Explore the coastal forest of Coney Island with pine-like Casuarina trees, sandy beaches and wild boar. This Coney Island hike takes you via the waterways and promenades of Punggol to Coney Island and finishes with a stroll through Punggol Park.
Early on Sunday morning in October 2021, we took the purple MRT line to Punggol. The hike starts just outside of Waterway Point Shopping Mall at the Punggol Waterway. This is a one-way hike and on the way back we took the purple MRT line from Hougang back home.
Tips for The Coney Island Hike
- Coney Island Park is open from 7 am to 7 pm.
- This hike also goes through Punggol Waterway and Punggol Park which are open 24hrs.
- Punggol Waterway and Punggol Park are lit between 7 pm and 7 am.
- There is shade from the trees for a large part of the hike, but some sections are open and sunny.
- Take a sun hat, sunscreen and and plenty of water along.
- Some of the paths on the island are unpaved but the majority of the route is paved, so wear appropriate shoes.
- Navigation offline maps app Maps.me works quite well but not all trails on the map are open in reality.
Punggol Waterway Park
Sunday mornings in Singapore are busy times in the parks and on the park connectors. However, the sun just started to rise over the horizon and its light created a beautiful atmosphere along the Punggol Waterway. We made our way along while spotting otters and monitor lizards.
After about two kilometres we crossed the Punggol Waterway and headed in the direction of Coney Island. After walking along a grassy field for a while we ended up on the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk and turned left towards the Serangoon West Dam. This was probably the busiest section, where people tried to take photos with the Coney Island gate and sign. It is not the nicest sign and you can finder nicer signs on the island so I’m not sure why.
The west side of Coney Island has a promenade along the coast with big steps leading to the water. There were quite a few people here enjoying the view and shade, although the view here is of the Johor Pasir harbour in Malaysia and the sea wasn’t particularly clean, with floating rubbish.
This was actually the only busy section on the island. We made our way over to Beach Area A through the beautiful coastal forest. The early morning light shining through the pine-like Casuarina trees was rather beautiful. Beach A and the subsequent beaches are small but have the vibe of a tropical island far away from civilisation. Across the water you can see Pulau Ubin.
Further along, we walked on a boardwalk towards Beach Area C, where they are trying to recreate a mangrove forest. An estuary diverts some water from the sea into the forest to get the right salt levels for these mangrove plants to prosper. The plants are still a bit small but will surely grow bigger in the next years.
While walking near Beach Area D, a wild boar startled us. It came running out of the bushes, sort of towards us. They are rather fast animals. There is a much prettier sign of Coney Island here, which we hid behind to avoid the wild boar.
Unfortunately, there were building works on the eastern side of the island, so we made our way to the mainland side of the island and went via the Coney Island Park Connector to the Serangoon East Dam. This is currently the only way to get to the dam.
See Wildlife up Close with Binoculars
To see all the nice animals on this hike up close, get a decent pair of binoculars. I have had a pair of Bresser binoculars* for over 20 years now and they are pretty indestructible and work well. Another well-reviewed pair on Amazon are these Celestrons:
Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binoculars on Amazon*.
Check out the complete list of hiking gear needed for Singapore:
Lorong Halus and Punggol Promenade
We went across the rather large Serangoon East Dam and followed the Lorong Halus Park Connector along the Sungei Serangoon River. We were meant to have a look at the Lorong Halus Wetland but somehow didn’t think about it at the time. While this was a landfill at some point in time, now it is a water bio-treatment system that incorporates plants into the treatment process.
Crossing the Halus Bridge brought us on the Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk. It was a lot busier here than on the other side of the river. This shady promenade is a popular bicycling route and connects to the Sungei Serangoon Park Connector. It is quite pleasant to walk here along the river, except for the view of all the new flats that are being built here, a concrete jungle.
A right turn onto the Serangoon Park Connector gets you to Punggol Park. This park connector is along a not so nice looking waterway, basically a straight concrete basin and much less nice than the Punggol Waterway at the start of the hike.
There is a pretty lake in the middle of Punggol Park. It is a very popular spot to do your Sunday morning exercises. We made our way across the lake and headed to our final destination: Yi Jia Bakery & Café* for a well-deserved coffee/tea and a pastry.
This bakery is at the bottom floor of an HDB complex alongside some hawker stalls and small shops. Some locals were airing their birds, which were all chirping away, quite an interesting sight. After the break, we headed to the Hougang MRT station and made our way back home.
FAQs on The Coney Island Hike
The island is open from 7 am to 7 pm.
Yes, there are small sandy beaches on the island.
There are many Casuarina trees on Coney Island. These trees look like pine trees but aren’t.
The park is open 24hrs and lit between 7 pm and 7 am.
The park is open 24hrs and lit between 7 pm and 7 am.