What To Do In Desaru Coast, Malaysia

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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 include golf, a visit to the huge water park, the beaches and much more.

Below, you will find our Desaru travel blog post 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.

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What To Do In Desaru Coast

Here are the top 12 best things to do in Desaru Johor. Read through and select the Desaru attraction options that fit your interests and timeframe.

Relax At Desaru Beach

Desaru Coast

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.

When it comes to things to do in Desaru Beach, there is a range of activities from simply relaxing on the beach to fishing, boating, hiking or swimming.

Have Fun With The Fam At Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark

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 including 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 – this is one of the Desaru tourist attractions which has something for everyone.  If you’re visiting soon and wondering what to do in Desaru  – put this attraction on your list!

Address: Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar

You can buy discounted tickets for this attraction by clicking here.

Go On A Desaru Firefly Cruise

Sungai Lebam River Cruise views during the day desaru
Sungai Lebam River Cruise views during the day

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.

It is recommended to combine this Desaru activity with a meal at the Bujang Seafood Restaurant.  Here as well as dining on delicious seafood you can also enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Address:  Jalan Jemaluang, 81900 Kota Tinggi

You can buy discounted tickets for this attraction by clicking here.

Play Golf At The Els Club Desaru Coast

For the golfers, then the best place in Desaru is the Ells Club Desaru Coast 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.

For golfers with families, you can also 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

Desaru Ostrich Farm

Another one of the fun Desaru attractions is the Desaru Ostrich Farm.  The 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

The Desaru Fruit Farm is another great Desaru place to visit.  Here you’ll get to try all the delicious tropical fruit that can be found around Malaysia.  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 eating it!), there are heaps of things to do at this attraction in Desaru.  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

You can buy discounted tickets for this attraction by clicking here.

Visit The Desaru Coast Riverside Village

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 want to try some adventurous activities in Desaru.  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

You can buy discounted tickets for some great water adventures by clicking here.

Have A Splash At The Kota Tinggi Waterfalls

Kota Tinggi Waterfalls

For a swim, another one of the Desaru places to visit is the Kota Tinggi Waterfalls.  Located at the foot of Mount Muntahak, the falls cascade down the mountains for 34 metres and is a perfect place to cool off on a hot day.  The surrounding area is lovely too and perfect for a picnic – bring your own or purchase something from the nearby food stands.

Some of the Desaru activities in the area including hiking and camping.

Address: Sungai Pelepah,, Gunung Panti Recreational Forest, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor Darul Ta’zim

Explore The Tanjung Balau Fishermen Museum

The Tanjung Balau Fisherman Museum is one of the Desaru interesting places where you can learn about the local traditional fishing villages.  The museum is set in a traditional Malaysian fishing village and 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

Tanjung Balau Fishing Village
Tanjung Balau Fishing Village

While you’re visiting the Tanjung Balau Museum, another Desaru best place to visit is the nearby fishing village where you can grab 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

The Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is the perfect place to visit in Desaru where you can get up close and personal with some crocodiles.  Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm is the largest crocodile farm in West Malaysia and 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

Below is a handy Desaru attractions map to help plan your itinerary.

What To Do In Desaru Coast, Malaysia map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

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.

BEST – Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas Review

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.

Click here for the latest prices.

MID-RANGE – Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast Review

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 at this Desaru place of interest.

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.

Click here for the latest prices.

BUDGET – Amansari Hotel Desaru Review

Opened in just 2016, the Amansari Hotel is fairly new and is a good option for those after budget accommodation on their trip to Desaru. 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 all the things to do at Desaru and shopping with the city centre nearby. You can also easily visit the attractions in Pengerang Kota Tinggi from here.

Click here for the latest prices.

Click here to see all our recommendations for the best hotel in Desaru.

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.

You can also taxi a private taxi from anywhere in peninsula Malaysia. You can find information on the prices and how to book this here.

If you’re travelling from Singapore, you can also take a boat by clicking here. Read exactly how to get from Singapore to Desaru Coast here.

Desaru Coastline
Desaru Coast

Desaru With Kids

If you’re travelling with kids to Desaru you’re in for a real treat as there are plenty of kid friendly attractions in Desaru. 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.

Final Words

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 there is plenty of things to do in Desaru Coast 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.

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!

You can read our ultimate guide to Desaru Beach here and find all remaining Desaru guides here.

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.