You have absolutely no idea how excited we were when the long-awaited Coney Island finally opened its doors to the public on 10 October 2015. Coming across a pristine grassland in Singapore is considered a rarity, especially when its urban population rate is at 100%. Alternatively known as Pulau Serangoon, this 50-hectare ecologically sustainable park is a great way to disconnect from the hectic city life and reconnect with mother nature.
Here is our guide on what visitors can do at Coney Island Park. We have also included essential information i.e. directions on getting there and what to prepare for a half-day trip.
Made from timber of uprooted Casuarina trees, recycled sand and other natural materials, the environmentally friendly playground at Casuarina Exploration is great for all ages. Have a great time trying to keep your balance across the different stations, namely Caterpillar, Earthworm and Millipede. Yes, the adventure area is aptly named after worms.
Visitors are granted access to five different beach pockets of Coney Island. Do note that these beach areas do not boast snow-white sand but still do offer experiences unlike any other. There are sandflies at the coastal area so do wear long pants to minimise the risk of attacks.
From Oriental Magpie Robin to Baya Weavers, there are over 80 species of birds at Coney Island Park. Visitors can camp at the bird-watching hideout, where its partial green cover allows them to observe the birds closely without startling them with their presence.
Rent a bicycle from the rental shops at The Punggol Settlement or bring your own bike or scooter to explore Coney Island at a quicker pace. The entire route is only 2.4 kilometres so visitors can still easily complete the trail without cycling.
Take a stroll around Coney Island and admire its lush greenery. The gigantic Common Rhu trees and Lalang fields do pose great photographic opportunities but it is the critically endangered plants such as Horsfieldia Irya and Calophyllum Inophyllum at piqued our attention. In fact, some rare plants at Coney Island have already been assumed extinct.
The boardwalk section at Coney Island actually cuts through a mangrove forest. The wooden planks are made from fallen Casuarina trees and it is interesting to note that this tree breed is native to Singapore. It is advisable to not go off track without a guided tour as mangroves are susceptive to high tides.
There is an abundance of wildlife so do expect to see butterflies, lizards, mudskippers and whatnot. We saw a few signboards illustrating what to do when one encounters Cony Island’s resident cow and wild boars. While we did not actually see any bull or boars, it is important to remember not to provoke these free-roaming animals.
HOW TO GET TO CONEY ISLAND
By Car – Drive to The Punggol Settlement and park at the outdoor public carpark. Walk pass the restaurants and you will find signboards leading you to Coney Island. Embark on a 700-meter walk along the coastal boardwalk and you will soon see the front gate of Coney Island.
By Public Transport – Take the train to Punggol MRT Station and search for exit C (where the bus interchange is). Board bus 84 and alight at Punggol Road End. Walk towards The Punggol Settlement and there are signages at the walkway leading you to Coney Island’s West Entrance.
WHAT YOU SHOULD PREPARE
While the hike is suitable for beginners, we urge you to explore Coney Island in appropriate sports attire for maximum comfort. Slather aplenty of sunblock lotion and insect repellant to protect yourselves. It is also best to bring along a bottle of water – you will definitely be thirsty.
Here are five incredible nature walks for a day away from urban Singapore, without having to leave on a jet plane.