Touring in Singapore: 6 things to do at St John Island

Posted on: 23 October 2020

With the pandemic still looming, choices of where we can go to spend our free time is limited to within Singapore. Besides the usual leisure activities of urban life, we would like to also show some places you can go to enjoy the great outdoors! Our first suggestion is a place not commonly visited by most - St John Island!

St John Island Jetty

St John Island, located just south of Sentosa was known for being a quarantine island for immigrants who are detected with diseases coming into Singapore. It was then converted into a prisoner’s settlement and then a drug rehabilitation facility before becoming what it is today – a holiday spot. So let us take a look at some of the things that you can see and do there!

1. Find the historical sites

St John Island Old Jetty

Here in St John Island you can still see some of the remaining structures used in the past. The former quarantine centre that the British built to house immigrants found with infectious disease. Also it was later used to detain political prisoners. In 1955, it became a drug rehabilitation centre for opium addicts. Today, some of the bulidings can still be seen.

2. Spot heritage trees

St John Island Heritage Tree

Besides heritage buildings, the island is also home to 10 heritage trees which are identified for their exceptional value. They are marked by the National Parks with a small sign infront of each of the trees. For Nature lovers, you can spot some of these trees as you trek the island trail. (As stated by Nparks, do note that some of the trees are not in public accessible areas)

3. Visit the Marine Park Gallery

St John Island Marine Park Gallery

Corals and marine life is seldom heard of in Singapore unless you visit the SEA aquarium. Located deeper into the island is a gallery which showcases the research and conservation programs being done to protect and breed marine life at Sister’s Island. Here you can see some of the corals found in Singapore and the marine park at Sister;s Island. (due to social distancing, only 10 people are allowed in the gallery at one time)

4. Enjoy the sun, sand & sea

St John Island Coast

For most of the island goers, this is probably the main reason why they visit the island. Laying by the beach and just enjoying the walk by the coast or even going for a swim. In good weather, the island is just a great place to be to soak up the sun.

5. Enjoy the nature

St John Island relax

Besides the beach, you can also take a walk following the trails. Get to know more about the plants and animals of the island. For the more casual nature goers, you can have a picnic on the fields and just enjoy the wonder atmosphere the greenery will provide you with.

6. Visit the other connecting islands

Lazarus Island beach Singapore

Taking a ferry to St John Island also offers you the opportunity to visit the other Islands by foot. Connected is Lazurus Island, the former quarantine hospital which now boast a fine sand beach with clear waters (Now due to the travel restrictions, be prepared for a crowd if you are heading there on a weekend!). Walking further on, you can also get to Pulau Seringat and Pulau Seringat Kecil where we found less people at. If you are looking for a grass field to sit with lesser people, this might be a good spot.

How to get to St John Island

Marina South Pier MRT exit

A trip to St john Island is a great choice for a short escape to enjoy the outdoors and look at Singapore from afar. To get there, you can take a ferry from Marina South Pier reachable by the red line MRT (Marina South Pier station exit B). You can buy the tickets on the day itself but it is advisable to arrive early as you might have to queue to purchase your tickets. Plan your trip ahead by checking the ferry schedules of the 2 ferry companies Singapore Island Cruise and Marina South Ferries. You can also leave some time for a visit to Kusu Island which is part of the ferry route to the Singapore southern islands.