In need of a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life? If you’re living in northern Singapore, Arman Shah prescribes a reconnection with nature at Admiralty Park in Woodlands.
Tucked away on a hilly terrain in Woodlands – and a stone’s throw away from its more popular neighbour Woodlands Waterfront – is Admiralty Park. Occupying a 20-ha urban area, this hidden gem is the largest park in northern Singapore.
There are two main starting points: the north and the south entrances. If you’re driving or riding, we recommend the north entrance because that’s where you’ll find parking.
If you’re taking a bus or walking (approximately 10 to 15 minutes) from Woodlands MRT Station, we recommend the south entrance – accessible via Republic Polytechnic on Woodlands Avenue 9 – as your starting point.
Playgrounds and slides
Kids will not face a shortage of fun here. The park boasts a total of 26 slides, including the widest and longest slide found in any public park in Singapore. It also has an inclusive playground that caters to children with special needs.
Spot a monkey
You might even spot a pack of wild monkeys roaming the terrain. They are mostly harmless when left alone, so respect their space and avoid physical and eye contact. Do not feed them either for they can become aggressive and snatch your food away.
The magnetism of Admiralty Park ultimately lies in the beautiful nature it offers. Home to over 100 species of flora and fauna, it features a wide range of biodiversity, from mangrove and secondary forest to river banks and open grasslands.
There’s even a Rain Garden. While it’s natural to think that the water is polluted, it’s brown because it filters reddish-brown oxides from the stormwater before it flows into the pond.
Exploring the wilderness
As you delve deeper into the park, the terrain gets get a little wilder as it is left somewhat untouched by human hands. Can’t call it nature if it’s not natural!
Thanks to its designated walkways that cut and meander through the park, you can find cyclists, joggers and casual strollers at the park at any time of the day. The trees and foliage offer shade and respite from the heat as you embark on your exploration.
Love observing rivers from a vantage point? There are a few bridges that let you enjoy the peaceful view of the Sungei Cina flowing through the park (and eventually into the Straits of Johor). The sight before you might even make you feel like you’re on set Jurassic Park.
The river acts as a lifeline at Admiralty Park. Not only has it played a significant role in determining the topography of the terrain, it’s also a valuable water source for many organisms inhabiting the park. Just remember no fishing is allowed!
Fun fact: Of the 735 ha of mangrove forest remaining in Singapore, 17 can be found at Admiralty Park. You can check it out from one of the bridges built there, or have a close-up look by going down some flights of steps when it’s safe during low tide.
Mangroves are not only home to marine organisms, but also allies in the fight against climate change by acting as a carbon sink and absorbing carbon dioxide from the air.
Photography and copy: Arman Shah