St. John’s Island was originally called Pulau Sakijang Bendera, twinning with Pulau Sekijang Pelepah which is in turn known today as Lazarus Island. Today, both islands along with Pulau Seringat and Kias Island have been merged by reclamation. Singapore Island Cruise operates a 2-hourly frequency and circular routing of ferries to the Southern Islands of St. John’s Island and Kusu Island. With 2 hours to the next ferry over to Kusu Island, it’s now time to explore St. John’s Island and Lazarus Island in 2 hours.
Click here to purchase your Singapore Island Cruise tickets to St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island, and Kusu Island on KLOOK!
St. John’s Island
A map of St. John’s Island greets visitors when walking off the jetty ashore.
If you just want to have a picnic, that’s all the walking that needs to be done with empty spots all over the island everywhere.
I headed to the Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre first.
Found a remnant of the old Sentosa, probably left behind when the island was still operated by Sentosa Development Corporation.
Continuing on to the Marine Park Gallery.
The Singapore Food Agency Marine Aquaculture Centre is situated on St. John’s Island, but this is out of bounds to the public.
The Marine Park Gallery is located within the National Research Foundation’s St. John’s Island National Marine Laboratory. Most of the National Marine Laboratory is out of bounds to the public too.
St. John’s Island Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre
The Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre is the only portion where the public can visit.
There is a limit to the crowd in the Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre, and the staff in front checks your temperature and SafeEntry check-in along with an additional paper travel declaration. There is a time limit of 15 minutes per person in the Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre with this restricted number of people allowed in, in order to give everyone a fair chance to enter.
There is a mangrove pool outside to display a mini mangrove ecosystem.
Heading into the Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre once sufficient people have cleared out.
Information panels on the timeline of Singapore’s marine conservation.
The future plans of Sisters’ Islands.
Feels a bit like what happened with Chek Jawa Wetlands.
Corals found around the Southern Islands.
There are more displays on the other end, including the all-necessary toilet – a rarity on St. John and Lazarus Islands.
The viewing pool offers a mini eco-system of the intertidal shores.
Corals in the viewing pool.
There are also tanks of corals and fishes, which kind of reminds me of a seafood restaurant where I’m picking my dinner. I’m sorry, National University of Singapore.
I’m not sure if this is really easy to spot in Singapore or if it’s to attract kids in the gallery.
St. John’s Island Campsite
Heading back down, the St. John’s Island Campsite is closed due to COVID-19 till further notice. No overnight stay is permitted on the Southern Islands.
There’s also a random basketball court outside the campsite.
St. John’s Island Lagoon
Somehow the sign reminds me a lot of the old Sentosa where half of the things were calls Lagoons.
The namesake of St. John’s Island against a hill.
The St. John’s Island Lagoon is the only publicly-accessible beach on St. John’s Island.
Swimming is allowed on St. John’s Island, but please don’t swim back to mainland Singapore from here.
Do take note that there is no lifeguard on duty on St. John’s Island, and swimming is at your own risk.
St. John’s Island Causeway
The Causeway connects St. John’s Island and Lazarus Island together, making it now accessible by foot and looking like a bigger island.
Similar to the Johor–Singapore Causeway, this is built across the “strait” but designed to not allow ships and crafts to pass through any more, unlike the Johor–Singapore Causeway locks on the JB side which was not reinstated by the British after World War II.
Lazarus Island Beach
Much of Lazarus Island is untouched and not publicly accessible – in fact, the path through Lazarus Island only leads to the next “causeway” which forms the Lazarus Island Beach. Quite a misnomer there considering that the beach is mainly reclaimed land to merge Lazarus Island and Seringat Island together, and not originally part of Lazarus Island.
Looking back at the original portion of Lazarus Island from Lazarus Island Beach.
Private yatchs anchor around Lazarus Island Beach.
Many websites and blogs say that this is like a private or pristine beach, but I find it weird that there’s grass growing on the beach in the sand. Oh well, guess this is a side effect of integrating a causeway and a beach together.
Seringat Island Pier
Seringat Island Pier is mainly used by private yatchs to berth for passengers to head down to Seringat and Lazarus Islands.
I didn’t walk all the way up to Seringat Island as I needed time to walk back to the St. John’s Island jetty to catch the Singapore Island Cruise 3.50pm ferry (weekend) over to Kusu, lest I wait another 2 hours with everything on the trio of islands explored already.