Ready for a beach day? Learn more about Lazarus Island and St John’s Island just off the coast of Singapore
If you are looking to explore the islands just off Singapore, you should look into Lazarus Island and St. John’s Island, two of the eight Southern Islands of Singapore. The other islands off Singapore are Kusu Island, Pulau Seringat, Pulau Tekukor, Sentosa and two Sisters’ Islands.
Lazarus Island, also known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah, is joined to St. John’s Island via a 100-meter paved causeway. Lazarus Island falls in between St. John’s Island and Kusu Island and provides a lovely stretch of beach and some endemic flora and fauna that gives this island its own distinct signature.
Th Beach at Lazarus Island
If you are looking for a perfect pristine beach, be warned that while the water is clear-ish and the surf is calm, garbage and plastic bottles can be sometimes found swept ashore at Lazarus Island which makes sitting on the beach and enjoying a picnic not as appealing. Bring large plastic bags and gloves yourself and get the kiddos involved in a beach clean up first to do your good deed and then enjoy the clean beach (remember to dispose of the collected garbage in a responsible manner!)
St John’s Island
Neighbouring St. John’s Island once housed a quarantine station for cholera-stricken Chinese immigrants and, later, Asian immigrants and Malay pilgrims returning from Mecca to Singapore; a penal settlement for political detainees; and a drug rehabilitation center for opium addicts. Sentosa Development Corporation, the island’s developer, has largely scrubbed its historical past.
Today, this tiny island just 6.5 kilometers south of Singapore is home to picnic tables and barbeque pits, and paved walking trails. You can spend much of our morning identifying flora and fauna along these trails, such as kites and a small patch of mangroves. The clear water lagoons to the right of the jetty are rich in starfish, crabs, other marine life like horseshoe crabs and tropical fish and you might also spot smooth-coated otters and migratory birds.
E-Guide to St John’s Island
There’s a DIY trail e-guide from NParks for St John’s Island where you can get your little adventurers on a nature hunt to seek out dolphins, reptiles and migratory birds! This curated trail on St John’s Island was developed late in 2017 to encourage appreciation for the rich biodiversity and history of St John’s Island and Sisters’ Islands Marine Park. The 2.8km St John’s Island Trail is said to tale between 1 and 1.5 hours to complete and comprises 15 stations with signboards to mark out each station and explain a bit about the diversity of flora and fauna as well as the island’s colourful history. There are etching activities along the trail for children to etch and collect different designs of biodiversity as they explore the island. It’s a fun, arty way of exploring nature, and these etchings make a great keepsake after your trip! Read more here.
Getting to Lazarus Island and St John’s Island
There is no direct ferry to Lazarus Island, so you’ll have to take the ferry to St John’s Island first, before walking 10 minutes to Lazarus Island by foot. Ferries leave from Marina South Pier twice on weekdays and up to five times on weekends and public holidays. To reach Big Sister’s Island, visitors can charter a boat from Marina South Pier or West Coast Pier.
The 30-minute ride to St. John’s Island and back is a wonderful way of seeing the city’s iconic skyline from another vantage point. You might spot some pink dolphins on your way (located in the waters between Singapore and Batam, St John’s Island is one of the sites where they are more frequently spotted in Singapore).
How much: Adults $15 (Weekends), Adults $18 (Weekdays), Child $12 (aged 12 and under)
- Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, an umbrella, a water bottle, and a packed lunch as there are no shops or restaurants on either island.
- Lazarus Island and St. John’s Islands are for the most part quite stroller- and wheelchair-friendly.
- There are no toilets on Lazarus island