12 easy spots to check out wild marine life in Singapore.

Not exactly Sentosa’s Marine Life Park, but definitely just as exciting! Singapore is home to more than 12 spots where marine life thrive. Check out sea anemones, sea stars, and more at these nature spots on your next nature walk!

Singapore might be a concrete jungle – but our green spaces and nature sites definitely makes our garden city the perfect place for wildlife to thrive. No Singaporean is surprised by the tales of wild boars that roam our forests, nor are we surprised by the occasional macaque encounter along trekking paths! 

Perhaps lesser known to the locals though, is the amount of marine life Singapore’s waters hold. Our little red dot is home to 12,000-17,000 marine organisms. This includes corals, fishes, sea stars, and even dugong! The best part? Appreciating many of these creatures up close isn’t actually hard. Singapore’s got at least 13 easy spots for you to catch a glimpse of our thriving marine life!

1. Changi Beach Park 

Enjoying a picnic or barbecue at Changi Beach Park? Head to carpark 6 & 7 to check out lush seagrass meadows and marine life! Once there, all you have to do is strap on proper footwear and watch your step – you don’t want to step on these delicate creatures. 

Peel your eyes and you might just catch a glimpse of sea anemones, sand dollars, and maybe even otters. And if you know what to look for, you might just catch sight of dugong feeding trails. These feeding trails are usually further from shore and only just visible at low tide. You know you’ve spotted a dugong feeding trail when you see a shallow, meandering row of sand in the middle of a sea grass patch.

And yes, the critically endangered dugongs exist in Singapore! They’ve been spotted off many of Singapore shores like Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. The upcoming land reclamation site along Changi Bay Point is also a known dugong feeding site.

2.  Pasir Ris Park

Easy to access with loads of amenities, it’s no wonder Pasir Ris Park is so popular! The beach running along the park spans 3km, and features a beach-side restaurant, playgrounds, and even bbq pits. 

Photo by Yong Sze Yuen Kelvin on Facebook

If you’re lucky enough to be here at low tide, be sure to head to the shore to watch the sand come to life! Pasir Ris beach is sprinkled with sea stars – from Plain Sand Stars to Biscuit Sea Stars, the area is filled with life. 

P.S. Pasir Ris park is also known for its mangrove boardwalk, and is a common area for otter sightings!

3. Coney Island 

On the tip of Punggol is Singapore’s famous Coney Island. Known for its lush green trees and easy cycling paths, Coney Island is the place for a stroll or cycle. Nature lovers are definitely fans of the island, too. It’s got an intertidal shore awaiting exploration!

Photo by Rosli Abu Bakar on Facebook

According to Wild Singapore, Coney Island’s Beach A is the biggest intertidal shore on the island. It’s home to horseshoe crabs, slugs, snails and sea cucumbers. So once you’ve got your shoes on, Coney Island’s marine life is just a cycle away!

4. Punggol Point Park

Chances are if you’re heading to Coney Island, you’ll be walking or cycling through Punggol Point Park. The historical beach that runs along the park is lesser known for both its historical past (it was one of the sites for the Sook Ching massacres) and its intertidal beach. At low tide, walk along the shore and you might just see Green Mussels, Horseshoe Crabs and all sorts of sponges. Crabs, anemones, and Bristle Worms can be found here too! 

5. Tanjong Rimau, Sentosa

Photo by @hikenseesg on Instagram

Sentosa needs no introduction – the famous island is known even to non-Singaporeans! Home to a myriad of attractions like Universal Studios Singapore and the S.E.A Aquarium, both locals and tourists alike flock to Sentosa for a good time. 

Photo by @louisamayfung on Instagram

If you’re looking for something different to do on Sentosa, though, head to the Siloso Headland, or Tanjong Rimau, Sentosa’s natural treasure trove. At low tide, you’ll be greeted by a wide variety of marine life like corals, seagrass and even sea stars! Plus, if you’re looking to learn about these critters and traverse the intertidal beach safely, Sentosa offers tours around Tanjong Rimau, where experts will teach you more about the marine life!

6. Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin

For a true look into Singapore’s past, drop by Pulau Ubin! It’s home to some of Singapore’s last kampung houses – a glimpse into how our grandparents used to live. And because the area remains relatively rural with little human interference, Pulau Ubin is home to a variety of wildlife like macaques, wild boars and snakes!

To enjoy marine life on the island though, your best bet would be Chek Jawa, found 3km east of the main Pulau Ubin jetty. This intertidal area is a natural marvel – Chek Jawa is where you can find 6 major ecosystems (sandy beach, rocky beach, seagrass lagoon, coral rubble, mangroves, and coastal forest) all gathered in one area!

Photo by Zaki Jalil on Facebook

The area is home to Fiddler Crabs, Sand Dollars, Mud Lobsters, and more. Walk along the 1.1km boardwalk through the habitats and you might just catch a glimpse of MudSkippers, too! For a closer look at marine life, NParks also has Chek Jawa tours that will provide you with exclusive access to the beaches, mangroves, and coral rubble!

7. Labrador Nature Reserve 

One of Singapore’s most historical sites, Labrador Park’s known especially for its World War Two relics and natural artefacts that were left behind by Singapore’s former British colonial legacy. Once known as Pasir Panjang Beach, or “Long, Sandy Beach”, the area used to be where a long strip of coast could be found before land reclamation took place. 

