Located near the southeastern tip of Peninsular Malaysia, Bandar Penawar is a coastal town and tourist resort overlooking the South China Sea. It forms part of the sunny Desaru Coast and is a popular getaway destination for residents of Johor Bahru. In addition to its long stretches of sand, Bandar Penawar is renowned for its Ernie Els-designed golf courses and family-friendly attractions.
Things to do in Bandar Penawar
Travelling with kids? Visit Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast, where you’ll find thrilling water slides, a wave pool and a surf simulator. It has been designed to resemble a traditional Malaysian fishing village and watches over a palm-fringed beach. Among Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast’s rides is the first water coaster in the region.
Sprawling to the south is the Els Club Desaru Coast, which centres around three oceanside golf courses designed by Ernie Els. You can challenge yourself on the 9-hole Coast, Ridge or Lakes courses, each with its own character and layout. The club also boasts a fully-grassed driving range and short-game practice areas where you can develop your chipping and putting skills.
A short drive north of Bandar Penawar is Tanjung Balau Beach, which offers a quieter alternative to bustling Desaru Beach. It’s renowned for its extensive overwater platform dotted with shady pagodas where you can enjoy an afternoon stroll. You can also visit the nearby Fishermen Museum, where traditional boats, angling equipment and natural history exhibits are on display.
Getting around Bandar Penawar
Bandar Penawar is around an hour’s drive from Johor Bahru and Johor Bahru Senai International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Asia. Regular buses connect to Bandar Penawar while renting a car will give you greater freedom to explore the Desaru Coast.