The main jumping off point for Ko Tarutao (as well as Ko Lipe and Ko Bulon Lae) is Pakbara Pier on the mainland. You can catch a public minibus from Hat Yai’s Talad Kaset Station and buy a ticket to Tarutao on arrival, or purchase an all-in minibus and speedboat transfer from a travel agent in Hat Yai or Trang. In high season, these depart both cities at 09:00 for 600 baht.
Daily speedboats running in either direction between Pakbara and Ko Lipe should stop at Ko Tarutao when it’s open from October 15 to May 15, though you may have to wait a day or two in shoulder months, or make a transfer in Pakbara, if coming from Lipe.
From Pakbara, a speedboat departs at 10:30 and stops at Tarutao's Ao Phante pier a half-hour later. From Lipe, a speedboat departs at 09:00 and takes more than an hour. The cost is 450 baht to/from either destination. Additional boats may also stop at Tarutao, depending on demand.
On Tarutao, Pakbara-bound boats pick up at 10:30, while Lipe-bound boats pick up between 11:00 and noon. Again there may be additional options; check with staff at the pier before 09:00 to find out.
Mountain bikes can be rented at the visitor centre in Ao Phante and the restaurant in Ao Molae for 250 baht per day, and we were pleased to see that the park had purchased dozens of quality bikes since our last visit. Even so, these bikes take a beating so give them a thorough check before setting off. The mountain roads from Ao Phante to Ao Molae and Ao Talo Wao are very steep and slippery in places—do be careful out there.
If not up for cycling you can pay 600 baht for a pick-up truck taxi to take you on a three-hour round trip from Ao Phante to Ao Son or Ao Talo Wao. These are available only from 08:30 to 14:00 and are often fully booked, so try to reserve a day in advance. Shared taxis also run between Ao Phante and Ao Molae at least twice a day for 100 baht per person.
Beyond walking, the only other option is to hire a longtail boat for 1,000 baht to Ao Molae, 2,000 baht to Ao Son and 2,500 baht to Ao Talo Wao. Motorbike rental is not available.