Going to Coney Island Park? This comprehensive guide will equip you with the information and tools to embark on your adventure there.
Amidst the concrete jungle and busy roads, there are green spaces and pockets of nature found scattered across the country, giving the city somewhere to breathe. Perhaps no park can come close to the serenity and lushness offered by Coney Island Park*, however.
This charming island-park in Singapore’s northeast district is home to flora, fauna, wildlife and sandy beaches. Park trails here bring you through the casuarina woodlands, mangroves and coastal forests, making it the perfect escape from the bustling cityscape. With the island virtually untouched, it is essential that you plan and prepare your adventure to Coney Island.
*From 7 June 2021, sections of the East Promenade on Coney Island will be closed for construction works. Read NPark’s announcement to learn more.
Also please note, there will be further changes to the Covid-19 restrictions post the Phase 2 Heightened Alert on 13 June 2021. It goes without saying, the safety of everyone remains a top priority.
Where is Coney Island?
Coney Island is located off the shores of Punggol in the country’s northeast region. Also called Serangoon Island (or Pulau Serangoon), the park is accessible from two entrances – the West Entrance near Punggol, and the East Entrance near Lorong Halus.
From Coney Island, you will be able to enjoy a great vantage point of Pulau Ubin, and even Johor’s Pasir Gudang. To get there is no easy feat, but the adventure that awaits is worth the journey.
By public transport: From NE17 Punggol, hop on Bus Service No. 84 from the Punggol Temporary Bus Interchange. Take the bus for nine stops until you reach Punggol Rd End. From there, continue on the path towards the sea until you reach the Punggol Settlement. The boardwalk and signages will guide you on a 5-minute seaside stroll towards Coney Island’s West Entrance.
By car: Drive over to Punggol Settlement (Singapore 828617) – parking is available there. From there, follow the boardwalk and signages towards Coney Island’s West Entrance.
Note: Coney Island Park is accessible through the island’s East Entrance as well. There are no public transportation services that stops near the East Entrance, and there are also no parking spots nearby.
What to do on Coney Island?
Did you know the island got its name after there were plans to transform the area to a resort modelled after the amusement park in New York’s own Coney Island? Of course, the attractions there now aren’t rollercoasters or candy bars – instead there are rustic trials and lush greenery. Here’s what you can do on the island:
1. Cycle around the island
From the West to East Entrance, the main path runs along a 2.5-kilometre gravel path. The path is perfect for those who want to experience the adrenaline of cycling on a rugged trial without having to go to the extreme of the likes of mountain-biking.
The Coney Island Park Connector also gives cyclists an enjoyable ride along the waters of the island, away from the gravel road. Otherwise, explore the many other secondary paths and don’t be afraid to get lost! Adequate signages will lead you back to safety.
2. Hang out by the beach
Natural beaches are a rare sight in modern Singapore. However, on Coney Island, they can be found lining up the northern coast. Stretching from the West Promenade to the East Promenade, Coney Island’s beaches offer visitors a place to sit back, relax, and look out into the waters. From the beach, one can spot Pulau Ubin, and even see Malaysia! Why not have a picnic there? Just remember not to litter, ‘kay?
3. Stroll down the casuarina woodlands
Perhaps another synonym for Coney Island Park is “forest”. The pristine status of the park is felt through the towering casuarina trees and mangrove forests. The park also focuses on conserving energy and water, as well as recycling and retaining of the natural elements in the park. The timber from uprooted casuarina trees were repurposed into park signages, seats, benches and the boardwalk, and exhibit can be found at the Casuarina Exploration.
4. Don’t forget to make it Instagram-worthy
What is a trip to Coney Island without snapping up a few Instagram pics? From right at the West Entrance gate, visitors find a popular photo spot with many posing in front of the gate that spells “Coney Island”. Inside the park, virtually everywhere can be a good background for your new profile picture.
Want to look adventurous in the forest, or look fresh by the beach? The island has got you covered. Remember to stay on the paths and do not wander off, though. On the other side at the East Entrance, the Serangoon Reservoir Dam is another Insta-ready spot with even more views of the sea.
5. Keep a lookout for the wildlife
Try spotting one of 80 species of birds on Coney Island Park, including the resident male Baya Weavers weaving their large and intricate nests from flowering Acacia trees. Hear the Oriental Magpie-robin’s songs from the forest, or follow the flocks of parakeets flying through the forest canopies. The different habitats in the park allow for a high diversity in bird species, thus making the park an ideal location for birdwatching. With its rich biodiversity in a rustic setting, Coney Island Park offers much to explore for bird and nature enthusiasts.
How to plan your adventure to Coney Island Park?
Amenities on the park are limited. But the way it remains untouched only adds to the island’s charm. Nonetheless, here are some tips which will make your trip even more fantastic!
#1: Be well-supplied, but not over-supplied. There are no supermarkets on the island, let alone any convenience stores. The nearest 7-Eleven can be found at the Punggol Settlement after you alight from the bus. Try to travel light and only pack essential supplies like food and water. Be sure to hydrate enough and bring sufficient water, and opt for sandwiches or salads that will not be too heavy to carry.
#2: Bring these essentials! Remember to apply your sunscreen and some insect repellent before going into the park. To better avoid sunburns or insect bites, dress up in arm sleeves or long pants too. Dress comfortably for the rich nature and have a pleasant adventure without worrying too much. Pack in a plastic bag as well to store all your items to be disposed off. Remember to take only memories, and leave only footprints!
#3: Use the toilet beforehand. With only one toilet located near the West Entrance, don’t put yourself on the spot! Go to the toilet before you start your journey, or at the facilities around the Punggol Settlement. From the East Entrance at Lorong Halus, the toilets are more than a 2-kilometre walk away! Plan your routes with a toilet break near the West Entrance if needed.
#4: Rent a bicycle. Also near Punggol Settlement is one of GoCycling’s bicycle stop. Rent a bicycle from there anytime of the week to enjoy a leisurely ride around the island. Rates go from $8 an hour for an adult’s bike, and $6 an hour for a children’s bike. On weekdays, enjoy the second hour free while on weekends, enjoy the third hour free! Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the weekends and public holidays.
#5: Enjoy! The most important thing? Actually enjoy your adventure. While it is important to be well-prepared, it is equally important to make the best of your journey – come rain or come shine. Be open to the slight inconveniences and discomfort you may face, because that is part of the fun and will become the best memories. If the weather forces you away, take it indoors at Waterway Point or Oasis Terraces in Punggol, then try to conquer the island again another day.
One last tip: Remember to respect the wildlife and natural environment. Do not feed the wildlife or pluck any plants. For more tips and tricks, check out NPark’s official website.
By Muneerah Bee, April 2016 / Additional reporting: Derrick Tan, May 2021