See black-and-white bungalows, walk through Sembawang Park, along the beach and back along a park connector to reach some delicious food.
This hike starts from a bus stop on Sembawang Road just near Sembawang Park. The 882 bus serves this bus stop, a short ride away from Sembawang MRT station on the red North-South line. The walk ends near Sembawang Strip at another bus stop served by the 882 bus. Again, Sembawang MRT station is not far away.
Tips for Sembawang Park Walk
- Sembawang Park Walk is open 24/7 and lit between 7pm and 7am.
- The walk ends at Sembawang Strip, a stretch of shophouses with many restaurants.
- Check out other great hikes on our Singapore Hiking Page
From the bus stop near Sembawang Park (Opp Jln Janggus) we first walked directly away from the road over a short section of grass. The road here is Gibraltar Crescent, which we walked a loop of before heading to the park to see the grand bungalows.
Gibraltar Crescent Bungalows
Turn left on to the main loop of Gibraltar Crescent. This road contains many large, old black-and-white colonial bungalows from the late 1920s and 1930s. Senior offices who oversaw the dockyard lived in these large houses. Many houses are raised on stilts and on elevated ground to give the officers views over the dockyards. One of these houses was destroyed during WWII and during the Japanese Occupation it was rebuilt as a theatre.
Continue around Gibraltar Crescent until St Helena Road on your left. If you head a short way down this road you’ll see a grand, restored house in the garden on the road corner. This big house belonged to the Superintendent of the Dockyard, i.e. the person in charge. Unlike the other bungalows on Gibraltar Crescent, people actually live in this big house. Want to see more black-and-white bungalows? Check out our hike through Adam Park.
Head back to Gibraltar Crescent and continue the loop on Malta Crescent. Near the entrance of the park, look out for the strange, linear raised piece of grassland. This covers the Malta Crescent Bunker, an air-raid shelter and remnant from the build-up to WWII. On the opposite side of the road you’ll see a large concrete square – in former times this was a helipad.
History of Sembawang
Sembawang was once home to the famed Singapore Naval Base when the British governed here. It was a key pillar in the strategy to defend Fortress Singapore, but it didn’t go very well. Read about it in the long but interesting book, The Battle for Singapore*.
The Singapore Naval Base is now the Sembawang Shipyard, and from the jetty in the park you can see some of the huge ships. If you want to learn more about the history of Singapore and nearby Yishun, check out this guided historic tour*.
Cross through the car park and you’ll reach Sembawang Park. It’s named after Sembawang Trees, which you can see around the car park. Unlike many parks in Singapore there are some nice ups and downs here. There are also large grassy areas dotted with big trees. Walk through the park towards the beach. You’ll pass the Battleship Playground (for children 6-12 years), a fun-looking play area in the shape of a Battleship.
Continue, keeping left, towards the beach. Head left at the backside of Beaulieu House (you’ll return later) to reach the coastline and Sembawang Jetty. The Jetty in Sembawang is mainly used by people fishing but also gives wonderful views over the Strait of Johor and across to Malaysia.
Opposite Sembawang Jetty, head up the steps for a great view of Beaulieu House.
Beaulieu House is a lovely black-and-white bungalow on the top of a hill overlooking the water. Beau lieu is French for beautiful place, which this surely is. The house is now occupied by a seafood restaurant, called simply Beaulieu House. It’s currently closed but due to reopen in May/April 2022.
Turn right at the house and then right again down to Sembawang Beach.
Sembawang Park Beach
The beach here is fairly narrow at high tide, though extends quite significantly at low tide. Check the tide times here. There’s a bit of rubbish on the beach and washed up by the water but it’s not as dirty as some of the other beaches in Singapore. Since the shipyard with many large ships is located just next door, the water is probably not the cleanest. If you go swimming don’t put your head under the water.
Although slightly dirty, the beach feels fairly wild and there are tropical palm trees alongside the water. The sand is nice so it’s a great place to relax or build a sandcastle (Eagles Point Beach is a nicer beach later on the walk).
After relaxing at the beach, continue along the sea to Irau Drive Playground.
Irau Drive Playground
This is a small park by the water. There are many outdoor gym areas here but it’s most popular for fishing. At the far end of the playground, walk across the grass and up the little slope to reach a flat grassy area in front of some nice-looking landed houses.
There are also nice views of the ocean here. The trail continues in the corner of the grassy area, through the jungle down a path with flat stones underneath. Soon you’ll come out at Eagles Point Beach.
Eagles Point Beach
This beach is a hidden gem in Singapore. It’s much nicer and less crowded than the beach in Sembawang Park. There is little infrastructure and you can even imagine you’re in Malaysia. There’s a small stream that comes out on this beach, scenically winding its way to the sea. Continue along the beach until it ends. Head right away from the ocean where there is a little trail to a nearby road.
Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang
A short way along the road you’ll see the green and yellow of Masjid Petempatan Melayu Sembawang on your left. Follow the road around the mosque, turning left then left again. This mosque has a very scenic, relaxed location in the middle of the jungle near the beach. This mosque was funded and built by the local residents who lived in a former village here, Kampong Tengah. In the mid-80s the village was destroyed but the mosque remained. It has a traditional Malay design and still serves the local Muslim community in Sembawang.
After heading around three sides of the mosque, continue along the road to reach the Simpang Kiri Park Connector.
Simpang Kiri Park Connector
This Park Connector follows alongside a waterway between Canberra MRT Station and Sembawang Park. If you head immediately left you’ll reach the ocean again, but it’s a dead end. Turn right to continue on the walk and head towards the centre of Sembawang. After almost 1.5 km of walking straight along the park connector, head right on another park connector before turning the corner. In a couple of hundred metres you’ll see Sembawang Strip on your right.
Sembawang Strip is a row of isolated shophouses from 1965. They weren’t always standing by themselves. Sembawang Village existed here from the 1920s to the 1980s when it was mainly destroyed. The village originally grew up with the residents growing food and selling it to the workers at the nearby naval base. Sembawang Strip was full of bars and restaurants to cater to the sailors. In the 1970s when the British left, economic decline set in. However, today Sembawang Strip is still popular with locals who come for the cheap, tasty meals.
Sembawang Strip is the end of this walking trail. There is a bus stop nearby (Opp Durban Rd). The 882 bus heads from here quickly back to Sembawang MRT station. Alternatively, head back to the Simpang Kiri Park Connector and follow it along for an additional 1.5 km to reach Canberra MRT station.
FAQs for Sembawang Park Walk
Sembawang Park is open daily 24/7 and lit between 7pm and 7am.
Picnicking in Sembawang Park is a great idea, and quite popular with locals. Bring your own food and spread a rug out in the shade on one of the many large, grassy lawns.
Take the metro to Sembawang MRT station on teh red North-South line, then take the 882 bus to Opp Jln Janggus bus stop at the entrance of the park.
Sembawang has a small amount of litter, similar to the other beaches around Singapore. It’s just next to a shipyard and faces the Johor Straits so the water is also not that clean. If you do swim, don’t put your head under the water.
There are several barbeque areas in Sembawang Park. Book on the government website.
The Sembawang Tree gives its name to the Sembawang area. There are several Sembawang Trees in Sembawang Park, especially in the car park.