BY ESTHER AU-YONG
Even in an urban city like Singapore, there’s still plenty to do outdoors, from surfing man-made waves in Sentosa, to observing bird species in a lush nature reserve.
1. Go birdwatching at Coney Island Park
Easily accessible on foot or by bicycle, the 50ha island is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers, with its unique bird hides and boardwalk system. Try spotting one of 80 species of birds on the island, including the resident male Baya Weavers weaving their large and intricate nests from flowering Acacia trees. Cycling is allowed on the main path and the beach can be accessed from five locations off a boardwalk system.
2. Surf man-made waves at Wave House
Adrenaline junkies can experience flowboarding – a boardsport that combines techniques used in surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding and wakeboarding. It is enjoyed on an artificial wave – on either the world famous Double FlowRider or the 10-foot FlowBarrel wave ride here. Complete the experience with drinks and foodie selections from a modern Californian-Asian menu at the Wave House Sentosa Restaurant + Bar.
3. Kayak at MacRitchie Reservoir Park
While the majority of visitors to MacRitchie Reservoir Park take in the greenery from the well-loved boardwalk, many also enjoy the park’s attractions through the aquatic route on kayaks. These are available for rent through Paddle Lodge. While novice kayakers can practise their strokes on the water, a larger area is available for exploration if you have certification.
4. Challenge yourself with ClimbMax’s obstacle course
Get a high by tackling ClimbMax’s exhilarating ropes adventure course that brings climbers to heights of between 5m and 15m. Set among towering Eucalyptus trees on the hilltops of Sentosa, the course will take thrill seekers over wobbly bridges, swaying tightropes and moving cargo nets. The reward? Breathtaking views of the island and surrounding waters.
5. Walk among giants at the TreeTop Walk
The TreeTop Walk is the highlight of several long hiking routes in MacRitchie Reservoir Park that brings you through a mature secondary forest. The 250m free-standing suspension bridge connects Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang, the two highest points in MacRitchie, and will give you a bird’s eye view of the expanse of greenery in Singapore’s central catchment area. You can hike to the TreeTop Walk from MacRitchie Reservoir Park itself or from the carpark at Venus Drive. A round trip is about 7km- to 10km-long.
6. Spot winged creatures at Kranji Marshes
Join in the “Evening Chorus at Kranji Marshes”, a 3km-long guided walk by NParks that will bring participants not only to a wider nature area – covering marsh, woodland and grass habitats – but also to a core conservation area usually out of bounds to the public. The unique marsh habitat, where the soil is partially or completely submerged in water, plays host to a wide range of aquatic plants which attract insects, fish and water birds. Common bird species spotted here include the Purple Heron and Red-wattled Lapwing.
7. Take a walk on the wild side at Chek Jawa Wetlands
The Chek Jawa Wetlands at Pulau Ubin is one of Singapore’s richest ecosystems and you can discover it through a guided tour by NParks or explore the over 1km-long boardwalk on your own. Get a general view of the area’s six ecosystems from a viewing jetty or the 200m-tall Jejawi Tower. Besides the novelty of riding in a bumboat to Pulau Ubin, visitors will also be transported in time as the island is home to Singapore’s last villages, a living reminder of a simple and bygone era.
8. Challenge your friends at School of Paintball
Get your thrills at Singapore’s biggest paintball arena, where over 300 players can duke it out at any one time. The facility also uses Empire Paintballs, which are said to cause less pain upon impact as they are brittle and break easily. Ready, get set, shoot!
9. Zip through greenery at the Forest Adventure Course
Zip through the forest and overcome challenging obstacles at this facility located in the eastern part of the island. There are a total of 58 obstacles – trapezes, logs, swings and others – and five zip lines to conquer with a specialised kids’ course for junior thrill seekers between the ages of five and 10.
10. Discover heritage hoods on a self-guided tour
11. Do the downward facing dog at a scenic spot
Go ohm in the great outdoors at various locations, from an urban city centre to a UNESCO World Heritage-inscribed garden. Outta Hatha Yoga runs regular “pop-up” sessions at the Marina Bay waterfront and Yoga Divas hold theirs at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
12. Go on a bootcamp with UFit
While UFit runs a variety of outdoor fitness classes, one of their most popular is the Bootcamp-style F.I.T (Functional Interval Training) classes. Participants are taken through a variety of dynamic exercises that aim to train stamina, strength and cardiovascular fitness. The motivation – and competition – from training in a group fuels everyone to give it their all in sessions located at, among others, Sentosa Cove, East Coast Park and Hort Park.
– BY ESTHER AU-YONG