Many islands in Malaysia have the perfect ingredients to be tropical paradises: crystal clear waters, clean powdery sands, swaying palms, and sunny skies. Pulau Aur is definitely among them; far from the maddening crowd, the island offers opportunities to explore underwater havens or just to laze around. Pulau Aur has unusual scenic beauty, with secluded lagoons and offshore pools that make it an idyllic destination to get away from it all.
Pulau Aur is part of the Marine Park of Johor. Located Northeast of Singapore. This Marine park consists of the following islands: in one “group” there is Pulau Rawa, Pulau Babi Hujung, Pulau Babi Tengah, Pulau Babi Besar, Pulau Tinggi, Pulau Mentinggi and Pulau Sibu.
Easily accessible from Singapore, they are popular with non-divers and snorkellers as well, so they can be very busy over weekends and holidays.
65km east of Mersing, Pulau Aur, and the three smaller islands of Pulau Dayang, Pulau Lang and Pulau Pinang, together with Pulau Pemanggil which is 15km northwest of Pulau Aur, make up the second group of the Johor Marine Park. Most of the rocky islands are well forested and have isolated coconut plantations. With deep, clear water, healthy corals and regular encounters with large pelagic species. Pulau Dayang and Pulau Aur definitely offer the best diving in the marine park
Several underwater Pinnacles on the east side of Pulau Aur rise 30m from the sea floor to within 10m of the surface with good hard coral growth including undamaged table corals (Acropora Sp.). ‘Rayner’s Rock’ northeast of Pulau Dayang, is a similar 33m high, submerged rock where there are impressive Boulder Corals (Porites Sp.), Whale Sharks have been seen and delightful encounters with large Manta Rays (Manta birostris) are common.It is surprising to see extraordinarily large numbers of juvenile fish this far offshore, many are so different in shape and markings from their adults that they can be mistaken for different species.
There is no dive center on the island. All dive trips must be pre-arranged. The packages usually include land transfers from Singapore to the jetty in Mersing, boat transfer to resort on Pulau Aur, 6 dives and full board. Packages are available from most dive operators in Singapore.
The boat ride from Mersing takes about 4 1/2 hrs and can be long. Some operators opt to leave at night so you make it into an overnight trip and get there the next morning.
When to Visit Pulau Aur
Heavy rains in December and March affect currents and visibility at certain sites.
Getting to Pulau Aur
It takes about 4 1/2 hrs by boat from Mersing. It’s a popular island with many dive shops and groups in Singapore.