Port Dickson has an ample amount of mangrove swamps and forest reserves that are delightful for nature lovers. All these places are also family-friendly as there are farms and zoos that are bound to be enjoyable for little ones.
Cape Rachado Forest Reserve (Tanjung Tuan)
Be one with nature at Cape Rachado where rolling green scenery awaits you with lush jungle trails that leads you to isolated beaches and mangrove areas just waiting for you to discover them. As Tanjung Tuan mainly consists of tropical rainforests and mangrove everglades interspersed with stretches of sandy beaches, it is the perfect place for eco-enthuasiasts. Since being gazetted as a forest reserve in 1921, there is an abundance of wildlife that roams freely around the trails amongst the undisturbed nature. A friendly reminder, do bring along your insect repellent with you as the forest is filled with bugs especially after the sun sets. If you are lucky, you might be able to spot normally shy reptiles such as monitor lizards, snakes or the occasional crocodile. Park your car at Ilham Resort and trek up the trail to the legendary lighthouse.
Cape Rachado Lighthouse
The lighthouse in Tanjung Tuan is so historical that it garners a separate description all by itself. Featuring a fully functional light house nestled amongst a forest reserve and wildlife park, the structure was completed in the 16th century and is said to be the oldest in Malaysia. Built by the Portuguese, the main purpose of the lighthouse was to guide weary ships safely into the Port of Malacca, as previously they were actually a part of Malacca. With modernization, now the lighthouse sports a tower added in the 1990s containing a MEASAT radar. From the foot of the lighthouse, the picturesque view of the Sumatra will take your breath away. Bird-watchers can gather here to observe several types of migratory birds, namely swifts, honey buzzards, hawks and eagles when they begin their migration but do take note that this usually happens in the months of September to March.
When you have finished admiring the ancient lighthouse, follow the meandering trail beside the lighthouse back to your car and discover Hang Tuah’s footprint set in a rock, located at the right of the track. According to folklore, the legendary 15th century Malay warrior footprint marks the place where he first landed and chose to meditate there. He is also said to have dug up a nearby well which provides crisp, cool water to refresh and rehydrate thirsty travellers passing by that spot.
If you’re an animal lover, you can stop over at the petting zoo located at the beach road known as Port Dickson Ostrich Farm. There’s more than just ostriches in the zoo, in fact there are other varieties of birds such as peacocks, jungle fowls, monkeys and even farm animals. As they are predominantly an ostrich farm, visitors can find a number of ostriches in shady open paddocks where they can be fed with pellets bought from the farm. Try a once-in-a-lifetime experience of riding an ostrich and sample cuisine made from ostrich meat at the restaurant on the farm.
Port Dickson Mini Zoo
Another fun place to explore for animal lovers, PD Mini Zoo has assorted types of animals that children will love such as horses, donkeys, rabbits, chickens and snakes. Spend an exciting day there with your kids as they tour the zoo or take a ride on the donkey carts.
Pasir Panjang Recreational Park (Hutan Lipur Pasir Panjang)
About 25 km away from PD town, inside a quiet little village known as Pasir Panjang, there is a 13-hectare jungle turned into a recreational forest. Nature lovers will find this park is well-equipped with visitor facilities, shady shelters and training camps. Once you have finished exploring the forest, treat your hungry stomach to some delicious local food at the famous hawker centre outside where the prices are cheap and the food is good. Try the locally cooked seafood especially the ‘Ikan Bakar’, prawns, squid and clams. In addition, you can also opt to go fishing as there is a jetty available for fishermen.