Coney Island Guide 2024 – Hidden Beach, Abandoned Villa & Cottagecore Photo Spots

Coney Island, Singapore ultimate guide


There’s no doubt a plethora of things to do in Punggol – be it visiting the Punggol Golf Driving Range for a few swings, or the Punggol Container Park for some grub. And of course, nature enthusiasts or not, most of us will know of Pulau Serangoon, AKA Coney Island

A popular spot for cyclists and bird watchers, Coney Island in Singapore is high up on the list of must-visits in the North-East. If you’re planning a trip down yourself, here’s all you need to know about the famed spot: 


What is special about Coney Island Singapore?


Coney Island is home to plenty of wildlife, from tree-climbing crabs to woodpeckers. You’ll also find mangroves and beaches here, as well as picturesque boardwalks and cycling paths. 


How long does it take to walk Coney Island?


You can walk the entire length of Coney Island in roughly 1.5 hours. 


Can you drive into Coney Island?


Cars are not allowed on Coney Island. If you intend to drive, you may park at Punggol Settlement and walk into Coney Island.  


How big is Coney Island?


Coney Island is about 81 hectares. 


How do you access Coney Island via its 2 entrances?


Your journey can start from the East entrance if you’re coming from Lorong Halus Wetland, or you can start from the West entrance near Punggol Settlement. For a gauge, the distance between the 2 entrances is about 2.5km – so it’s pretty walkable. There’s also a toilet at the East entrance, in case you need to go potty.  

You can also tour the island via bike – more on that later.


What’s the best cycling route for Coney Island Singapore?



It’s about a 3-minute cycle from GoCyling to the West entrance of Coney Island.
Image credit: Google Maps

We chose to start at the West entrance, which you can locate near the iconic Punggol Settlement building. There’s a public carpark here too, should you wish to drive over.

The cycling trail is straightforward; just follow the path along the coast. No need to channel your inner Dora the Explorer as there are clear signboards pointing to the 5 public beaches and boardwalk signs to get to the mangroves. 


What bike rental shops are available at Coney Island Singapore?


For those who favour cycling as their mode of transportation, there are a couple of bike rental shops at Coney island you can check out to rent a 2-wheeler.

Check with the staff for any ongoing promotions. There’s an assortment of bicycles to choose from, including tandem bikes and child-friendly ones with training wheels. Rates go from $10/hour for adults, and $8/hour for children. 

You can rent and return the bikes at any GoCycling outlet in Singapore, so you don’t have to limit your cycling adventure to only Coney Island. 

GoCycling
Address: GoCycling @ Punggol Jetty, 911 Punggol Road, Singapore 829170
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm | Sat-Sun 9am-8pm
Contact: 9859 0054

Apart from GoCycling, here’s also Bike Stop at Punggol SAFRA, from which you can cycle for 10 minutes to reach Coney Island. Their rental fees start from $12/hour depending on the bicycle model, and you can rent by the hour too.


Image credit: Sheena Chan via Google Maps

For those coming from Punggol Settlement, you can drop by Jomando Adventure & Recreations too. Rentals start from $8/hour, and they also have tricycles with baskets at the back so your puppers can rest there. 

Bike Stop
Address: 10 Sentul Crescent, SAFRA Punggol, #01-04A, Singapore 828851
Opening hours: Mon 11am-7pm | Tue-Thu 9am-7pm | Fri-Sun 9am-8pm
Contact: 9830 3117

Jomando Adventure & Recreations
Address: 500 New Punggol Road, The Punggol Settlement, #01-13, Singapore 828694
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm | Sat-Sun 8am-7pm
Contact: 9644 0180


Where are the 5 beaches in Coney Island located?


Those looking to catch a sweet tan can do so at any of the 5 beaches here: Beach A, B, C, D, and E. These can be easily located by the signboards peppered around the island.

Enjoy a relaxing stroll in the sand before snapping your #beachyvibes pictures to share on your Instagram Story.

We visited the place on a weekday afternoon and lucked out – there were very few visitors so we practically had the whole beach to ourselves. Our only company was sandflies, so bring along insect repellent and come in covered shoes and long pants to avoid getting lovebites from them.

And surprise, surprise! There’s also a lesser-known beach that hasn’t been made known to the general public. Don’t worry, we won’t gatekeep the place. To get here, you would usually need to follow the main trail from the West entrance and walk towards Lorong Halus East Gate to get to the opening.


