Opened in February 2016, Kranji Marshes is a world away from the typical Singapore city life. The 56.8-hectare marshland is one of the largest freshwater marshes in Singapore. This wetland ecosystem is home to more than 170 species of birds, 54 species of butterflies and 33 species of dragonflies.
On a visit, you will find the songs of birds filled the air, occasionally punctuated by croaks and other interesting sounds. Peaceful and inviting, Kranji Marshes is a good change from the usual activity-packed, high-tech man-made destinations that kids are more accustomed to.
Getting to Marsh Station at Kranji Marshes
After arriving at the entrance, known as Kranji Gate, you will have to make your way on foot through the Neo Tiew Woods to the Marsh Station, the main nature area that the public can visit.
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The Marsh Station area is just a small portion of the entire Kranji Marshes. However, the Core Conservation Area is closed to the public and can only be accessed on guided tours.
The walk from Kranji Gate to the Marsh Station is around 1 km long. The road will take you past the Neo Tiew Woods.
The landmarks along the way in are two shelters – the Weaver Shelter and the Woodpecker Shelter. By the time you pass the Woodpecker Shelter, you will almost be at the Marsh Station.
Kranji Marshes – Escape to Nature
The main man-made attraction at Kranji Marshes is the Raptor Tower, a 10.65-metre tall structure that offers a 360-degree panorama of the surrounds.
A must-do is to climb up the Raptor Tower to have a look out into the countryside.
You can get a nice view from the top of the tower. To the north of the tower is the West Marsh area. To protect the species of wildlife that call that area home, it is closed off to the public and only accessible on guided tours.
Besides visiting the Raptor Tower, you can also stop by the Kingfisher Burrow, an inconspicuous structure just a few steps away. An echoey surprise is in store when you step in under its arch.
Keep a Look Out
On paper, it seem there isn’t much for the little ones – especially if they’re not wildlife buffs. However, you’d be surprised how interesting nature can be if only you’d give it a chance.
It pays to keep your eyes peeled. Don’t be surprised if you spot a woodpecker, a bright yellow oriole or other bird species. Even the dragonflies seem enchanting at the Marshes.
Also at Kranji Marshes’ Marsh Station are two lookout shelters – Moorhen Blind and Swamphen Hide. These enable visitors to observe marsh birds without scaring them away.
Admittedly, sitting down to look out for birds quietly may be a bit of a stretch for impatient visitors, especially when it’s not that easy to spot the birds.
All in all, Kranji Marshes is a good nature spot where families can escape back to nature. Don’t expect it to be crammed with pre-designed activities. It is a place for you to explore at a leisurely pace and take time to bond as a family.
Tips for Visiting Kranji Marshes
Here are a few tips for a more enjoyable visit:
1. Pack your own snack and water for the visit. Alternatively, you can buy drinks from the vending machine at the entrance.
2. Use an insect repellent or mosquito patches if you’re worried about bites.
3. Cycling is not allowed in Kranji Marshes as it may disturb the wildlife. Leave your wheels at the Kranji Gate entrance and be prepared to walk.
4. Keep to the designated trails and respect the animals you encounter.
5. Pets are not allowed in Kranji Marshes.
6. To get there by public transport, take the Kranji Express bus from Kranji MRT Station. Alight at D’Kranji Farm Resort and take a short walk to Kranji Gate. For those who drive, there is carpark with 20 parking lots. 10 motorcycle lots and 30 bicycle lots are also located at Kranji Gate.
7. If you’re interested in visiting the core conservation area, keep a lookout for guided tours led by NParks.