Exploring the hidden gems of Johor’s Desaru Coast

When it comes to a vacation full of sun-soaked fun, the Desaru Coast is an ideal destination retreat for those looking for a tranquil getaway that combines outdoor adventures, wellness and leisure activities.

The integrated resort is located along the quiet east coast of Johor. It is an hour-and-a-half drive away from Johor Bahru and Singapore and also, a short ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore.

Surrounded by a crystal-clear coastline and pristine beaches, the quaint seaside town of Desaru offers an unmatched sense of harmony and the perfect escape from the hectic city scene.

In this second installment in a two-fold ‘Majestic Johor’ series, The Bruneian, along with several local media representatives and travel agents had the opportunity to unwind in style and experience the hidden gem of Desaru.

There’s truly something for everyone at the integrated destination resort, from splish-splash fun at the Adventure Waterpark to teeing it up at their championship golf course.

Image: Azrina Zin

When it comes to accommodations, Desaru Coast is home to the most renowned hotel and resort chains in the world including Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast, The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, and the five-star One&Only Desaru Coast.

Unwind like a rock star at Hard Rock Hotel

Our home away from home for the night was the Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast which features a wide range of music-inspired amenities, such as on-site restaurants, fitness centres, live music venues, and direct entry to one of the world’s biggest water parks.

Image: Azrina Zin
Image: Azrina Zin

With a beautiful hall adorned with a treasure trove of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, guests discover rich storytelling at every turn — from one-of-a-kind items and outfits worn by music icons to live music performances.

Image: Azrina Zin

During our stay, the room features a contemporary and whimsical design that harmonizes seamlessly with their signature music decor designed to ignite your inner rock star.

A splash-tacular day at Desaru Adventure Waterpark

Situated in an ideal location for family vacations, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru offers easy access to the Desaru Adventure Waterpark, where we had the chance to make a splash at one of the largest water theme parks in Johor.

The waterpark features more than 20 wet and dry rides, and attractions for all ages.

Image: Azrina Zin

Among the rides and activities available in the park are a wave pool, a relaxing sandy beach, a kid-friendly water playground, and thrilling rides like the Swinging Ship, The Tempest, Kraken’s Revenge and many more.

Image: Azrina Zin

The family-friendly waterpark is also home to one of the biggest wave pools in the world holding more than four million gallons of water over nearly three acres dubbed the Tidal Wave Beach.

During our trip, we had to experience the exhilarating inner tube ride with thrilling twists and turns of the Tempest which features a heart-stopping monster funnel water slide with a sudden 24-foot drop that allows for high-banking swings.

We also kicked the excitement into high gear with the Kraken’s Revenge. The attraction combines the thrills of a roller coaster with those of a water ride.

The ride takes thrill seekers up 30 metres before spinning through a full 360-degree horizontal loop, followed by an exhilarating 27-metre drop.

Courtesy of Tourism Malaysia

Experiencing nature and wildlife at Desaru Fruit Farm

Further into our tour, we also had a chance to go on a guided agriculture tour to see and learn about the Desaru fruit farm and enjoy the natural scenery that surrounds it.

The three-decade-old fruit farm spreads across 180 acres of land, featuring more than 100 plants and trees that produce a variety of tropical fruit.

We explored the rich history and innovative bio-farming system that has provided farm-fresh products at Desaru since 1990.

Image: Azrina Zin
Image: Azrina Zin

When we first arrived at the farm, we were served a buffet of fresh fruits including guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit, watermelon, pineapple, papaya and many more.

For lunch, we enjoyed a unique farm-to-table dining experience that connects diners with the freshest seasonal fruits and vegetables from the orchard.

Image Courtesy of Tourism Malaysia

The menu features fruit-inspired dishes such as Passion Fruit Asam Pedas Stingray, Pineapple Sweet And Sour Prawns, Deep Fried Squid With Red Dragon Fruit and many more.

From feeding fishes at the fish pond to fruit-picking, the tour started with a 45-minute stroll through the diversified farm.

Image: Azrina Zin
Image: Azrina Zin
Image: Azrina Zin

Our knowledgeable tour guide Tina entertained us with fun and informative facts about the different types of exotic fruits and fauna at the farm.

Further into our tour, we got up close to some adorable animals such as goats, rabbits, chickens, tortoises, and camels in the Desaru Petting Zoo and fed them their favourite foods.

Image: Azrina Zin

Not only that, we also got behind the wheel of the ATV escorted by a guide for a fun sightseeing adventure around the quiet gentle nature and views of the flora and fauna.

At the end of our farm tour, we had the opportunity to shop at the mini mart, where you can buy fresh fruits from the farm that are readily cut and packaged with raw honey and bottled fruit juices along with other locally-sourced products.

Image: Azrina Zin

Altogether, the Desaru farm tour has been quite an eye-opening and sensory fun experience.

A seafood paradise for foodies

Desaru is a true treat for seafood lovers. It’s not only a beautiful coastline, but it is a productive one too. With its coastal town nature and close vicinity to fishing villages, visitors can enjoy the freshest seafood possible.

The Bruneian had a chance to enjoy some delectable, freshly-caught seafood at the popular and highly recommended Nelayan Seafood By The Coast, located at Tunamaya Beach & Spa Resort.

Image: Azrina Zin

The restaurant offers a unique coastal dining experience that’s both picturesque and comforting.

During our dinner, we were served a whole table full of a delicious menu including Butter lobster, Golden Silk Prawn, Hong Kong-style fish, their signature Icy Treasure, Fried eggplant with chicken floss and more.

All in all, whether you are looking for a quick weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life or an action-packed family adventure, Desaru Coast’s wide choices of fun-in-the-sun activities and its natural wonders make it the perfect vacation spot.


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