Going on a Desaru trip and want to know what to do in Desaru? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the Desaru things to do to plan your ultimate trip.
The Desaru Coast is a coastal town, located on the southern end of the east coast of Malaysia. Facing the South China Sea, here you will find a 22 kilometre stretch of beautiful coastline, making it a popular destination from either Singapore or Johor Bahru.
While many tourists visit the Desaru Coast as a day trip, with a range of top resorts recently opened here, it also is the perfect place to relax for a few days. In addition to fabulous beaches, there are many new attractions here and things to do in Desaru 2020 include golf, a visit to the huge water park, the beaches and much more.
Below, you will find our Desaru travel blog with everything you need to know about the best places to visit in Desaru, as well as the best places to stay for your ultimate holiday in Desaru!! There is also a handy map of the places to visit in Desaru town.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What To Do In Desaru Coast
Here are the top 12 best things to do in Desaru Johor. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.
Relax At Desaru Beach
Of course when it comes to what to do in Desaru, Johor, the number one thing to do is to go to the beach! Along the 22 kilometre coastline, you will find gorgeous white sandy beaches, lined with casuarina trees with beautiful calm water, just perfect for swimming.
Things to do in Desaru Beach include simply relaxing or you can participate in a range of activities such as fishing, boating, hiking or swimming.
Have Fun With The Fam At Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark
Easily among the top 5 things to do in Desaru, is a day at the Adventure Waterpark. The whole family will love this one!
The Adventure Waterpark is home to some really cool water rides as well as Kraken’s Revenge – the first ever water coaster in the region and the biggest wave pool in Southeast Asia!
The Adventure Waterpark is one of the world’s biggest water parks and consists of 5 different themed zones including Penawar Falls, Penawar River, Shipwreck Reef, Tidal Wave Beach and Kids Ahoy. Across all the zones there are more than 20 different rides, slides and attractions.
Regardless of how old your kids are, or even if you’re an adult just young at heart – there is something for everyone at Adventure Waterpark. If you’re visiting soon and wondering what to do in Desaru 2020 – put this attraction on your list!
Address: Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar
Go On A Desaru Firefly Cruise
A must do in Desaru is to take a firefly cruise through the Sungai Lebam Wetlands. These 40 minute tours take place at night, where you will cruise down the Bujang River, through the firefly breeding grounds and see thousands of fireflies light up the night skies as they emit yellow, green and red coloured light.
If you like you can also opt for dinner at the Bujang Seafood Restaurant and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Address: Jalan Jemaluang, 81900 Kota Tinggi
Play Golf At The Els Club Desaru Coast
If you’re obsessed with golf or even just like to play on the odd occasion, you’ll no doubt enjoy a round of golf at the Els Club Desaru Coast.
This is a gorgeous golf course which features two beautifully manicured courses both designed by major golf champions. The Ocean Course was designed by Ernie Els and features 27 holes, while the Valley Course has 18 holes and was designed by Vijay Singh.
And no need to leave the kids at home. For families, bring the kids to play on the 9 hole Par 3 course which has been designed for people with all levels of golfing experience to enjoy.
Address: No. 4, Jalan Danau, Desaru Coast, 81930 Darul Ta’zim
Check Out Desaru Ostrich Farm
A visit to the Desaru Ostrich Farm is a great way to learn more about ostriches – the world’s largest birds. The farm is home to more than 300 ostriches and here visitors are taken on a guided tour with the caretakers who will explain lots of facts about these interesting birds.
At the farm, there is also the option to try an ostrich egg – the world’s largest egg.
Address: Jalan Telok Ramunia, Kampung Changi, 81600 Pengerang
Visit The Desaru Fruit Farm
If you love all the delicious tropical fruit that can be found around Malaysia then you’ll love a visit to Desaru Fruit Farm. This farm is situated across 100 acres, where visitors can learn about over 100 different varieties of tropical fruit through a guided tour.
As well as learning all about fruit (and sampling it!), there are heaps of things to do too. Depending upon your interests, you can visit the Herbal and Vegetable Garden, the Agricultural Gallery, the petting zoo, take an ATV ride, take the high ropes challenge or learn about bees at the Educational Beekeeping Management Talk.
Before you leave don’t forget to buy some fresh fruit to take home.
Address: Sungai Cemaran, Desaru 81900 Kota Tinggi
Visit The Desaru Coast Riverside Village
For those that love to shop, the best time to visit Desaru is anytime thanks to the new Desaru Coast Riverside Village. The Desaru Coast Riverside Village is a 23 acre waterfront modern shopping precinct which includes some great shops, restaurants, cafes, eateries and entertainment.
Address: No.10 & 12, Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Darul Ta’zim
Experience Fun Activities And Adventure At Dash Outdoor
Dash Outdoors is a great place to go for those who love fun and adventurous activities. Dash is basically your one-stop-shop for a range of super cool things to do. At Dash, you can explore the coastline on a fat bike, hire a stand-up paddleboard, catamarans, jet skis or kayaks, go on a banana boat ride, get flipped upside down in a zorb water balls and a whole lot more.
