The Kinabalu Park Headquarters (HQ) is located at the southern boundary of The Kinabalu Park. A two hour drive from Kota Kinabalu passing scenic country side along the Tamparuli -Kundasang road, will lead one to the Kinabalu Park HQ. With an altitude of 1564 metres Kinabalu Park HQ has a cooling temperature average between 24Â°C to 18Â°C. Accommodations, restaurants, souvenir shops and exhibition centres are some of the facilities provided at the Kinabalu Park HQ. The Kinabalu Park HQ office is situated right at the entrance. Overnight visitors and climbers must register at the office, before moving on to their destinations.
In 1964 the Kinabalu Park was established to protect the forests, and the many species of flora and fauna surrounding Mt. Kinabalu. With over four climate zones in this 754 sq. km of highland, Kinabalu Park probably has one of the richest flora collection in the world. In view of this, Kinabalu Park was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December, 2000, and a first in Malaysia. The park entrance fee is RM 15 for adults and RM 10 for 18 years and below. For MY card holders the park entrance fee is RM 3 for adults and RM 1 for 18 years and below.
Mt. Kinabalu is the main focus for many visitors who come to Sabah, and a two day hike to the summit is a good challenge for many climbers. Every year an average of 40,000 climbers scale to the summit of Mt. Kinabalu, Low’s Peak at 4093 metres. As many as 80% of the visitors to Mt. Kinabalu do not climb the mountain, many just come to enjoy the view and the cold climate around this area. For those who prefer a casual walk around the Kinabalu Park forests, as many as 8 trials to different parts of the park forests are available. These park trails may take 1 hour to 2 hours to complete.
An exhibition centre at the Liwagu Restaurant shows case all the Parks in Sabah, including Mt. Kinabalu Park. A guided tour to the popular Mountain Garden is scheduled at 9 am and 3 pm, and a minimum fee is imposed at the entrance. The 5-acre Mountain Garden has flora from all over the Parks replanted here. Another exhibition centre is located at the Sabah Park office at the hill next to the administration office. The Kinabalu Natural History Gallery is open from 9am to 3pm daily, and entrance fee is RM 3.
Restaurant and Cafe
Nephentes Lodge is about a 100 metres away from the Liwagu Restaurant, and the lodge is spacious and has a wooden classic look.
The Hill Lodge has a great view of Mt. Kinabalu right out of the door step. Although small, the inside area is very comfortable for a 2-person room.
Liwagu Suites are situated beside the Liwagu Restaurant, both occupy the same building. The suites have a cosy feeling, nice furnitures deco, and a balcony that looks out to a very green outdoor.
For the budget conscious travellers head over to the Grace Hostel or the Rock Hostel. The Grace Hostel is probably one of the oldest accommodation at the Kinabalu Park HQ, although it has experienced a few renovations over the years. A few metres below the Grace Hostel is the Rock Hostel, which was built in the mid 80s.
How to get there? From Kota Kinabalu: drive about 90km towards Kinabalu Park Headquarters along the Kota Kinabalu – Ranau road. For the independent travellers, there is a daily bus from Kota Kinabalu to Ranau for RM 15.00 at 8:00 am near the Padang Bus Station, and it will pass by the entrance to Kinabalu Park Headquarters. Budget taxi which only leaves with 4 passengers can be located here too.