Yes, Coney Island is finally open. Since it’s within walking distance from my home, I’ve made up my mind to explore this place on a regular basis. I first visited Coney Island when I was taking a sailing course. For our graduation, we were to sail from Sembawang to Coney Island. I remember a rocky shore and a nice stretch of beach. The island was inhabited by a pack of dogs. We didn’t spot the bull then but there were tell-tale piles of dung everywhere.
Visiting Coney Island today no longer requires swimming or sailing, thanks to the dam at the east entrance and the “causeway” at the west entrance.
The grey portion is obviously out of bounds. More about that area in a moment. The following trek begins at the west entrance. You can reach there from Punggol MRT by 1)taking bus 84 from the interchange 2)walking 500m to the “causeway”.
Park your bikes or tie your horses. Most visitors to the island travel there on bikes, but walking is probably more meaningful, especially if you want to visit the beach. The western promenade has concrete steps descending into the sea.
This was a rocky shore and it has now been turned into steps. At the end of the steps, you’ll find the remnants of the former rocky shore. Turn back into the forest and follow the track into the beach area.
Here’s the “start” of the beach, arbitrarily designated Beach Area A. The sandy beach area is actually continuous.
It’s a long stretch in the other direction.
Luxuriant mangrove shrubs grow along some parts of the northern shoreline, some of which sport attractive white flowers.
Looking back towards the west entrance. Considering the size of the island, there seems to be plenty of beach here. This is the northern coast facing Pulau Ubin.
Without being informed that I had passed Beach B, I found myself at Beach C. There seems to be a freshwater stream that opens out into the beach. Coney Island’s humble estuary. For such a small island, Coney Island seems to have a significant catchment area.
It’s a very small and shallow stream, but believe it or not, there are signs warning of flash floods. WARNING: This part of the beach is infested with sandflies. Make sure you’re adequately protected with insect repellent, especially on your feet and legs.
You can’t beat a yacht when it comes to bragging rights, but looks like our friend here has all he needs to have a good time fishing in these waters. I wonder if he lives in Ubin and enjoys free parking over there.
At the end of the northern shore, are numerous tree trunks rotting in the seawater. It’s as if trees standing in the way of the many paths on the island have been cut/uprooted and dumped here.
Beach Area E marks the end of the northern shore. As you may already know, the sandy beach ends in a pile of rocks.
A quick selfie before I headed into the forest through which the main path runs. The length of the island is less than 3km.
There is a maintenance “office” not far from the east entrance. There are some wildlife-related displays outside along with flower beds and fruit trees. For toilets, there are only two unisex cubicles. Outside, are three knee-level taps. The water is not potable.
Clearly visible from Punggol, the embankment on the other shore on the island is largely inaccessible due to the thick vegetation. Nevertheless, there are quite a number of faint paths that penetrate some distance towards the Punggol-facing shore.
Entering the “forbidden zone”, I made some interesting discoveries like this orange coloured fungus. Shall we call it Coney Lingzhi?
And this could be some motion detector to detect curious trekkers who wander too far from the main path.
Coney Lingzhi seems to grow very well here alongside the more common mushrooms. Casurina trees dominate this part of the island. I’ve even found needles stuck on this lingzhi.
I’ve spotted a few piles of dung and hoof marks inside the forest. Mr Bull is definitely somewhere inside. Sadly, they couldn’t relocate the wild boars at Punggol here. Since we have a promise from the authorities to keep the island as natural as possible, I’m sure I’ll see more of the interesting wildlife and botanicals here with subsequent visits.