Hidden nature spots
Singapore might be replete with high-rise buildings, HDBs and skyscrapers, but nature is never far away no matter where you are. But if you’re looking for something more unique than the Singapore Botanical Gardens or Rail Corridor, venture a little further and you’ll uncover a multitude of hidden nature spots here in Singapore.
Perfect for a relaxing retreat from our busy lives and to dodge large crowds, these seven hidden nature spots will be sure to deliver equal parts adventure and respite:
1. Rower’s Bay Park
Down at Rower’s Bay Park by the Lower Seletar Reservoir, you’ll be treated to stunning waterfront views with picturesque skies – minus the HDBs and buildings all Singaporeans are used to. Along the 2KM path are a multitude of scenic spots amongst towering reeds and swaying willow trees.
If you’re itching for action, cycle or drive over to explore the nearby Yishun Dam – otherwise, this idyllic lakeside locale has plenty of shady spots for a picnic.
Getting to Rower’s Bay Park
By car: Park at the entrance of Rower’s Bay Park along Seletar Club Road.
By public transport: Take Bus 103 at Yishun MRT and alight at Aft Shell Aviation (30 mins).
2. Clementi Forest
As one of the few spots in Singapore that’s left largely untouched, Clementi Forest is a nature-lover’s paradise with lush greenery all around and more than 250 native species in the area. With the vast valley and towering trees all around, you might even feel like you’ve been transported to a different country.
Image credit: @louisamayfung
The large 85-hectare area also straddles the Rail Corridor, so you can pack a bike in your car for a full-day adventure. For those who are more garang, you can try venturing into the jungle – though you’ll want to ensure you’re well-covered and have got grippy boots as the terrain is tough and slippery.
Getting to Clementi Forest
By car: Park near Greenleaf View for direct access to the Rail Corridor. Walk north. (17 mins)
By public transport: Alight at King Albert MRT station and head down the road to the entrance of the Rail Corridor. Walk south along the Rail Corridor past the old Bukit Timah Railway Station to reach Clementi Forest (23 mins)
3. Hampstead Wetlands Park
A bird watching hotspot, Hampstead Wetlands Park is another hidden nature spot located in Seletar. A small spot of greenery set amidst quaint colonial-era military buildings, the park serves up calming, rustic vibes. From the boardwalk, you’ll overlook a pond bustling with wildlife, and you’ll regularly sight groups of photographers aiming huge lenses at the treeline hoping to catch a Nat Geo moment.
Further inside the park, you’ll find a nature trail where you can spot various plant species, insects and birds. The park is also a stone’s throw away from quaint cafes at Seletar Aerospace Park like Wheeler’s Estate and 5 by Sans Facon – perfect for a lazy afternoon with loved ones.
Getting to Hampstead Wetlands
By car: Park at Hampstead Wetlands Carpark
By public transport: Take Bus 102 from Sengkang MRT and alight at Bef Baker St (20 mins)
4. Seng Chew Quarry
Hidden behind a block of HDB flats, Seng Chew Quarry is the wilder sibling of Little Guilin, otherwise known as Batok Town Park. While you won’t spot dramatic granite cliffs at Seng Chew Quarry, the path to the quarry is a therapeutic walk through rolling green slopes.
As you approach the treeline, you’ll spot a longkang that carries water from the quarry at the top of the hill. You’ll simply have to follow it to reach the peak – a fallen log along the way indicates that you are on the right track.
Fun fact: Many taxi drivers and car owners believe that washing their cars with the water from the quarry will bring them good fortune.
At the end of the path, you’ll come across a large spring, an indication of the quarry that once stood in its place.
Getting to Seng Chew Quarry
By car: Park at Bukit Gombak Sports Hall and walk under the tracks toward the trail at Blk 383 Bt Batok West Ave 5 (5 mins).
By public transport: Alight at Bukit Gombak MRT station and walk under the tracks as above (5 mins). Then, head up the green slopes beside the block and follow the drains towards the southeast.
5. Kranji Marshes
Hidden in a corner of Neo Tiew Lane, Kranji Marshes is a peaceful nature walk with a 10.65M tall Raptor Tower overlooking the surrounding marshes. Aside from the various bridges and stepping stones for snapshots to fill up your Instagram feed, you can spot vibrantly coloured birds, dragonflies and butterflies as you venture deeper into the area.
