Singapore’s Southern Islands (10 of them) are a half hour’s boat ride from the Marina South Pier – and are beautiful, offering much to discover.

Sisters Islands – Pulau Subar Daran (Little Sister Island) and Pulau Subar Laut (Big Sister’s Island)

Legend goes that the two isles were formed from two sisters who drowned in this spot. The surrounding waters have been designated a marine park, home to Singapore’s largest artificial reef, and a no-fishing zone.

  • These islands are peaceful and tranquil, with limited development. Big Sister island (Subar Laut) faces seawards, while Little Sister island (Subar Darat) faces the mainland.
  • The two islands are separated by a narrow but deep channel, with strong currents, so swimming between islands is not permitted.
  • Sunbathe, snorkel (there is an amazing variety of soft coral, fishes, crabs and other marine life), picnic, camp.
  • BBQ pits, shelters and public toilets available on the islands.
  • Lagoons and beaches, monkeys, casurina trees.
  • Perfect for swimming, inter-tidal walks and picnics.
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving recommended only for experienced divers, as currents can be quite strong.
  • Visitors can charter their own boat from West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier. Private boat charters can drop passengers off at the jetty (no berthing allowed).
  • If you join the introductory guided walks organised by NParks, boats will be chartered for participants.
  • No camping, barbecues, fishing or entry of vessels into the lagoon.
  • Visit the turtle hatchery, discover the hatchlings and incubators.

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St. John’s Island

A day-trip to paradise, and a rustic island getaway. Connected to Lazarus Island by a manmade causeway.

  • St. John’s Island is a getaway to an isle teeming with coral life and lagoons. Its shores are ringed by coral reefs with a variety of hard and soft corals. There are small patches of mangrove and dolphins are regularly sighted in the waters. If you are lucky, and patient, you will be able to see marine creatures in the intertidal zone as well as birds such as the brahminy kite and the great-billed heron.
  • The Tropical Marine Science Institute conducts guided walks.
  • There are chalets and camping facilities, as well as swimming lagoons, toilets, shelters and picnic areas.
  • No food is sold on the island.
  • Popular for weekend getaways and camping trips … the sheltered lagoons are relatively calm.
  • Lagoons, beaches, picnic grounds, BBQ pits and camping grounds.
  • Public toilets with shower facilities available.
  • Trekking trails for the active.
  • Colonial bungalows accommodating 10 (with cooking facilities, utensils and refrigerators) available for rent.
  • Regular ferry services available from Marina South Pier, twice on weekdays and up to five times on weekends and public holidays.

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National Parks DIY E-guide

Lazarus Island

Lazarus Island
  • One of Singapore’s last unspoilt beaches, a C-shaped lagoon with calm waters.
  • Originally known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah or Island of One Barking Deer and Palms.
  • No ferry service to Lazarus Island. Take the ferry to St. John’s Island and walk 15 to 20 minutes across a causeway.
  • A popular spot for fishing.

Images from the NParks and Singapore Island Cruise websites.

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