Niah National Park

Niah National Park includes palaeolithic & neolithic burial sites, ancient cave paintings and the spectacular cave mouth of the Great Cave, one of the world’s largest cave entrances. The park was gazetted in 1974 and covers 3,183 hectares of rainforest and limestone hills.

Whilst Mulu National Park’s cave system is more famous and receives more visitors, Niah Caves has much to offer and is an interesting day trip from Miri.

The Great Cave at Niah sheltered human life some 40,000 years ago and this led to a reappraisal of the theories of human distribution on earth. What is even more amazing is there is evidence of continuous humans habitation in this cave until very recently.

The park has a visitor information centre, chalet accommodation and a network of plankwalks that allow visitors to explore the forest and enter the caves.

The Great Cave

Niah Natiional Park

The Great Cave at Niah is truly spectacular both in terms of its enormous size and historical significance. The mouth of the Great Cave is 60 metres high and 250 wide and its floor area covers 10.5 hectares. The cave is accessed from the park HQ by a 3.1 km jungle trail and plankwalk. Archaeological excavations can be see on the left of cave mouth.

From the cave mouth a passage leads to a large chamber at the back known as the Padang. Here rock formations are illuminated by shafts of light that the shine though holes in the cave roof. Beyond the Padang is a dark passage called Moon Cave (Gan Kira).

The Great Cave has a long history of human settlement. In 1950s and 1960s Niah was the focus of intense archaeological research with excavations led by Tom Harrisson, the curator of the Sarawak Museum, and his wife Barbara.

The Harrissons and their team found evidence of long term human occupation and burial. Earthenware, ornaments, bone tools and food remains were found in the caves. Their most notable find was a human skull.

The skull was found in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave. The skull belonged to an adult female. Radiocarbon dating of the charcoal found at the same level of the dig, suggested the skull was 40,000 years old. This made it the oldest modern human fossil known at that time.

The Painted Cave

The Painted Cave is a smaller cave at Niah where archaeologists found burial grounds and paintings of red human figures on the cave walls. Boat shaped coffins or ‘death ships’ were also found at the Painted Cave. The burial sites at the Painted Cave are far more recent than those found at the Great Cave.


The Forest Lodge Type 1 (1 king bed, air-con, attached bathroom and toilet, living room and fridge) is RM 300.

A room in the Forest Lodge Type 2 (2 single beds, air-con, attached bathroom and toilet) is RM 250. If you take both rooms in the lodge it costs RM 500.

A room in the Forest Lodge Type 4 (4 single beds, air-con, attached bathroom and toilet) is RM 150. If you take both rooms the price is RM 225.

A room in a Forest Lodge Type 5 (4 single beds, fan and attached bathroom & toilet) is RM 100 per night. If you take both rooms the price is RM 150.

A bed in a 4-person hostel room is RM 15. If you take the whole hostel room the price is RM 40.

There is a campsite with space for 25 tents. Price is RM 5  per person.

You can book rooms at Niah on the Sarawak e-booking website.

Entrance Fees

The entrance fee for foreigners is RM 20 (adult) and RM 7 (child, 7-18 years). The price for Malaysians is RM 10 (adult) and RM 3 (child, 7-18 years). Malaysians may be asked to show their IC card as proof of citizenship. Children 6 years and below are free.

Getting To Niah National Park

Niah National Park is located on the Sungai Niah, about 3 km from the town of Batu Niah. The park is accessible from both Miri and Bintulu. It is 80 km from Miri via the coastal road and 110 km from Miri on the main Miri-Bintulu road. Niah is located approx. 115 km from Bintulu.

From the Pujut Corner Bus Terminal in Miri you can take any bus going to Bintulu, Sibu or Kuching and ask the driver to be dropped off at the Niah Rest Stop. Bus fare is RM 10-15 depending on the type of bus and the operator. From Bintulu take any bus to Miri and get off at Niah. The fare from Bintulu is RM 15-20.

From the Niah Rest Area take a private taxi to the park HQ (RM 30-50). Alternatively, try to see if you can get a Grab car.

A taxi from Miri to Niah National Park is around RM 160 one-way. With Grab the fare is RM 100-120.




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