Mataking Island: Everything You Need To Know

Published Categorized as Sabah
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Looking for a gorgeous island located off the coast of Semporna in Sabah, Malaysia? Mataking Island is a great choice!

Mataking Island is one of many stunning islands around the Tun Sakaran Marine Park. It is located just outside of this area.

It’s a small, private island with a resort, and some fantastic diving and snorkelling. It has perhaps the second best reef after Sipadan for the area. Since it’s hard to get a permit to visit Sipadan, Mataking Island should be on your radar.

There’s an underwater post office here and the tiny Mataking Kecil Island which is connected to the main island by a sandbar. You can just see it in the photo above.

Below, I share with you everything you need to know about Mataking Island from the diving to the resort to how to visit here. Enjoy this Mataking Island blog.

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Where Is Mataking Island Sabah Borneo?

The Mataking Island location is to the northeast of Semporna off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. It’s one of the islands that are furthest away. You will feel like you have left life behind here.

Below, you can find a Mataking Island map.

Mataking Island map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

How To Get To Mataking Island

Mataking Island
Mataking Island

You can get to Mataking Island by boat from Semporna. If you are staying at the Mataking Reef Resort, this is what you’ll do. You should arrange your transfer via the resort.

If you aren’t staying here, you can visit on a day trip. I did this spectacular day trip via Klook. It includes visiting Mataking Island and some others as well as lots of snorkelling.

Click here to see a Mataking Island day tour now.

If you are flying in from Tawau, read our guide to how to get there here. If you are coming from Sandakan, read our guide to how to get to Semporna here.

Mataking Island Review

Mataking Island Sabah

Mataking Island is relatively small and you can walk around the whole island easily. It looks exactly like the stunning tropical island that it is.

Mataking Diving And Snorkelling

Mataking Island Semporna snorkelling
Snorkelling at Mataking – so good!

Mataking Island Borneo is known for its diverse marine life. It’s a popular destination for snorkelling and scuba diving due to the variety of coral reefs and underwater creatures that can be found in the surrounding waters.

It’s home to a variety of fish including angel fish, ribbon eels, clownfish and yellow snapper. Visitors can also spot reef sharks, sea turtles and even whale sharks.

It’s absolutely amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed snorkelling here. The water is crystal clear, and it was easy to see colourful fish right from the boat.

Mataking Island Semporna The crazy clear water at Mataking. We could easily see colourful fish straight from the boat
The crazy clear water at Mataking. We could easily see colourful fish straight from the boat

There’s great Mataking Island diving including D’Wall which is a drift dive with eagle rays, reef sharks and mantas. The Garden of Eden dive site is also highly regarded. There are also many other dive sites dotted around the island.

A wooden boat that was deliberately sunk off the coast of Mataking has become an awesome artificial reef which is worth checking out. It is also used as a post office.

Mataking Island Semporna swing
Instagram spot 😉

Mataking Underwater Post Office

One of the island’s most popular attractions is the underwater post office.

Here, you can send a postcard from beneath the sea. The postcards are waterproof and are stamped with a special Mataking Island stamp. The mail is picked up twice a week and will be delivered to whoever you address it to.

Mataking Island Malaysia

Mataking Island Semporna Picnic area
Picnic area
Mataking Island Semporna shop
Shop area

If you prefer to stay on land, Mataking Island offers plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the island. The beaches are pristine and secluded providing the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun.

You can also trek in the jungle and spot wildlife such as monitor lizards.

If you visit here, make sure you don’t just visit the Mataking Island beach but walk along the sandbar to Mataking Kecil Island. It’s the best way to feel like you’re surrounded by the ocean in a stunning spot.

Mataking Island Semporna The opposite side of the island
The opposite side of the island
Mataking Island Semporna The sand spit and the little island from our boat
The sand spit and the little island from our boat

From May to August, you may see green turtles or hawksbill turtles coming up onto the beach to lay their eggs. 

If you are visiting here as part of a day trip, note that you can’t walk around all parts of the island, including the spit to Mataking Kecil Island. There is a picnic area and small “shop” that you can visit though and you still get the feel of the island. You can definitely snorkel and dive.

Mataking Island Video

You can check out Mataking Island further in the following video.

Mataking Reef Resort

Mataking Island Semporna Mataking Reef Resort
Mataking Reef Resort

Also called the Reef Dive Resort, staying here is the best way to enjoy beautiful Mataking Island. Up to 100 people can stay here at any one time.

There’s a wide range of room types from villas to beach chalets to garden chalets to rooms grouped together like a longhouse. They can sleep up to three people and have everything you’d expect from a luxury hotel including air-conditioning, mini-fridge and satellite TV.

The villas can be especially luxurious and private and have their own garden Jacuzzis and ocean views.

At this resort, you can also find a restaurant, bar, karaoke lounge, day spa, gym, PADI 5 Star dive centre and water sports, activity desk and a shop. They also have a turtle hatchery and a peacock sanctuary. Everything is well presented. You’ll love it.

There is a range of activities as well. Families will enjoy the batik painting and can paint a t-shirt to take home. You can also get a henna and go on a beach night walk. You can enjoy glass bottom kayaks and, of course, diving and snorkelling are very popular.

The restaurant serves a range of food from local to international options.

Mataking Island Semporna wedding chapel
Looks like a great place to get married

This place is great for honeymoons, and you can even get married on the island.

Click here to book it now.

Final Words

I hope you have found this guide to Mataking Island useful.

It’s a stunning tropical paradise that offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation or a unique and unforgettable experience, this beautiful island in Sabah is the perfect destination.

It has amazing snorkelling. Even if you can’t stay here, definitely do a day tour and check it out. I loved it!

Click here to join a day tour to Mataking Island now.

Looking for more information? Find our full guide to things to do in Semporna here or read our guide to nearby Timba-Timba Island here. Find all our travel guides to Sabah here.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.