1. See the herons at Jurong Lake Gardens
Officially open in April 2019, Jurong Lake Gardens West – one of three areas in the 90ha Jurong Lake
Gardens (left, in an artist’s impression) – features a restored swamp forest and wetlands, a nature-themed play area and allotment gardens. See herons in their natural habitat at Heron Island, where platforms are installed to encourage the birds to nest, and get up close with different species of flora and fauna on the Rasau Walk, a boardwalk which meanders through grasslands and wetlands.
2. Soak in the views at Bukit Batok Nature Park
Developed from an abandoned quarry site in 1988, Bukit Batok Nature Park now boasts lush greenery and challenging terrains for joggers looking for an invigorating workout. Take in stunning views of a picturesque quarry pool – a relic from the area’s mining past – from lookout points that are more than 10 storeys high.
3. Check out the oldest mountain biking trail at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Established in 1883, this 163ha nature reserve includes primary rainforest and has been a botanical collection ground for more than a century. Ride down the oldest mountain biking trail – for intermediate and advanced mountain bikers – in Singapore, navigating fast descents through rock gardens, rock drops and blind corners; or learn about the native biodiversity through interactive displays of forest ecology and plant specimens at the Exhibition Hall of the Visitor Centre.
4. Take a stroll at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, the Botanic Gardens was inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2015 – the first in Singapore. It is also the first and only tropical botanic garden on Unesco’s World Heritage List. Check out the iconic gazebo known as the Bandstand as well as more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids in the National Orchid Garden.
5. Walk on the suspension bridge at Macritchie Reservoir Park
The 12ha park borders Singapore’s first reservoir and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Spot monitor lizards, owls and colugos on one of the trails in the park or hike to the Treetop Walk, a 250m free-standing suspension bridge that spans the two highest points in MacRitchie, Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang.
6. Let the kids explore the inclusive playground at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
One of the largest urban parks in central Singapore, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park features a 3km-long
naturalised waterway that replaced the old concrete canal and feeds into Kallang River. Discover the inclusive playground that features a wheelchair-friendly merry-go-round and swing, allowing children with varying abilities to play together.
7. Go animal-watching at Sengkang Riverside Park
Sengkang Riverside Park is a tranquil space that features a constructed wetland and rich biodiversity. Punggol Reservoir, also known as Sungei Punggol, runs through the park. See a variety of mangrove birds and damselflies in Singapore’s largest man-made wetland, Sengkang Floating Wetland.
8. Take a scenic tour of Punggol Waterway Park
Built around the section of Punggol Waterway and located along Sentul Crescent, Punggol Waterway Park is segmented into four themes, including Nature Cove and Recreation Zone. Uncover Punggol’s roots as a site for fishing villages in the past on Kelong Bridge, built to resemble a kelong.
9. Cycle through Coney Park
Coney Island Park houses a wide variety of habitats, including coastal forests, grasslands, mangroves and casuarina woodlands. Rent a bicycle at Punggol Point Park and ride through the island along the 2.5km Coney Island Park Connector, taking in the promenade view of Serangoon Reservoir.
Text: Vanessa Liu, The Straits Times