Pulau Tiga is one of a group of small uninhabited Malaysian islands in Kimanis Bay off the western coast of Sabah. The islands were formed on September 21, 1897, when an earthquake on Mindanao caused a volcanic eruption near Borneo. The island is 607 hectares in size and has a couple of active mud volcanos at the highest part of the island. Pulau Tiga is one of the three islands that make up Pulau Tiga National Park. The Park Headquarters are on the island, comprising an office complex, and accommodation for the park staff and visiting scientists.
Pulau Tiga is an island situated within the Pulau Tiga Park that was gazette in 1978 and located about 35 nautical miles southwest of Kota Kinabalu,. Three islands make up Pulau Tiga Park, they are Pulau Tiga, Pulau Kalampunian Damit or better know as 'Snake Island' and Pulau Kalampunian Besar. Pulau Tiga is believed to have been formed by the eruption of several mud volcanoes, which with the combination of subterranean gas pressure and expelled muddy sediment could have built up the island to its present height of approximately 100m above sea level.
Several species of mammals, numerous birds (including the very rare megapode), a variety of reptiles and amphibians and hundreds of insects can be found on Pulau Tiga, making it a truly wild tropical island.
With only one resort on Pulau Tiga, you can guarantee a relaxed and tranquil dive holiday. Pulau Tiga Resort offers PADI dive courses and many dive sites for the novice and experienced divers including some unexplored dive locations. A rich variety of marine life can be seen including nudibranchs, bamboo sharks, cuttlefish, marbled stingray and of course, a visit to nearby Snake Island guarantees sightings of banded sea snakes. The surrounding reefs are shallow with healthy coral and water visibility ranging from m to 20m.
The undisturbed shoreline abounds with a colorful variety of plant life such as the Barringtonia Asiatica easily distinguished by its delicate white flowers with pink stamen- like filaments. There are also Callophylum, Termanilia catappa, and Casuarina not forgetting the Ardisia, a small bushy tree with clusters of tiny pink flowers. The Ranggu and Keruing are also abundant here. One particularly important tree among tropical islanders is the Hibiscus tiliaceus, a tree with bright yellow flowers whose fibrous bark is used for ropes and boat caulking. It is also a source of timber, firewood and medicine.
The many varieties of birds include the fish eating frigate birds which roost on Pulau Kalampunian Damit and the unusual looking megapode. Hornbills, nightjars, magpies, bulbuls, the brilliantly colored and fast moving sunbirds and black-naped bridled terns also inhabit the islands. Long-tailed macaques are easily discernible between the foliage while bats sleep hanging 'upside-down7 from the trees waiting for evening before embarking on their nocturnal food hunting expeditions. Reptiles include the grey-tailed racer snake, the beautiful yellow-ringed cat snake found on Pulau Tiga and a large population of sea snakes on Pulau Kalampunian Besar earning it the name, 'Snake Island'. There are also .numerous water monitor lizards preying on the megapode eggs. The 'homeless' hermit crab can also be seen moving into shells abandoned by the sea snails or other mollusc like a fugitive avoiding detection!
A 7-km coral reef around the islands is home to some 35 general species and 98 species of hard corals and their accompanying 'guests'-the brightly colored fish and other marine life to whom the reef is home.
Pulau Tiga The island consists of three low hills that were formed when 'volcanoes' of mineral-rich mud were spewed out from underground. Since the last explosion in 1941, the 'volcanoes' have remained passive, leaving the island relatively serene. Coral fragments from the encircling reef, make up the fine sand of its clean white beaches, while the lush green forest is reflected in the emerald depths of the crystal clear sea.