded as compared to other zoos in other states, and is a great place to visit with family and friends. 

Johor Zoo was formerly called Animal Garden and was opened by the then-ruler of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar Al-Khalil Ibrahim Shah in 1928. In 1962, Johor Zoo was opened to the public by the state government.

Spend some time here to learn more about the different animal species such as lions, gorillas, horses and elephants. There’s also ample space for groups to enjoy a picnic at the recreation square. Take part in horse riding or padding activities, or let the children have fun at the playground. 

Address: Jalan Gertak Merah, Taman Istana, 80000, Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (8.30am to 6pm)
Price: Around RM 3
Duration: Around 2 hours

3. Pet the animals at Noah’s Ark 

Image credit: Travelista Journal

Image credit: Travelista Journal

Can’t get enough of cute animals? Find your way to Pekan Nanas and visit the Noah’s Ark Natural Animal Shelter. This animal shelter was founded by a Singaporean, Raymund Wee, in 1995. The sanctuary was based in Singapore until 2000 when it was relocated to Johor Bahru. Among the animals found here are 700 dogs, 300 cats, 10 horses as well as three primates and a wild boar. The efforts taken to rescue and care for the animals here will warm your heart. Before you plan your visit to the sanctuary, kindly make an appointment with the owner.

Address: 81500 Pekan Nanas, Johor
Opening Hours: By appointment only
Duration: Around 4 hours

4. See mangroves at Pulau Kukup National Park

Image credit: alexxis

Did you know that Johor is home to a unique mangrove island? The uninhabitable Kukup Island was gazetted as a national park back in 1997. In 2003, Pulau Kukup was declared a “Wetland of International Importance” by RAMSAR. Among the wildlife you will find on the island are mudskippers, monkeys and wild boars.

The only way to the island is by boat. Book your trip via a tour guide or refer to the state government’s website for details. Everyone is welcome to visit Pulau Kukup, but be prepared for a challenging walk on uneven paths. It is advisable to wear suitable shoes.

Address: Lot 139, Mukim, Air Masin, 82300 Kukup, Pontian, Johor Bahru
Price: RM 5 for entrance fees to national park and RM 5 for the boat trip to Kukup Island
Duration: About 3 hours

5. Go dirt biking in Tristan Park

You might be surprised to hear that there is a place for motocross activity in Johor Bahru. If you are up for it, make your bookings and head to Tristan Park. Although it is called a “park”, it really is a place for motocross so don’t bring your picnic mat along. Also, do not worry about the bikes and riding gear as all will be provided as long as you book in advance. There are also various eateries near the bike rental shop, so you can fuel up before you go. 

Depending on your experience and whether you come in a group or in pairs, the fun ride will take you along Semangar and Plentong trails. Even if you don’t have much experience with riding a bike, fret not as you can pick a bike that is tailored to your level.

Address: 71 Jalan Kekabu 7, Taman Desa Cemerlang, 81800 Ulu Tiram, Johor
Duration: About 4 hours

6. Play golf at Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club

Many people think that golf is enjoyed only by businessmen, professionals, VIPs and the people who can afford it. Well, don’t exclude yourself without a thought. If you’d like to try it, drop by Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club for a game of golf. On top of trying out a new sport, you can enjoy views of the magnificent lake and the greenery of the golf course. For golf rates, kindly refer to the website as it differs on weekends and weekdays as well as the time of the day. 

Address: 1, Jalan Eka, Bandar Nusajaya, 79100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (kindly refer website for tee off times)
Duration: Around 4 hours

7. Escape into nature at Hutan Bandar Recreational Park

Hutan Bandar Recreational Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Johor Bahru. Also known as Hutan Bandar Mutiara Rini, it is a recreational spot for locals in the city as well as the surrounding areas. It is a place for jogging, picnics, cycling and just relaxing. There are various stalls located within the park, so you can fill up your tummy or stock up for a picnic. Playgrounds and public seating areas are available, as with trees, plants and fresh air. 

Address: Jalan Persiaran Mutiara Mas, Taman Seri Orkid, 81300 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (7am to 7pm)
Price: Free of charge
Duration: About 2 hours

8. Take a dip in Pulai Waterfall

Image credit: Chongkian

Hit the road in the quest to go for a dip at the well-known Pulai Waterfall. There are two recreational forests within Mount Pulai and to best enjoy the flora and fauna here, strap on your hiking shoes. Although the recreational site is not as big as others in Malaysia, it is still a great place for family outings. Facilities wise, you can get your food and drinks easily. Just be extra careful with the mischievous monkeys while you are here. 

Address: Kulai, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (daytime only)

9. Combine history and nature at Taman Merdeka

Image credit: Paul Ng

There are many parks and recreational sites in Johor Bharu but some of them are open only until the evening. If you’d like a place to visit at night or in the wee hours of the morning, Taman Merdeka is the place to go. This is a unique park with beautiful décor, a modern observation deck and a historical trail. The main attraction of the park is the musical fountain, with its colourful lights and alluring music. In Taman Merdeka, you can learn more about Malaysia’s independence and the founding fathers of the nation. 

Address: Jalan Datin Halimah, 80200 Johor Bahru, Johor
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (24 hours)
Price: Free entry
Duration: Around 1 hour

With so many outdoor activities in Johor Bahru, consider making a trip this very weekend! 

About Author

Adrian Chew
Adrian Chew

Adrian was born and raised in a small town called Muar, Johor in Malaysia. He likes reading, watching TV, surfing the internet and travelling (if he has time and budget). His favourite destinations are Perth, Siem Reap, Cebu and Singapore. In regards to writing, he loves travel writing too as it helps to broaden his horizon on the different countries, culture, food etc. around the world.


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