Setup at Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating marine parks, comprising a cluster of 5 islands located off the coast of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. The Coral Flyer (zip-line cable) links both Pulau Gaya and Pulau Sapi islands and is a unique tourism product in Sabah for everyone who adores adventure and adrenaline. This is also the world’s longest island to island zip-line (it certainly was at the time I did).
I purchased my boat ticket to Gaya Island on Friday morning, May 12th at the ticketing counters at the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal (Counter 10), situated next to the Malaysia Royal Custom Department. I was told to come by 1300hrs since the departure was at 1330hrs. I had some more time to explore the city before returning to my hotel to change into comfortable clothes for the much awaited adrenaline experience. The hotel was a 5-minute drive and managed to go and get back to the ferry terminal by 1300hrs. The boat departed at sharp 1330hrs with a group of about 12 people, it was a 15-20 minute boat ride to Sapi island.
At Padang point, I purchased my ticket for the zip-line adventure (a.k.a Coral Flyer), it was RM68.00 inclusive of the boat transfer from Sapi Island to Gaya Island. There weren’t a lot of people for the next zip-line ride, only two others apart from me. I also had to complete and sign the waiver form, Yes! I had to confirm that I understood my participation in the zip-line could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis or even death. We were told to wait for a couple of minutes before the boat prepared to take us to Gaya island. Three of us were soon transported in a small boat to Gaya island where we followed pointers and trekked a short trail through the jungle to the harness and helmet station for safety briefing. We strapped the full body harnesses, each of us received a safety helmet and had to carry a 7kg trolley uphill 45 degrees for another 5 minutes before we arrived at the zip-line platform (metal structure) which was 45 meters (148 feet) above the ground. I was very tired and thirsty, my legs were shaking and requested the zip-line crew to allow me 3 minutes to catch some breath.
The zip-line crew looked at the three of us and asked us who’s going first, I volunteered since I was alone and the other two were together and they probably will want to do it on a single go as a pair on both the zip-line cables. The crew were very friendly and concerned about our safety, they double checked the harness and the helmet as I prepared my GoPro to capture my thrilling ride and extreme experience above sea level and at the island.
It wasn’t the perfect weather, but there was no rain. All was set and I was ready to go and took off the launching platform and woosh I went like a breeze. At first I was a bit nervous over the safety standards, but the surrounding views awed me and made me forget the negative vibes. The ocean views were stunning and it really was an incredible experience. The exact distance I zip-lined was 235 meters in 23 seconds, at a speed of 55km/j.
The brake system at the end of the line was a bit uncomfortable though, I was busy shooting the GoPro and was not prepared for a sudden stop at the end of the line, but it was safe, just not a smooth landing. Unlike many other similar activities, the Coral Flyer doesn’t have videographers and photographers to shoot for people taking part in the zip-line rides, I am sure this is something they could think about and is something they could potentially make revenue out of. The Coral Flyer had 10 staff looking over the zip-line operation, all of them qualified with Level 1 – 3 ARAA’s.
The other two who were with me decided to go for another zip-line ride, but I decided to go have lunch before my boat departs back to Jesselton Point at 1630hrs. It took another 5 minute hike back to main area at Sapi Island. There were tourists snorkeling and engaged in many beach activities with families and friends.