If you grew up in Sabah, you would have definitely come across the Desa brand. The Desa Dairy Farm in Sabah produces over 90,000 liters of fresh milk every year. The 199-hectares farm is home to Holstein Friesian cows.
These cows are originally from New Zealand and are the highest milk producers of all breeds. With its cool air, breathtaking views and delicious dairy, it is no surprise that this farm has become a popular tourist attraction. Temperature here is about 20°C / 68°F, so do bring a light jacket with you as it can be cool, especially on a windy day.
How to get to Desa Dairy Farm?
Desa Dairy Farm is about 100km from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s state capital. It will take you about 2 to 2.5 hours to get to Mesilau by car. If you are not local and do not have access to a car, there is a bus to Kundasang town. The farm is only 10km from Kundasang and you can easily hop into a taxi to bring you to the farm. Do note that you may have to arrange with the taxi driver for a return trip so that you will not be left stranded.
Desa Dairy Farm GPS Coordinates: 6°00’59.0″N 116°35’28.9″E
Accommodation near Desa Dairy Farm
There are several other places of interest in Kundasang that you can visit, such as the Mount Kinabalu Park. It makes sense to stay 2 to 3 days if you have the time. There are plenty of places in which you can stay that are close to the farm. Among these are the Spring Garden, Rocky Mountain Lodge and Kinabalu Pine Resort. With the glorious mountain views, you will soon find yourself unwinding and relaxing.
Ticketing and other costs associated
Entry fee to the farm is RM5 for adults and RM4 for children. Children under 6 years old get to enter free of charge.
Bring extra money with you as there are many dairy based foods produced by Desa for you to try. There is also a souvenir shop where you will be able to purchase a little something to remember your trip.
Visiting hours is from 8am to 5pm daily.
Things to do at Desa Dairy Farm
There is something for everyone and plenty to do at the farm.
Visit the Cow Barn
The Desa barns can hold over 300 cows. Head over to the view bay to see how cows are milked. While you are not allowed to touch the cows, you can take a peek at the milking process which is scheduled to take place at 3 to 5 pm daily. Milking a cow is not as easy as it looks!
Visit the Milk processing plant
The milk processing plant is located in the main building. Here you can look through the window and learn how milk ends up in a carton. Raw milk processing happens 10am to 3pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Calf Feeding at the Calf Pen
The calf feeding pen is right next to the main building. Here, you will be able to see little lambs as well as young goats. If you wish to feed the calves, you can purchase milk at RM1.50 per bottle or buy a bunch of grass at RM1.00 per bunch. Grip the grass properly when you are feeding the calves as they are surprisingly strong and can easily pull it out of your hand.
Take Lots of Pictures!
With Mount Kinabalu in the background, the view at Desa Dairy Farm is just breathtaking. It’s no wonder that the locals have dubbed this place Sabah’s own New Zealand. It is not unusual to see couples using this beautiful scene as a backdrop for their wedding pictures. However, you will need to get to the site before 8.30am if you want to see Mount Kinabalu as this majestic mountain will be shrouded by thick fog.
In addition to this, there are also numerous giant granite boulders that are on the farmland. You can climb up the big rocks for a photo but do be careful that you do not fall or hurt yourself.
Places to eat near Desa Dairy Farm
While there are snacks such as waffles and hot dogs offered at the farm, you will not be able to get a full meal here. The closest restaurant to the Desa Dairy Farm is Des a Cow! Restaurant. Here, you will be able to enjoy the spectacular views over some local dishes. A short drive will bring you to the SS Chinese Restaurant, Selera Kebun Restaurant, and Dream World Kundasang Restaurant. If you have children with you and want something that is familiar and easy to eat, Kentucky Fried Chicken is also just a short drive away.
Other products by Desa Dairy Farm
Milk is not the only product here. Desa has ingeniously used their fresh milk to create dairy based snacks and goodies such as yogurt, pudding and ice cream. In recent years, Desa has even started producing fresh mozzarella and delicious ricotta cheese. Do get the ice cream as soon as you can as they tend to sell out really fast.
The Desa Dairy Farm gives you an experience like no other place in Sabah. With many activities that are suitable for both children and adults, it is worth the drive from Kota Kinabalu. For more information, head on to their website or their facebook page.