Ready for an island getaway (no passports required)? Have you been to Lazarus Island and St John’s Island just 30 minutes from Singapore?
If you are looking for some holiday feels without the travel, why not explore the islands just off Singapore? Lazarus Island and St. John’s Island, two of the eight Southern Islands of Singapore are just a quick 30-minute trip away. The other islands off Singapore are Kusu Island, Pulau Seringat, Pulau Tekukor, Sentosa and two Sisters’ Islands. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your day at Lazarus Island and St John’s Island!
How to get to Lazarus 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 over a 100-meter paved causeway. Lazarus Island falls in between St. John’s Island and Kusu Island and provides a lovely stretch of beach with powdery sand and some endemic flora and fauna that gives this island its own distinct signature.
Lazarus Island ferry
Ferries to Lazarus Island (via St John’s Island) leave from Marina South Pier five times daily. There are two ferry companies that go between the Southern Islands. Marina South Ferries (click here to see the schedule) and Island Cruise (click here to see the schedule). You can island hop between St. John Island, Lazarus Island, Kusu Island and Sisters’ Island (the latter currently closed until October 2021) with Marina South Ferries.
Island Cruise ferry only goes to St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island and Kusu Island. If you are looking to go to Kusu Island, take either ferry from Marina South Pier to St John’s then stay on the ferry to Kusu Island. Marina South Ferries also has direct ferries to Kusu Island in the later half of the day.
Tip: Marina South Ferries has a fun grassy roof deck that you can sit on when you are going to Lazarus Island (it’s all open-air) and kids will love the views!
How long does it take to get to Lazarus Island?
The trip to Lazarus island takes just 30-minutes from Singapore. The ferry 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, around Lazarus Island is one of the sites where they are more frequently spotted in Singapore).
How much: $15 Adults; $12 for children; infants (0-2) travel for free
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.
However at other times Lazarus Island beach has been beautifully clean so perhaps it depends on the tides and if your fellow picnickers have cleaned up after themselves. 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!)
Lazarus Island Accommodation
Currently there is no camping at Lazarus island and camping at St John’s island has been suspended due to the pandemic. If you wish to stay the night on Lazarus Island, the best you can do is book the bungalows on St John’s Island (bookings currently suspended due to the pandemic).
Getting around Lazarus Island and St John’s Island
Your best bet is walking around the very small Lazarus Island. St John’s island has more paved walking trails. There are also bicycle rentals by Gogreen Southern Island Bicycle Rental.
Yacht trips to Lazarus Island
If you’re feeling flush, you could day trip on Lazarus Island by renting a yacht! Most yachts will give you the option of mooring at Lazarus Island for the day so you can enjoy the beach and swim. Do make sure you establish if your boat will be mooring in the harbour area (which is calmer for kayaking or other sea activities but has no views out to sea thanks to the concrete walls) or right next to Lazarus Island (which will give you beach access).
Exploring St John’s Island
You can have fun identifying flora and fauna along St John’s 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. Check out this DIY trail e-guide from NParks to help. The 2.8km St John’s Island Trail is said to take 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.
Tips for your trip to Lazarus island:
- Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, an umbrella, a water bottle with lots of water, and a packed lunch as there are no shops or restaurants on either island.
- Bring mosquito repellant (lots of mossies near the mangroves of Lazarus Island)
- There are small stores at Marina South Pier ferry terminal before your trip for you to pick up essentials like water.
- Lazarus Island and St. John’s Islands are for the most part quite stroller- and wheelchair-friendly.
- There are officially no toilets however one reader spotted one toilet near the walkway connecting Lazarus Island and St John’s Island
- Please take your rubbish home with you and help keep Lazarus Island beach pristine!