Trailing the Yellow Line: Labrador Park
Ok, it is only the second week of June and we are getting into the thick of the vacation period. Last week, we soaked in the air of sophistication as cultural tourist in the Bras Basah area. This week, we decide to go green and reaffirm Singapore’s reputation as a ‘Garden City’. So, grab your ezlink cards as we explore the nature sanctuary that is Labrador Park (CC27).
Located in the southern part of Singapore, Labrador Park is an area that has played a significant role in the history of our tiny island. It stretches back to the 19th century when the British identified the rocky sea cliff as an ideal vantage point for the island’s defence. They installed heavy artilleries around the site and established Fort Pasir Panjang (which still exists to this day). Below, the beach was popular with the locals who flocked to the area for recreational water sports and resort.
In 1951, the government declared Labrador Park as a designated nature reserve in order to preserve the area’s ecosystem. However, that status was revoked in the 70s’. Thankfully, the 10 hectares park was reinstated as a nature reserve in 2002.
So, what are the sights that nature tourist should keep their eyes out for? We bring you some of the best affordable sight you can escape to!
1. Berlayer Creek
Photo courtesy of flickr.com
Previously inaccessible to pedestrians, this 960 metre “eco-educational” trail features one of the few remaining mangrove areas in the city. Be sure to check out the scenic bird’s eye view from the visitor pavilion or immerse yourself in the surroundings at the look-out points perched over the mangrove marshlands.
2. Bukit Chermin Boardwalk
Photo courtesy of ura.gov.sg
A hit with photography and nature enthusiasts, Bukit Chermin Boardwalk offer a panoramic bay front view of Keppel Harbour. Keep your eyes peeled for the indigenous wildlife such as crustaceans, seagrass and corals as you walk along the rocky shoreline. The boardwalk is ideal for romantic strolls with your other half especially during sunrise and sunset.
3. Hort Park
Photo courtesy of islandhippy.com
As part of the Southern Ridges, Hort Park is a living library of plants and gardening ideas. Considered as THE gardening hub, it is your one stop locale for any gardening related activities. This green park provides a tranquil ambience in which you can unwind through a slow leisurely stroll or a relaxing yoga session.
4. Alexandra Garden Trail
Photo courtesy of singaporegreenspaces.wordpress.com
Created for pedestrians and cyclists alike, this 830 metre garden trail is the perfect sanctuary from the hurly burly of modern life. Linked to other attractions such as the Alexandra Arch and Forest Walk, you can troop around a trail adorned by mature tall trees and littered with over 10 species of butterfly-attracting flowers.
5. Labrador Nature Reserve
Photo courtesy of sweetmemoirs.com
Step into Labrador Nature Reserve and catch the picturesque southern coastline view that it has to offer. You can get a prime view of our nation only protected coastal cliff vegetation from the staircase located at the fringe of the lush green forest. You can also check out the new Comchest Green extension which features a therapeutic park right by the sea. Get carried away by the cooling breeze and melt to the soothing sounds of the tide in this Shangri-La.
Don’t forget to embrace the rich biodiversity and marvel at the local wildlife which consists of 11 species of butterflies and up to 70 different species of birds.
You should also make it a point to visit the old British fort as it is chockfull of World War II historical relics. Journey through time and explore attractions such as the old artillery bunkers and even old secret supply tunnels found under the fort.
6. Gillman Village
Damage: *Price varies
Photo courtesy of gillmanbarracks.com
After all that walking, end off the day by treating yourself to some fine cuisine at Gillman Village. Established as an arts and creative hub in 2010, it also boasts a number of exciting dining options. Choose from European fare to Southeast Asian flavours in this former army barrack block which has hosted notable events such as the Singapore Biennale and Art Stage Singapore.