In the past, people travel for hours on foot to the city/town center; some for necessity, others for a piece of action. These days, we (city people) seem to gravitate towards the ‘countryside’, traveling backwards to find a piece of mind in ruralism and nature. At least that seems to be what I have been doing.
Of late, work consumed almost my every waking hour and sometimes I wonder about my propensity for extremity. Playing too hard, loving too much, relaxing and enjoying life beyond the fullest, and now back to the grind: juggling work and interest. There’s often the need to escape, even if it is only for a few hours.
Lucky for me, there are various options in Singapore. Contrary to common belief, this tiny red dot – that I called home – has more to offer beyond city lights, manmade attractions and shopping. The newly opened nature park – Coney Island – offers a space for relaxation and indulgence in nature.
Coney Island In Singapore
Located off the northeastern coast of Singapore, Coney Island (originally known as Pulau Serangoon) dates back to the 1930s where it used to be owned by the Haw Par brothers who had a villa there. Rustic in nature, this 50ha park retains its natural charms with a wide variety of habitats. Imagine coastal forests, grasslands, mangroves, etc. Flora and fauna thrive and although there’s much to see and do, one can experience equal pleasure in doing nothing at all.
Memories of the sweet woody scent of Casuarina brought a sense of calm. Entering by the West entrance led us to the Casuarina exploratory where tall willowy trees provided shade from the noon sun. It was a fine, fine day. Clouds adorned the blue sky and the towering trees waved gentle greetings. Birdsongs and answering calls of nature were accompanied by the occasional human voices and laughter. Was that the Oriental Magpie-robin? Giggling teenagers cycled by in a flash. An orangey green snake wriggled past quickly, narrowly avoiding an unintended accident. Coney Island presents a space for wildlife and human to exist in harmony.
Aside from the newly built boardwalk that brings one through the forest and mangroves, there are five access points to the beach, each named after an alphabet from A to E. As you walk along, you will notice uprooted Casuarina – some in raw forms, others already recycled and transformed into helpful signage, benches and exhibits. There are reputedly 80 species of birds, which makes it ideal for bird spotting. Needless to say, nature photography is ideal here. If you are more of a social creature, Coney Island has many great spots for picnic and catching some quality time with loved ones.
7 Tips To Enhance Your Coney Island Experience
- There are two entrances to Coney Island – West or East Entrance. If visiting the park by foot, it is highly recommended to begin your visit from the West entrance, which is about 500m east along the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk.
- The East entrance is linked to the Punggol Waterway and could be abit of overkill if you are not cycling! If you do not want to bring your own bike, you can rent it from the bike store at Punggol Settlement.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes!
- There are sandflies at the beach, so do consider long pants or avoid plopping down on the sand randomly.
- Bring your own drinks and snacks but do not leave any rubbish.
- Note that the opening hours of the park are from 7am – 7pm.
- If you still have time and energy after visiting Coney Island, continue on to Punggol Waterway and Lorong Halus Wetlands.
The above information is based on the author’s own experience and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, do check out: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/coney-island-park