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Guide To Visiting St John Island Singapore [2024]

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St John Island Singapore

Best St John Island Singapore
Best St John Island Singapore

St John Island, just an hour ferry ride from mainland Singapore, is a paradise. With white beaches, green scenic hills, fresh air and silence, this is the place to be for people who love nature and want an escape from the usual things to do in Singapore.

St John Island was once used as a quarantine station, but came back to life when the island was opened to visitors.

Now, nature lovers and escapists flock to this scenic island with natural attractions for swimming, appreciating rare flora and fauna, and just relaxing.

How to Get There

(Credit: Trevallog)
(Credit: Trevallog)

It is easy to travel to St John Island. You can take a ferry from Marina South Pier. In half an hour, you will arrive at a beautiful beach. The ferries leave several times a day, and the round trip ticket costs SGD $15. It is best to book your tickets online in advance to avoid queues.

Best Time to Visit

(Credit: Viator)
(Credit: Viator)

You should come here from December to February as it is cool and raining less then. Moreover, the trip will be more interesting for you around festivals and event, which takes place at that time of year.

Things to Bring

Things to Bring
Things to Bring

Packing for St John Island is crucial. Remember to bring:

  • Plenty of water
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • Snacks and a packed meal, as there are limited food options on the islands

Activities on St. John Island

(Credit: Nparks)
(Credit: Nparks)

1. Explore Flora and Fauna

St John Island also offers an opportunity to absorb nature through its numerous trails, which host a wide spectrum of plant and animal life, where it is not uncommon to see a Brahminy Kite flying above or a Gold-ringed Cat Snake creeping in underbrush. Guided and self-guided tours are available, which provide a healthy dose of ecological education about the Island.

2. Marine Life Exploration

The beaches bordering the island are rich in marine life. They are a delight for intertidal walks at low tide, when you can spot the sea stars, crabs and shellfish. Make sure you check the tide tables.

3. Cultural and Historical Sites

St John Island has a rich history. Once a quarantine station and later a rehabilitation center, it holds many stories within its shores. Explore Bendera Bay and join traditional island life programs to learn more about its past.

4. Recreational Activities

Budding anglers can find great fishing spots in St John Island, while designated picnic and barbecue areas also abound. People can also stay overnight in the various chalets around the island and even camp under the stars.

Activities on Lazarus Island

(Credit: The Travel Intern)
(Credit: The Travel Intern)

1. Lazarus Beach

A walk of no more than 400 metres from St John Island lie the awesome waters of Lazarus Island, fringed by one of the cleanest, best beaches for sunbathing, swimming and picnicking on the whole of Sentosa. This is a secluded place to put one’s feet up.

2. Insta-worthy Spots

Lazarus Island is perfect for digital instagramers as the landscapes are outstanding and there’re beaches everywhere you turn, so be ready with your printed vapour polish for some great shots on the beach. It’s always best to visit Lazarus Island during dawn or dusk for the best photo-opportunity.

3. Meeting the Resident Cats

That’s right, friendly feline residents reside on Lazarus Island. They often sleep right by the beaches and are popular with visitors to the area. Bring some cat treats if you want to make a new friend.

4. Fishing and Yachting

If fishing is your thing, the waters around Lazarus Island are guest-friendly. Alternatively, consider an overnight yacht stay for total submersion in the silence. Packages are available to suit every pocket.

Dining Options

(Credit: TheSmartLocal)
(Credit: TheSmartLocal)

There are not many options for meals on St John and Lazarus Islands, so it might be better to bring a picnic. If you prefer, you can also eat at one of the very few eating places on the island. When one brings one’s own food, it avoids disappointment and ensures you have a meal and a view.

Accommodation and Facilities

(Credit: Singapore Land Authority)
(Credit: Singapore Land Authority)

While there are no five-star hotels, overnight stays are possible at the basic chalets on St John Island. Toilets, shelters and rest areas do exist on the island, operating amid the rustic setting.

Sustainability and Conservation Efforts

(Credit: Little Day Out)
(Credit: Little Day Out)

Visitors are encouraged to maintain high conservation values on these islands through responsible tourism practices. These include picking up rubbish and keeping beach areas clean. Parks authorities and other organizations are active in protecting natural values, conserving wildlife habitats, and removing feral animals on the islands.

Practical Tips for Visitors

(Credit: Island Cruise)
(Credit: Island Cruise)
  1. Plan Your Trip Around The Ferry Schedule: Check ferry times before you go. It’s important to note the running time of ferries accordingly so you don’t miss a ride and have a long wait for a new ferry.
  2. Take Enough Supplies: Isolated island have very limited facilities for our everyday use. Therefore, ensure to carry all the essentials including food, drinking water, sunblock cream and insect repellent, a well-packed picnic kit may also add on to the fun.
  3. Dress for the Weather: The tropical weather means the weather might be a little hot and humid. Wear light, breathable clothes and comfortable shoes. A hat and sunglasses are a good idea, too.
  4. Tide Timings: If you are interested in looking for sea life. Make sure to check the tide timings before you visit, as low tide periods are the best times for an intertidal walk and seeing sea creatures.
  5. Respect the environment: St John is known for its wildlife and natural beauty. Please take all your rubbish with you and respect the flora and fauna. Responsible tourism helps maintain the island for future travellers.

St John Island Singapore

Visits to St John and Lazarus Islands offer the best of nature, history, and recreation. They provide an opportunity to see some natural ecosystems, as well as enjoy a day at the beach or simply a picnic break from the city.

Pack wisely, practice Leave No Trace principals and savour the peace.

A day trip will leave you with a semblance of conservation instincts you did not know you had, and an appreciation of a different Singapore.

Check out some of our other related articles and guides below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions about St John Island Singapore, you can refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Visiting St John Island Singapore below:

How do I get to St John Island?

From the mainland, to reach St John Island, you should board a ferry from Marina South Pier. A 30 minute ferry ride will take you there with a beautiful view of waterways and coastal skyline.

What is the best time to visit?

St John Island is best visited during the period of December to February because the weather is cooler and comfortable, and outdoor activities can be more enjoyable than in other times of the year. What’s more? During these months, every year, there are festive activities that can make your visit more attractive.

Are there food options on the islands?

You should eat before coming as there are very few places to get food on St John Island so bring your own food, sandwiches etc (I would suggest a picnic or something made to take with you). Basic foods will be available.

Can I stay overnight?

Definitely you can accommodate over the island of St John sleeping in one of the many chalets for rent over St John. Other option could be a camping on St John, and the main suggestion is to do it during low seasons to enjoy more the St John beaches without the noise of touristic crowd. Book your overnight in advance, especially at peak seasons.

Is there any entry fee?

There is no entrance fee to go in St John Island itself but of course you would have to pay ferry fares to get there. A round trip ticket costs about SGD 15. This is the most affordable day trip or overnight trip for many people.

Rachel Tan avatar

Article by

I'm currently the editor at FunEmpire Media. I've over 8 years of experience in the media industry discovering the best local businesses, places and things to do. From lifestyle, entertainment, food, travel, education and more, I strive to curate the very best in Singapore. Singapore.

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