Also known as Tawau Hills National Park, Tawau Hills Park was established in 1979 as an area to protect the water catchment for the town of Tawau in Sabah, East Malaysia, Borneo island. It is located a mere 24 km north-west from Tawau, and consists of 279.72 sq km (27,972 hectares) of lowland dipterocarp rainforests. Unfortunately, it is surrounded by oil palm and cacao plantations.
This area contains rugged landscapes. 7 major rivers originate from this area. For example, the Tawau River flows right through the middle of this park and forms many natural waterfalls and deepwater pools such as Table Waterfall. The terrain is rather hilly with 2 main mountains – Mt Magdalena (1,310 m) and Mt Lucia (1,201 m). Another major landmark is Bombalai Hill (530 m).
There are hostels, camping sites chalets, and restaurants that are operated by Sabah Parks’ KOKTAS. Activities here include picnicking, walking along nature trails, and having a dip in the hot springs and waterfalls. There is even a mountain climbing challenge for those who perhaps want practice before conquering Mt Kinabalu. There is also a lowland garden walk for those who want less exercise. Bolambai Hill is a major visitor landmark as you can overlook the plantations, Tawau, and the Sulawesi Sea.