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Kota Kinabalu – or 'KK' as it's affectionately known – is a popular departure point for diving and deep sea fishing. There's the 5-island Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park just off shore (which you can reach via speed boat) and plentiful wrecks due to the area's involvement in World War II. The wrecks are between 24 and 45 metres below the surface. Whether you're a water novice and just beginning to snorkel, or you've an advanced PADI certificate and are looking for an underwater challenge, KK delivers both.
If you'd like to fish, or just day trip on a boat, there are daily departures from town. You can hire a boat or join a group on a pay-per-person basis. Don't expect lashings of luxury on your vessel though – many are rudimentary but do the trick.
The city itself is modern and home to more than half a million people, so if you'd rather while away your hours on shore, that's certainly an option. You can splash around at the beaches and the 5 main malls are open 10am–10pm. If you prefer getting among the locals at a marketplace, the Gaya Street Fair is held from 8am each Sunday. Budgets at either end of the spectrum are catered for among the local hotels and restaurants.
Kota Kinabalu Airport (BKI)
Flights to Kota Kinabalu will disembark at Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) is located about 8 kilometres southwest of the city centre. As Malaysia's second busiest airport, Kota Kinabalu is the main gateway into the state of Sabah and into Borneo.
Airport Accommodation: There are a number of hotels located in close proximity to Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Book your Kota Kinabalu accommodation.
Getting to Kota Kinabalu
There are several airlines that offer flights to Kota Kinabalu from Australia. Direct flights from Perth take five hours and 50 minutes. Flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane via Kuala Lumpur take between 12 and 14 hours depending on the stopover.
Airlines that fly to Kota Kinabalu
Airlines that offer cheap flights to Kota Kinabalu from Australia include:
For more information on Kota Kinabalu holidays check out our Kota Kinabalu travel guide.