Getting to Kranji Marshes
By car: Park at Kranji Gate car park
By public transport: Board the Kranji Express ($3) from Kranji MRT station and drop off at D’Kranji Farm Resort, before walking to Kranji Gate (20 mins).
6. Tampines Quarry
If you love trekking or riding a mountain bike, Tampines Quarry offers an off-the-beaten-track experience all around its perimeter. For those of us who’ve been through NS, this may trigger some outfield flashbacks with its muddy paths and steep dirt slopes, but it’s perfect for those with an adventurous spirit.
That said, trekking along its perimeter was a refreshing experience as there was no one around, save one dirt biker and a handful of adventurers at the entrance.
The trek can get quite muddy with steep slopes and obstacles to jump over, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
Getting to Tampines Quarry:
By car: Park at Blk 879A Tampines GreenForest and walk toward the entrance to Tampines Quarry on Tampines Industrial Avenue 1 (10 mins)
By public transport: Take Bus 34 from Our Tampines Hub, alight at Blk 871C and walk towards the entrance along Tampines Industrial Avenue 1 (45 min).
7. Berlayer Creek Boardwalk
You’ve probably heard of Sentosa Boardwalk but there is one boardwalk nearby that would make it look like a level one rookie. Enter Berlayer Creek Boardwalk, a beautiful seaside boardwalk that leads into an archway of greenery.
It features a mangrove trail where you can admire the rich flora and fauna of the area and a picture-perfect seaside boardwalk. It’s also a favourite among wedding photographers, and if you come down close to golden hour, you’d likely spot a few in action.
Getting to Berlayer Creek Boardwalk
By car: Park at Car Park C and walk to Berlayer Creek Boardwalk (6 mins)
By public transport: Berlayer Creek Boardwalk is accessible from the exit of Labrador Park MRT station, but it’s a 20-minute walk to get to the portion of the boardwalk along the coast.
Explore Singapore with Shariot
There’s plenty to see and do in Singapore, and with several of these hidden nature spots a little more out-of-the-way, car sharing and rental services like Shariot will give you much more freedom to explore. Whether it’s a quick 15-minute errand or a full-day round-island expedition, you can pick from a long list of car models for your ramble around our little red dot.
Before you confirm your booking, the Shariot app displays the total cost with no hidden fees.
You can rent a car from as low as $1 per hour or $0.25 for 15 minutes and enjoy a seamless experience thanks to its keyless unlocking system and easy-to-use Shariot app. To get started, simply download the Shariot app (Shariot for iOS | Shariot for Android) and verify your IC and driver’s license, ensuring that you’ve at least two years of driving experience.
Shariot has a wide selection of vehicles, from a roomy Toyota Vellfire (left), efficient Toyota C-HR Hybrid (centre) to a luxurious Audi A3(right).
Once you’re registered, you’ll have access to the whole fleet of Shariot vehicles, conveniently located within minutes of MRT stations across Singapore. You’ll also soon be able to find Shariot cars in commercial and industrial areas, which would make for a convenient way to zip between meetings or head out with the team for a working lunch.
Rates depend on your choice of vehicle: opt for a Mazda 3 through Shariot Saver (from $1/hour), a Shariot Standard Volkswagen Golf (from $2.50/hour) or an Audi A3 via Shariot Plus ($4.50/hour).
For the ultimate adventure experience, you can even pick out the cute Suzuki Hustler (Shariot Saver) as you explore Singapore’s hidden nature spots.
Image credit: @77.y__hs
Shariot is now offering a spate of promotions to sweeten the deal for new users:
- Get additional FREE $100 credit when you top up your first $100 to your Shariot wallet
- Get 50% rebate on your previous month’s spending for every three people you refer (limited to the first nine referrals who top up $100 each)
- Get up to 15% of the top-up amounts of those you’ve referred.
With flexible, attractive rates, convenient pick-up locations and easy-to-use app, Shariot lets you unlock a host of new adventures in every corner of Singapore – anytime.
This post was brought to you by Shariot.
Photography by Natalie Ng.