Fun fact: What’s 0.5 square kilometres large and covered in trees? If you said “Coney Island Park,” you’ve guessed right.
Situated on what was once known as Serangoon Island, Coney Island Park (CIP) is a nature reserve open from 7am to 7pm daily. For safety reasons, no one is allowed to camp in the park overnight.
To avoid the heat, we suggest that you visit before noon as it can get scorching-hot on the main path after that. Take it from our first-hand experience, it’s worth waking up early to avoid getting caught in the sweltering heat.
There are two ways to access CIP: the West Entrance and the East Entrance.
Taking bus 84 from Punggol Temporary Bus Interchange will bring you to Punggol Settlement, from there you can walk to a bridge which will connect you to CIP (West Entrance).
We recommend you take this route because you’ll pass by many eateries and a horse-riding ranch, both of which are worth a visit. Also, the East Entrance isn’t really near any bus stops so it’s quite difficult to commute there via public transport.
With or without a bicycle, cross the bridge and you’ll find yourself at the gate with adventures awaiting beyond.
Being the first and easiest to spot, you will have no trouble finding this area which uses the timber of uprooted Casuarina trees to build a playground of sorts.
Besides being eco-friendly, it also reminds me of balancing games played during recess in primary school. If you’re at a lost of ideas of what to do here, the nearest signboard even has suggestions.
It’s also where you can refer to the ever-helpful information boards and try to find the Rose Myrtle or the Canavalia rosea; neither of which are actually roses.
Not far after the Casuarina Exploration, you can find steps like these leading to the sea where you can easily dip your feet into the water to cool off from the heat.
This spot is great for your Instagram feed – go crazy taking #OOTD (outfit of the day), group selfies, or even a recreation of The Titanic’s “don’t let go, Jack!” moment can be made here, who am I kidding.
So many possibilities for you to step up (geddit?) your photography game.
You’ll see wooden arches like this throughout Coney Island Park. They’re supposedly a good place to conceal yourself as you birdwatch but I had better luck spotting birds in trees along the main path.
About three quarters of your way in from the West Entrance, you can find a couple of places where saplings are being cared for. They’re pretty easy to spot in the clearing amongst their taller family members.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll find a card with information about their species and photos of their distinct features. See if you can identify the fully grown ones as you continue your journey.
You won’t mistake this path for any other, with its distinctive wooden panelling and rustic feel, it’s similar to the boardwalk you can find in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
The flora and fauna found as you travel deeper into the wetland region will be different from those along the main path. Expect to see wetter patches of land, some even flooded with seawater from the high tides.
Here you can try to spot a mudskipper, or the distinct pink fruit of the Nipis Kulit.
Braving the detour into the mangrove area has its perks, such as these rustic stone slabs for crossing.
Great place for photos but a tad dangerous, do look out for the large gaps between the stone slabs, and be careful when it’s high tide.
To prove that you’ve conquered the trail, photographs are a must at both the iconic East and West, and before you know it, you’ve come to the end of your exploration.
If you’d like to find the places we explored, do note their locations before going down yourself:
And to top off our guide on how to fully experience Coney Island, we’ve prepared the survival checklist below – enjoy!
No water cooler or kiosk will be found on the island to supply you with drinks. If you forget to bring one, there’s a convenience store right next to the bus 84 berth at Punggol Temporary Bus Interchange where you can stock up before you embark on your exploration.
Singapore’s weather is hot, humid and unmerciful so take care! Sunblock is recommended too.
There are mosquitoes and lots of other bugs around, enough said.
Toilets are almost non-existent in Coney Island Park, except for one near the East Entrance. They weren’t kidding when they said it’s a nature reserve, but there’s no need for you to reserve your calls of nature if you take a quick bathroom break at Punggol Settlement first.
The 2.4 km main path takes about half an hour to brisk walk in one direction, that’s if you don’t make any stops. A bike would get you from place to place a lot faster, which gives you more time to explore – detours are part of the fun, aren’t they?