Travel destinations: the Cameron Highlands Agrotechnology Park was officially launched on 14 June 2003 by the Sultan State of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah. This park was first opened by the British in 1925 as the first agricultural research station in Malaysia. Later it was handed over to Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) in 1971.
This park is quite a large comprising 42 hectare site on Cameron Highlands and houses many species of temperate crops and plants. It is like a one stop botanical garden centre as tourist can come to a single place to look for strawberries, apples, pears, persimmons, roses, anthuriums and citrus fruits. One can wander around all day long and admire the gardens and plants. Modeled after the concept of New Zealand’s Agro Dome and the British Kew Garden, this place is definitely a lovely place to visit. MARDI plans to make this the place to go for agro-tourism.
The station is divided into six main sections:
- English Garden
- Herb Garden
- Orchid Garden
- Rose Garden
- Research Centre
- Visitors Information Centre
There are two quaint black and white cottages in the English Garden modeled according to 16th century Tudor architecture. It has three rooms which one can rent and stay. The cottages used to be MARDI staff quarters and the Institute is looking at other old buildings that they can convert as accommodations for homestay programmes.
They are looking at something like RM10 per night per person targeting students who might want to have affordable accommodations. Well, we will have to wait and see whether this idea will take off.
The Herb Garden boasts more than 50 species of temperate and local herbs. If you fancy some hands on experience, you could try planting some herbs while you are there and get some valuable information from the guides on hand.
In the Research Centre, they have a green house planting various types of flowers and vegetables. This centre is to do research on the production of new plants, protection from diseases and insects and research on new plant management techniques.
If you want to learn more about the plants and how to plant them in your house, look out for the park guides that do conducted tours. You might learn something useful from them and create a beautiful garden in your home that is the envy of your neighbors!
This park is rather old and they have some rather old equipment for tea bush and tea processing. So if you have some inclination for some old history about tea processing, this might be the place to go too.
As the park is still rather new, there are some plans to further develop the park, including jungle trekking activities, Pet Garden with goat and rabbit for children to study and play.
Nevertheless the park has already received some 100,000 visitors every year, even before the park was launched. The park expects to receive many visitors in future, so will you be one of them?
Getting to Agrotechnology Park
The Cameron Highlands MARDI Agrotechnology Park is located in Tanah Rata. Travel via the road next to Century Pines Hotel/Children Playground, pass the football field. It is located somewhere on the left side of the road on the way to the Arabella Apartments/Robinson Waterfall jungle trail.