Top Things to Do in Desaru, Malaysia on Your Visit

Top Things to Do in Desaru, Malaysia

This small Malaysian town near Singapore is home to a picturesque white beach!

The Malaysian beach town of Desaru has established a reputation as a paradise for city dwellers and tourists in need of a recharge. Just two hours’ leisurely drive from Singapore, this district has some surprises that stretch beyond the opulent resorts which line the serene coastline. Read on to find out more.

Also read: 17 Amazing Beach Destinations in Malaysia

Stroll along Desaru’ white sandy beaches

Desaru is, far and away, a destination for nature lovers. This jewel of Johor is a tranquil getaway for many nearby Singaporeans, as well as being a hot spot for Malaysian locals. Calm, warm and jellyfish-free waters stretching along 6km of coastline make it an attractive proposition for travellers who enjoy the tropics.

things to do in desaru

Image credit: ckhee94

Get up close with Desaru’s pre-historic beasts

Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is home to more than 1,000 crocodiles, some of which are over 130-years-old! First opened in 1979, this is the perfect educational experience if you’re obsessed with dinosaurs or simply intrigued by these reptilian brutes. The farm is around an hour’s drive from Desaru and 20 minutes from Kota Tinggi.

Splash and slide at the Desaru Waterpark

There are 13 exhilarating rides to choose from at the family-friendly Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, ranging from the heart-stopping Rip Tide to the tamer Penawar River. If rides aren’t your thing, grab a lounger at the Beachside Cabanas, kick back and soak up the sun with a drink by your side.

Visit the biggest ostrich farm in Malaysia

If you’ve ever had an interest in ostriches, then the Desaru Ostrich Farm should be on your list of places to visit. Here, you can view more than 100 ostriches and learn everything there is to know about the world’s largest bird. Feeling up for an ostrich ride? That can be organized, too!

Savour the catch of the day at the Tanjung Balau Fishing Village and Museum

Seafood lovers will be delighted by the assortment of fresh marine cuisine on offer at the Tanjung Balau Fishing Village. Apart from tantalizing dishes, the Muzium Nelayan Tanjung Balau is also worth a visit, as it showcases the storied past of this quaint fishing village. There are four different galleries to explore (the Fisherman’s Gallery, Sea Gallery, Desaru Shipwreck Gallery and Geology Gallery), each with a fascinating twist on how fishermen of yesteryear navigated the treacherous Malay waters.

things to do in desaru

Get wet at the Kota Tinggi waterfalls

Only an hour away from Desaru, the Kota Tinggi waterfalls are an exotic marvel well worthy of a day trip. These waterfalls boast spectacular scenery where you can camp, hike or picnic. There are a variety of food stalls near the falls, too, so you won’t have to worry about going hungry. If you’d prefer to stay overnight, you can choose from one of the many idyllic resorts in the area.

things to do in desaru

Image credit: Nicolas Lannuzel

Pluck some fruit and feed the fish

The Desaru Fruit Farm offers more than the name suggests, with an ATV track, petting zoo and paintball course all listed as side attractions to the sprawling 100-acre fruit farm. More than 120 different types of fruit are grown here, some of which you can even sample before heading out to explore. Get lost in the lush greenery of this award-winning farm and when you’re done, get in on feeding time at the Koi fishpond.

Also read: Top Places to Eat In Desaru to Make the Drive There Worthwhile

All aboard the Firefly cruise

While you’re at the Fruit Farm, you may want to book your tickets for the Desaru Firefly Cruise — a novel boat ride along the Bujang River where you can witness the spectacular glow emitted by thousands of fireflies. After the cruise, spend some time meandering around the Desaru Firefly Valley Leisure Park under the stars. Much like living, breathing fairy lights, the mangrove forest comes alive at night with the soft, flickering glow of the resident fireflies.

Image credit: jhecking

About Author

Stuart Hendricks
Stuart Hendricks

Being a street photographer and travel writer, Stuart is always searching for the perfect shot that tells a story. He's got his heart set on adventuring around Asia using South Korea as his base and creates content to help aspiring photographers document their own travels through the continent.