Looking to take some new outdoor adventures in 2016? Check out Sassy Mama’s Guide to Coney Island
When news broke about the opening of Coney Island Park late last year, everyone was excited. The people of Singers, as you know, are always hungry and on the lookout for the next new thing to do so when this pristine grassland that used to be a millionaire’s island opened its doors to the public everyone wanted a to see what the hype was about. And naturally, because we’re kaypoh by nature, we had to see this paradise with our own eyes, too!
Background Information: Coney Island was previously known as Pulau Serangoon or Serangoon Island, and the capacious 50-hectares island is also an ecologically sustainable park. The island was previously owned by the Haw Par brothers before it was sold to Ghulam Mahmood, an Indian businessman, in the 1950s. Mr Mahmood had intended to re-create the famous Coney Island of New York here but that dream was shortlived. In the 1970s, the island was returned to the Singapore government and today the quiet park ironically retains the name of a famously busy amusement park.
How to get there:
By Public Transport: Alight at Punggol MRT Station and at Exit C, board bus 84 and get off at Punggol Road End. Head to Punggol Settlement (the while low-rise building with many food outlets) and follow the signs to Coney Island.
By Car: Coney Island is about a 25-minute car ride from the CBD/Orchard area. Programme your Google Map to lead you to Punggol Settlement and park at the outdoor carpark (it’s free mama!). Walk towards the restaurants and follow the signs to Coney Island.
You can reach Coney Island by renting a bicycle from Punggol Point Park or Punggol Settlement. Cycling from here (about 500 metres) will get you to the West entrance of Coney Island. You can also access the East Entrance of the island via Lorong Halus and Pasir Ris Industrial Drive 6. For those who prefer to take a leisurely stroll, you can do so from Punggol Point Park (although we highly recommend renting a bicycle with the hubs and your little ones!).
How to dress: Sports attire, long pants/ leggings, sunglasses, a hat and covered shoes
What to pack: Water bottle, a face towel, some tissues, a picnic mat and some food (optional), sunscreen, and insect repellent (mandatory!)
Once you’ve arrived at Punggol Settlement, look out for Go Cycling, which is in the opposite direction from Coney Island, or Jomando Adventure and Recreations, about 200 metres away from the park’s West entrance. Choose from mountain bikes, cutesy city bikes (perfect for mini photo shoots with the fam) and even bikes with trolleys just in case you’ve brought extra necessities for a family day out. Rental of bicycles start from $8 per hour.
Do some bird watching
There are over 80 species of birds on the island so if you love to watch pretty little robins and more, wait around at the bird-watching hideout. This spot allows you to observe the birds in their natural environment without scaring them away. Tip: tell the kids to keep their voices hush hush, else the birds will stay away!
Explore the beaches
There are five small beach areas on Coney Island. These beaches are accessible via earth tracks and are rather small. Despite their small size, the beaches are all natural! Try looking for Beach Area A because it can be easily found from the West entrance.
Snap photos amongst the beautiful tall trees
We were really in awe of the endless tall trees and greenery all around and although it seems that every other spot looks exactly the same, we beg to differ. Some areas are more forested with lalangs all around while some are more sparse.
Relax by the promenade
On the western and eastern parts of the island, there are paved areas where you can lay your mat and enjoy the cool sea breeze with a view of passing ships and Johor’s shoreline. We spent a good hour here taking in the fresh air.
Check out the mangrove boardwalk
If you’re on the trail to Beach Area C, walk through the mangrove forest. The air is so crisp and fresh. The wooden planks are made from Casuarina trees! When you’re in this area be extra careful, because mangroves are susceptible to high tides.
Opening hours: Coney Island Park is open daily from 7am – 7pm
Coney Island Park, Beside Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, Punggol, Singapore