Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark in Malaysia, Kota Tinggi

Zipping across the Malaysia border makes for solid day trips. But if you’re planning a proper getaway for long weekends or the holiday season, consider venturing further than the list of things to do near the JB Causeway.

Located a 1.5-hour bus ride away from JB Sentral is Desaru Coast. And one of the must-do activities in Desaru? Hitting up the Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark. Here are all the thrills and spills you can look forward to:

Rides & attractions, from kid-friendly to high-thrill


Located along the quiet east coast of Malaysia, the park spans 100,000sqm – roughly the size of the Singapore Expo – and houses over 20 attractions. From relaxing river-rides like the Penawar River to exhilarating water slides like The Tempest, you’ll be free to determine the thrill level of your little adventure.

1. Kraken’s Revenge – Roller coaster with a splash

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark - Kraken's Revenge

Certified adrenaline chasers can go full Rambo and start with the most exhilarating ride. Enter Kraken’s Revenge – a roller coaster flume ride that sends you through a 360-degree loop before plunging you down at roughly 70 km/h into a splashing, heart-stopping finish. 

Thrill factor: 5/5

2. The Tempest – Giant vortex that’ll send you spinning

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark - The Tempest

A little further down the park is a monstrously huge funnel, none other than The Tempest. At the mouth of the ride, I asked the staff if this ride is as scary as it looked from below. He laughed and said no. I later learned, as I fell backwards and at full speed into the vortex for many spins around the circumference, that we have different ideas of what “scary” means.

Thrill factor: 4/5

3. Swinging Ship – Viking ship over a waterfall

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark - Swinging Ship

By now, your heart should be beating at twice its normal rate. Good news, we’re slowing things downbut only a little.

The Swinging Ship is Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark’s rendition of the classic viking ship. This replica pirate ship oscillates beside the 13m high Penawar Falls, so you may just catch a glimpse of the top of the waterfall when it swings to an unnerving 180 degrees. 

Thrill factor: 3/5

4. Tidal Wave Beach – Float & frolic in a sea of waves

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark - Tidal Wave Beach
Image credit: Klook

Another step down the thrill ladder is the Tidal Wave Beach. Measuring close to 3 acres and holding over 4 million gallons of water, it is one of the largest wave pools in the world to date. Here you can choose either to loll in the water or head further into where the tidal waves are generated.

Careful not to underestimate the force of the waves. Sure, it’s just water, but if you’ve ever been to a beach, you’ll know how deceptive tidal waves can be. These man-made ones are no different!

Thrill factor: 2/5

5. Penawar River – A quiet winding river for you to chillax

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark - Penawar River
Image adapted from: @cass_zx & @salinasaini via Instagram

Here’s where you can catch a breather from all that speed-sliding and plummeting, and just go full chillax mode. Float down the serene 350m Penawar River and calm yourself amid the lush tree-lined riverbank.

This attraction is open to all, but children below the height of 122cm will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Thrill factor: 1/5

6. Scallywags & Starfish Splash – Kid-friendly water play zones

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark - Scallywags & Starfish Splash
Image credit: @shareentee via Instagram

Your little ones won’t miss out on the fun, as there are dedicated play zones with age-appropriate rides. Swing by the Scallywags water playground for attractions that are tame enough even for toddlers, while still ensuring they’ll have a ball of a time.

Over at Starfish Splash, the more daring kiddos can take on rides like a tube slide, or race their siblings in multi-lane water slides. 

Thrill factor: 0/5

Fuel up at the cafe, juice bar, fast food stand or poolside restaurant

Kelong Eatery Asian Cuisine
Image credit: Desaru Coast

Ride after ride would probably make you hungry. Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark’s main restaurant, Kelong Eatery, has just what you’ll need to quell those bothersome hunger pangs. They serve a mix of Western and Asian cuisine, with dishes like Fish and Chips (RM23.90, ~S$6.98) and Stir-Fried Black Pepper Chicken with Rice (RM14.90, ~S$4.35)

Kelong Eatery
Image credit: Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast via Facebook 

The restaurant grants a view of the Kraken’s Revenge pool area, so you’ll get to witness fellow thrillseekers splashing to their hearts’ content as you chow down.

River Grill Burgers
Fast food from River Grill.
Image credit: Desaru Coast

If you’re just hankering for a quick bite or something you quench your thirst, other F&B options at the waterpark are the Octo-Bites Cafe, Surf’s Up Juice Bar, and River Grill – a fast food joint serving classics like burgers, hot dogs, and fries.

Accommodation near Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark

After a fun-filled day expending all your energy under the sun, the last thing you want is a long commute to some far-away accommodation. Make your future self thank you by booking a stay at one of the hotels and resorts situated near Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark. There are several options of varying budgets.

Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast
Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Located the closest to the water park and available at the cheapest rates out of all the options, Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast is a no-frills option that’s suitable for families. The rooms are far from shabby, with cosy wooden furniture and colourful murals that’ll make lovely backdrops for wefies with the fam.

Jln Pantai 3, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Saturday Open 24 Hours  Show More Timings 

The Westin Desaru Coast Resort

The Westin Desaru Coast Resort
Image credit: The Westin Desaru Coast Resort

A stone’s throw away from Hard Rock Hotel is The Westin Desaru Coast Resort. For a slight jump in prices, you can spend your holiday in spacious suites big enough to house large families or travelling friend groups. Bookmark this if you’re the type who values alone time, and need a private space to recharge after a full day of adventures.

Jalan Pantai 3, Desaru Coast, Bandar Penawar, Malaysia, 81930
Opening Hours: Saturday Open 24 Hours  Show More Timings 

Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas

Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas
Image credit: Jee Kian Koh via Google Maps

Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas is where you can get a taste of island living from around $1,000/night. It’s just 4 minutes away from the water park by car – or a 16-minute leisurely stroll – and you’ll get to wake up and wind down to gorgeous palm trees, pools and jacuzzis galore, and an all-round tranquil atmosphere to inspire some serious R&R.

Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas
Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Saturday Open 24 Hours  Show More Timings 

One & Only Desaru Coast

One & Only Desaru Coast
Image credit: One & Only Desaru Coast

For romantic getaways or to celebrate a special occasion, One & Only Desaru Coast would be a worthy splurge. Also priced around the $1,000/night mark, the 5-star resort is a 7-minute ride away from the water park. The white brick finishes give the resort a faux-Grecian vibe, and you can opt for the rooms with private pools and outdoor tubs for a true taste of luxury.

One&Only Desaru Coast
Persiaran Damai, Desaru Coast Bandar Penawar, 90, 81930, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Saturday Open 24 Hours  Show More Timings 

Getting to Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark from Singapore

Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark Amusement Park

Now that you’re sold on the water park, let’s talk logistics. We have a full Singapore to Desaru transport guide at your disposal, so take a gander and see which option is most convenient and suitable for you and your travel companions. You can opt to journey there via ferry, private hire vehicle, a bus transfer from JB, or even a lil roadtrip on your own.

If you’re making your way over to Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark with Kota Tinggi Bus Terminal as your starting point, it’ll be about a 50-minute car ride or 1 hour and 45 minutes via bus. 

The water park is situated about a 15-minute walk from Desaru Beach, so make sure you allocate time in your itinerary to swing by and enjoy the sun and sand amidst your ridin’ and slidin’ adventure.

82200 Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Sunday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m  Show More Timings 

This post was brought to you by Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, Malaysia.
A portion of this content may contain referral links to products. Our opinions remain our own.
First published by Russell Chan on 18th January 2019. Last updated by Renae Cheng on 18th August 2023.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.