Set aside as a nature reserve in 2022, Labrador Nature Park is now home to Singapore’s last remaining natural rocky shore on the mainland! The Rocky Shore spans 300m and is home to bristle worms, reef worms, horseshoe crabs, nudibranchs and more.

8. St John’s Island & Lazarus Island 

Singapore’s Southern Islands will make you feel like you’re on vacation. A break from the city jungle, take a ferry out to St John’s Island and Lazarus Island for a day of sun, sand and sea. At low tide, St John’s Island’s rich coral reefs appear, along with much of its marine life! Watch Pebble Crabs scurry across the sand, Carpet Anemones chilling in the water, and if you look closely, magical Leaf Slugs or Flat Worms hiding amongst the sea grass. 

Credit: Celebrating Singapore Shores on Facebook

By the way, if you’re heading out to St John’s Island, you’ve basically made a 2-for-1 trip. Lazarus Island is connected to St John’s Island by a bridge: which means more places to explore! Lazarus Island is known especially for its white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Some nature enthusiasts even bring their snorkels for a chance to catch a glimpse of marine life in action. 

9. Marina at Keppel Bay

Photo taken by @cuddlefishdivers on Instagram

Keppel Bay’s marina holds a little known secret – marine life beneath its waters! Thanks to specially designed pontoons, corals, sea critters and marine habitats are able to thrive despite the heavy boat traffic and visitors. 

Photo taken by @cuddlefishdivers on Instagram

The kaleidoscope of vibrant marine life is all thanks to the marina’s open plan concept, which allows water to flow through during tide changes. The marina also has a complex pump-out system installed so vessels discharge their sewage into a septic tank, and not into the waters! As a way to further minimise environmental hazards, boat owners are also encouraged to use biodegradable cleaning agents. Plus, fishing is prohibited to ensure that the biodiversity beneath the marina is protected!

To get up close and personal with the marine life, though, you’ll have to book a tour, or go for a dive with the Cuddle Fish Divers. Slots fill up pretty quick – but not to worry! If you’re looking to take a look without a tour, the coral reefs are still pretty visible from afar.

10. Sisters’ Islands 

Photo by Kim Tong Lim on Facebook

Just a few years ago, Sisters’ Islands was the site of a pod of dolphins! And although that’s a pretty big deal for Singapore, it may not come as too big a surprise. Sisters’ Island is the site of Singapore’s first Marine Park! The Marine Park is home to corals, rare and endangered species of seahorses, clams, and other marine life. Restoration and enhancement activities including nurseries for iconic marine organisms also take place here. 

Photo by Whatnow Spence on Facebook 

Marine life doesn’t just thrive in the waters surrounding Sisters’ Island, though. Intertidal beaches can also be found on the island. So if you’re in the area at low tide, take a stroll through the beach and you might just catch a glimpse of the beautiful marine critters! But of course, if you’re looking to watch these creatures in action, according to the Visitors’ Information brochure by Sisters’ Islands, certified divers can enjoy the coral reefs and marine diversity through designated dive trails. 

11. Pulau Hantu

Pulau Hantu, or “Ghost Island” is one of the most popular places in Singapore to check out marine life! Despite its foreboding name, the island actually sees quite a bit of traffic from divers and visitors excited to check out the rich marine biodiversity that surrounds the island. 

Even though the island is right across from Pulau Bukom’s refineries, it’s got rich reefs right outside its seawalls. If you’re a diver, join the Hantu Bloggers for a dip and get up close to corals, clown fishes, giant clams and more! For the non-divers, take a stroll through the mangroves between Hantu Kecil and Besar to enjoy mudskippers and other curious intertidal marine life.

12. Kusu Island 

Kusu Island, or Tortoise Island, is steeped in Singaporean folklore. The island’s formation involves the story of a giant tortoise, a Malay man, and a Chinese man – explaining the Taoist shrine and Muslim ‘keramat’, or shrine, on the island. Locals say the island was once the shape of a tortoise before reclamation! 

Beyond the interesting folklore, though, Kusu Island is also known for its clean beaches, cool waters and of course, marine life! Kusu Island is surrounded by coral reefs with wildlife like clown fish, anemone shrimps and giant clams. Take an intertidal walk at low tide and you might catch these interesting critters, before heading to a swimming lagoon on the island for a dip! 

remember to check for low tide, tours, and safety!

If you’re not a diver, chances are you’ll be taking an intertidal walk in these areas to catch a glimpse of these interesting creatures. While some beaches like Changi Beach are easily accessed, areas like Kusu Island may be less so. For convenience as well as a fully immersive and enriching experience, we highly recommend signing up for tours given by NParks or Young Nautilus! They’ll guide you through these areas, tell you more about these creatures, and maybe even spot hidden creatures for you with their trained eye. 

With land reclamation in important marine life habitats slated to happen in the coming years, it’s ever so important that Singaporeans cherish our rich marine life – especially since many of these habitats are so easily accessed!

Loved this guide? Relieve your stress at Singapore’s therapeutic gardens, or enjoy a stroll through Singapore’s underrated green spaces.

siti ayeeshah zaki

Writer, dreamer and explorer. When she’s not writing for Strada Visual Lab, Ayeeshah spends her time reading, skating and living life to her definition of fullest.

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