Address: C/O Westin Hotel, Dash Outdoors, Jln Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar
Have A Splash At The Kota Tinggi Waterfalls
Located at the foot of Mount Muntahak, Kota Tinggi Waterfalls cascades down the mountains for 34 metres and is a perfect place for a splash. The surrounding area is lovely too and perfect for a picnic – bring your own or purchase something from the nearby food stands.
If you want to stay a while you can go on one of the hikes here or even camp overnight.
Address: Sungai Pelepah,, Gunung Panti Recreational Forest, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor Darul Ta’zim
Explore The Tanjung Balau Fishermen Museum
A visit to the Tanjung Balau Fisherman Museum is a great place to go to learn more about the local traditional fishing villages. Set in a traditional Malaysian fishing village, through four different galleries and various artefacts, this museum showcases the story of fisherman civilization.
Address: Tanjung Balau, 81930 Kota Tinggi
Visit And Try Fishing At The Tanjung Balau Fishing Village
While you’re visiting the Tanjung Balau Museum, be sure to stop by the fishing village for a meal of super fresh seafood. Or why not go fishing yourself!
Address: Tanjung Balau, 81930 Kota Tinggi
Watch Crocodile Feeding Up Close At Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm
Want to get up close and person with some crocodiles? Then head on down to Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm, the largest crocodile farm in West Malaysia. This farm is home to over 1000 crocodiles including a 130 year old toothless crocodile!
While visiting the crocodile farm don’t miss feeding time – this is a great opportunity to see these prehistoric beasts in action.
Address: Kota Tinggi, Johor, 81920, Ayer Tawar 2, Johor Darul Ta’zim
Best Things To Do In Desaru Map
Best Place To Stay In Desaru
While still a reasonably quiet coastal town, there are now some relatively large first class resorts here for anyone who wishes to stay a few days in Desaru. There are also a few budget options dotted around the area too.
Below I’ve listed a few different places to consider including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.
The Anantara Desaru Coast Resort is a stunning, luxurious hotel, perfect for those wanting the best in terms of accommodation. Set among lush gardens and lagoons and with a range of low rise villas, this resort is set to look like an upmarket Malaysian fishing village.
There is a range of room options at Anantara including simple hotel style rooms, standalone villas or even a beach house with a private swimming pool. All rooms have private balconies, an espresso machine and free wifi.
The resort has two swimming pools, one of which is a spectacular beachfront infinity pool. Other facilities on site include a spa, gym (complete with personal trainers), yoga classes and a shuttle bus to take guests to Els Club Golf Course which is just 5 minutes away. Guests can also walk to Adventure Waterpark from the resort.
For a mid range option, the Hard Rock Hotel is a good one to consider. With its location being right by the Adventure Waterpark, this is a particularly good option for anyone planning on spending some time there.
The Hard Rock Hotel is a first class 5 star resort offering a range of room types. All rooms come with air conditioning, free wifi and private balconies – you could even upgrade and have an in-room plunge pool!
As mentioned the hotel is right next to the Adventure Waterpark and the hotel also offers a free shuttle bus to take you to Desaru Beach, which is just 10 minutes from the hotel.
Opened in just 2016, the Amansari Hotel is fairly new and is a good option for those after budget accommodation. This 3.5 star hotel has 238 rooms and is ideal for all sorts of travellers from business travellers through to families.
There is a range of room types, including family suites. Each room comes with air conditioning, free wifi and city views. Onsite, there is also a range of facilities including a gym, lounge and cafe.
Amansari Hotel is located in Bandar Penawar which is convenient for exploring Desaru and shopping with the city centre nearby. You can also easily visit the attractions in Pengerang Kota Tinggi from here.
How To Get To Desaru
It’s easy to get to Desaru by bus or car from Singapore, Johor Bahru or the rest of Malaysia. If you have your own car, great! You are good to go.
If you need to take a bus, click here for the latest timetables and bus prices.
You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here.
If you’re travelling from Singapore, you can also take a boat. Read exactly how to get from Singapore to Desaru Coast here.
Desaru With Kids
If you’re travelling with kids to Desaru you’re in for a real treat. This is the perfect destination for family holidays with its lovely beach and great family friendly attractions.
As with anywhere in Malaysia, kids are made to feel welcome in Desaru, and there is a great range of family friendly accommodation with excellent facilities.
For those looking to escape the busy Malaysian cities, Desaru is such a great option. This is a reasonably quiet coastal town, with a stunning beach, yet plenty of attractions to keep all sorts of travellers entertained.
Whether you come for a day trip or stay for a few days, you are sure to have a wonderful time in Desaru.
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You can read our full guide to Desaru here.
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.