Wanderful Singapore: Coney Island Park

When I just shifted into Punggol way back in 2003, my block and those surrounding mine are at the extreme eastern corner of the whole Punggol. You can imagine staying next to nature with migratory birds just steps away from your home.

PEACE. Punggol circa 2003 with the trees of Coney Island visible from my home which is the last row right at the back.

And then the Punggol Waterway was built and the plot of land slowly became man-made. Gradually the Serangoon and Punggol River are dammed up becoming another reservoir for Singapore. Lorong Halus Wetlands was introduced but Coney Island was ‘locked up’ as a result. In the end, the greens around the area was drastically reduced.

So it was a happy day that Coney Island was ‘renovated’ and opened today and the whole area has more recreational space now for the residents in Punggol.

Here’s the map. As you can see there are two entrances. The left is the West Entrance where you can access from Punggol End/Punggol Settlement and the East Entrance can be accessed via Lorong Halus / Pasir Ris.
We started the day from Kopitiam just next to Kadaloor LRT Station. After having some breakfast we went to the Punggol Waterway’s Sunrise Bridge to take in some sun rays.
Volunteers of NParks scurrying away as I tried to take photos of them behind the Coney Island Gate at the East end of the island.
Ex-Minister for MND and current Minister for Transport Mr Khaw being briefed about the place after the opening ceremony.
Signs are around so shouldn’t get lost easily.
We went ahead of the Minister’s entourage and started taking photos. The first ‘prey’ was the lizard sun bathing on the tree trunk.
The Red Breasted Parakeet having breakfast just down the path we took.
Just then a Brahminy Kite flew above us with something clinched between its beaks.
Looks like it is attempting to build a new home amongst the trees here.
More Parakeets flying above our heads chasing each other and then they rested on the branches of a barren tree.
There are bird hides on the island. And there are signs to about 3 of them. It is still pretty exposed now so the birds are still easily startled.
To encourage more breeding, NParks are building nest boxes around the island. On the left is for the woodpecker nest and a proposed Blue Throated Bee Eater nestbox schematics is also shown.
Just in case you forgot where’s this place LOL! This sign is in the middle of the island which is also middle of no where. Up till this point we have started the journey for about 3 hours.
This is now the western end of the Island with concrete steps to enjoy the scenary. If you can count looking at JB’s industrial area as ‘enjoying’. Pulau Ubin is just across the straits with the Outward Bound School in view. This is also a great place for sunsets. Just note – this place is not really wheelchair friendly, only crazy people like Edwin need to apply.
Despite a bit of development, the rest of the island largely remained untouched. Cross country cyclists will find joy in this place rather easily and beginners won’t find it tough to cycle here too.

Overall, Coney Island Park may not be the most accessible park of the whole of Singapore if one relies on public transport. Perhaps it will be this seclusion that will save it from the hordes of people thronging this place every weekend. For now I would say this is a much easier place to get to rather than Pulau Ubin and yet have a bit of the rustic feel to the place.

Do note, there’s only one toilet that is near to the Eastern Entrance so do come ’empty’ at Lorong Halus Wetlands or Punggol Settlement first before proceeding. If not you will find yourself shitting amongst the bushes like what we did in Army.

Oh yeah, there’s dried up Bovine Excrement (literally Bull Shit) everywhere on the island – yes there is (or was?) a bull hiding on the island. As shared by Haslinda, the poor beast was on a capsized boat transporting it from Ubin to the main land and found refuge on the island. And no, I didn’t see it yet. There’s monkeys too actually so take care of your belongings.

If you are thinking of going to the beach for a dip, there are jellyfish around so take care. At beach site B there’s a huge bunch of sandflies so be uber prepared with insect repellant. Mosquito abounds too at certain areas particularly the coastal walks/trek.

Suggested Route

Public Transport

For those who are new to Punggol, the fastest way is to take the NEL train to Punggol MRT station and hop on to bus 84 to Punggol End. From there, pass the Punggol Settlement food outlets and proceed along the coastal line with the sea on your left. In about 10-15 minutes walk you should reach the West end of Coney Island.

You could walk from one end to the other of the island where you will be facing the Lorong Halus Wetlands. To your right would be the Red Bridge (the Lorong Halus Bridge) over Sungei Serangoon and if you walk across the bridge and then turn left, you will reach the food outlets along the river with Popeye’s, Hong Kong Cafe and Seafood restaurants.  From there you can take the LRT at Riviera LRT Station back to Punggol MRT.

Driving

For those who are driving, there are two ways – first is to park at Punggol End and walk to the island and back or from Lorong Halus Wetlands to the Eastern entrance and then walk back. Do note the car park space at the Wetlands park is very limited with a pretty narrow service road so if there’s a major jam it won’t help matters.

Most would park right at the end of Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 road illegally and then walk in.  Without flouting the law, it is best to park at Punggol East blocks 160+ and cross Punggol East road.

Just find Popeye’s which is just behind the row of nurseries. You can also park at Popeye’s but the car park space there is also very limited.

At Popeye’s just walk towards the water body and you could see the pedestrian and bicycle paths. From there turn left and keep walking and then cross the Red Bridge. Turn left after you cross the bridge and you should see a pebble track. Don’t fret, just walk all the way straight and you could see the dam/barrage on your left. At the end of the trek, cross the barrage and the Eastern Gate is there.

Do note, the walking would take at least a good 2 hours for casual walkers and much longer if you want to take photos along the way and even longer if you want to traverse from Punggol End right to Riviera LRT station. I would suggest take in the fresh air in the morning as the late afternoon can be pretty humid while on the island (was sweating bucket loads today).

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