Temporary closure of the east end of Coney Island



Image adapted from: NParks

We came across a signboard sharing that there’s currently construction for the Outward Bound Campus going on at the East end of the island, including the East Promenade. The East entrance is temporarily closed for now, but is estimated to reopen in 30th June 2024. We recommend only accessing Coney Island from the West entrance for the time being.

Another cool feature you’ll come across is an estuary near Beach C – if the term sounds unfamiliar, it basically refers to the water body where the river blends with the sea. 


Which boardwalk trail leads to the mangrove?



The mangrove boardwalk is in the middle of Beach B and C.

 

Coney Island is another place, besides Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, where you can check out mangroves in Singapore. Switch out your usual concrete jungle scenery with one that’s muddier and take the trail towards Beach C. Be careful not to fall off the boardwalk as there’s no saving your footwear after.

We’ve been told that mudskippers and water snakes can be spotted here, especially if it’s just rained. Sadly, we didn’t manage to catch sight of these critters since we went on a pretty dry week. 


Where are the birdwatching spots in Coney Island?


Besides the sweat dripping down your back, another constant during your time here will be the sounds of birds chirping. For all the bird lovers out there, there are designated bird-watching huts for you to sit and stalk spot various bird species, including woodpeckers and kingfishers.

And while the famous Brahman cow has passed away, the island isn’t short on flora such as cycads and star apples, and fauna including monkeys, baby crabs, and water snails.


Where is the abandoned Haw Par Villa located?



Photo
taken back in 2015.

Reminiscent of the supposedly haunted Old Changi Hospital, the Haw Par Villa – not to be confused with the other Haw Par Villa attraction next to the Circle Line station – can be found at Coney Island along the forested area.

It was built in 1937 by the Haw Par brothers, the founders of Singapore’s iconic Tiger Balm ointment, before it was heavily damaged during the Japanese Occupation.  Subsequently, businessman Ghulam Mahmood took over the place. He had plans to revamp it into a vacation resort, but unfortunately, those aspirations never came to fruition.


The entrance is now fully blocked by the trees. 

Those thinking of getting a closer look are advised not to do so. With the former boardwalk now removed, it’s pretty dangerous to get to the place due to the swampy mud and uneven forest flooring. The fencing is locked and covered up with canvas too, so you’ll just have to reference these pics to imagine how the villa looks IRL.


Where are the Coney Island lalang fields & tree stumps located?


Although we can’t take cool grungy pics at the abandoned villa, you can still capture Animal Crossing–inspired ones at the lalang field near Beach D.  


Rustic vibes here. 

Or, visit the Casuarina Exploration area near the West entrance. Incorporating some eco-friendly items, the elements have been made from felled Casuarina trees and recycled materials. Some have also been crafted with the sand reclaimed from the beaches.

It’s also a great spot for families with kiddos to let loose and have fun. Hop around on the wooden tree stumps or walk along the pseudo balance beam, this place is your oyster.

And while we’re on photo spots at the island, you can’t miss out on the classic gate picture. Pose with your ride of the day to commemorate your time here. No pics, no proof, amirite?


Plan a day out to explore Coney Island, Singapore


If you haven’t trekked the trails of Coney Islandor cycled along its coastal boardwalks, take this as your sign to visit the famed island. And even if you’ve been there before, refresh your memory and you might find areas that you might’ve missed on your previous adventure. Just remember that the place is only open from 7am-7pm, so leave before it gets too dark. 

NParks also hosts guided tours for those who prefer a more structured schedule for their time there. While the last tour was held in March 2022, we’d recommend keeping an eye out on the NParks website for updates on future ones.

Getting there by car: Set your GPS to “Punggol Settlement”, where you can park your car at the carpark near the West entrance. For those hitching a ride, you can also set your drop-off location to the West or East entrances of Coney Island.
Getting there by public transport: Take the train to Punggol station and take Exit C to get to the bus interchange. Board Bus 84 and alight at Punggol Road End, then take a ~10 minute walk along the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk to reach the West entrance.   

For more places to visit:


Photography by Doreen Fan.
Originally published on 24th June 2019. Last updated by Mae-Z Fam on 19th February 2024.

Joycelyn Yeow

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