Located in the North Region of Singapore, Sembawang is a residential, suburban town that’s known for its colonial history. For this reason, many of the attractions in the area are historical landmarks and cultural sites.
That said, Sembawang also has a few green spaces perfect for hanging out with your loved ones during the weekends. One green space that my family (yes, pets included) and I love visiting is Sembawang Park.
If you’re looking for free activities to do with your family and you’re thinking of visiting this park, read on. This article provides you with everything you need to know about Sembawang Park.
The Basics of Sembawang Park
- Address: Sembawang Road, Singapore
- Operating Hours: 24 hours (daily)
Sembawang Park is a 15-hectare park that’s facing the Straits of Johore and overlooks Malaysia. It got its name from the Sembawang Tree, which is the tree you see at the center of the car park C1 section.
This park is known for its interesting connections to the country’s historical past. Near the park is the Sembawang Shipyard, which used to be the naval base for the British and eventually the Japanese.
Because of this, the pathways that you can find within the park are all old roads. They’ve only been repaved with asphalt in recent years.
How do I get to Sembawang Park?
You can get to Sembawang Park via the MRT or the bus. If you decide to travel via the MRT, follow the steps below:
- Take the MRT (North-South Line) to the Sembawang Station (NS11).
- Take Exit C, then cross the road to the bus stop opposite the station (Stop ID: 58219).
- Ride the bus with the number 882, then stay on it for eight stops.
- Disembark at the bus station opposite Jalan Janggus (Stop ID: 58081).
- Walk northeast on Sembawang Road, heading toward Jalan Janggus, then take a left at Jalan Janggus. After a few minutes of walking, take another left to Tuah Road.
- Enter Sembawang Park from its south entrance.
If you prefer to travel by bus, refer to the table below:
|Where You Can Disembark
|Sembawang Pk — Stop ID: 58091
|Walk for about a minute to the northern entrance.
|Aft Andrews Ave — Stop ID: 58089
|Walk for about three minutes to the southern entrance.
|Opp Jln Janggus — Stop ID: 58081
|Walk for about three to four minutes to the southern entrance.
Where can I park in Sembawang Park?
It’s also possible to get to Sembawang Park by driving your own car. If you do decide to drive, you can park your vehicle in either two of the parking lots available.
Car Park 1 is located near the Beaulieu House, while Car Park 2 is at 1108 Sembawang Road.
What facilities and attractions can you find in Sembawang Park?
Sembawang Park may seem smaller in comparison to the other parks in Singapore, but it still features several facilities and attractions that are worth checking out. The facilities and attractions you can find here are the following:
- Heritage Roads
- Heritage Trees
- Nature Trails
- Sembawang Beach
- Sembawang Dog Run
- Battleship Playground
- Exercise Station
- Sembawang Jetty
- Seletar Pier
- The Beaulieu House
- BBQ Pits
As mentioned earlier, Sembawang Park has a rich history, so its roads are actually Heritage Roads. And though these roads have been repaved in recent years, walking on them still fills you up with awe because of their past.
My favorite thing about these roads is that they lead you to several historical landmarks. For example, Admiralty Road West lets you see all the colonial bungalows of former naval officers, and Jalan Kemuning Road is lined with traditional Malay houses.
So, if you’re the type who likes taking a step back in time, walking on these roads is something you wouldn’t want to pass up.
Even though Sembawang Park isn’t strictly a nature park like Chestnut Nature Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, it still has several Heritage Trees that the National Parks Board (NParks) has acknowledged for their cultural and ecological significance.
There’s the Sembawang tree in the car park, a Tembusu tree (one of the largest and oldest of its species in the country), and a Raja Laut tree (a fig tree best known for its medicinal properties).
There are many more Heritage Trees in the park, so the next time you visit, so be sure to check them out and appreciate them for their significance and magnificence.
My family and I enjoy hiking from time to time, so naturally, one of the things we love about this park is it has several designated trails that we can explore.
These trails also have informative signs about the local flora and fauna, so while we’re breaking a sweat, we can also learn more about the park’s conservation efforts.
Sembawang Beach is one of our favorite spots in Sembawang Park, and it’s not just because it’s one of the few beaches in Singapore that are naturally sandy.
But we also love it because it faces the Straits of Johore and the Malaysian coastline, so we can enjoy views of passing vessels and bits of the neighboring country while splashing in the water.
To make your experience even more relaxing, be sure to bring a blanket and a picnic basket. Snacking with a view is always a fun thing to do!
Sembawang Dog Run
Sembawang Park is open to everyone, so don’t leave your furry friends at home. Bring them with you when you come here.
In fact, this park has a Dog Run area, so your pets will have a grand time running around.
The Dog Run is spacious enough, and its terrain is a bit sloped, so your dogs can have a great workout. Along the perimeter are benches and tables, so feel free to sit down and have a snack while your dogs play with others in the park.
If I were to pick a standout attraction in Sembawang Park, I would definitely pick the Battleship Playground. Its structure and design are just so striking and grand; it’s hard not to be in awe every time I see it!
This maritime-themed playground features a battleship structure with ropes, so you can climb up and explore the inside of the battleship. To get down, you have to go through the slide and land on the sand.
Even though this playground is popular among children, adults are free to have fun here as well. So, don’t be shy to let your inner child free in this playground.
Are you looking for variety in your exercise regime? Sembawang Park has got you covered because there’s an exercise station here.
This station has some of the basic facilities you typically find in a gym, such as pull-up bars. Many people choose to stop by the exercise station to cap off their workout for the day; you can also try doing the same.
Sembawang Jetty juts from the park so that it faces the Straits of Johore. The British began the construction of this jetty in the 1940s before the Japanese came along.
When Singapore was occupied, the Japanese completed the jetty’s construction.
Despite being several decades old, Sembawang Jetty still stands in perfect shape. Now, it’s become a spot for people to cast a line from their fishing rods, but for some people like us, the jetty is also a great place to relax and enjoy the view and the breeze.
If you want to catch a beautiful view, stop by this area in the late afternoon when the sun is about to dip behind the horizon. You’ll be amazed at how the sunset can set the sky ablaze before surrendering to dusk.
Speaking of landmarks with historical significance, Sembawang Park also has Seletar Pier, which used to be the transport hub for construction materials during the Naval Base construction in the early 1920s.
During World War II, this pier was bombed by the Japanese, and the only remains can be found at the end of Sembawang Road.
If you’re a history buff who likes seeing items that have survived events in the past, you’ll love checking out Seletar Pier.
The Beaulieu House
The Beaulieu House is the only restaurant within Sembawang Park, and it’s one you don’t want to miss out on. It’s set on a hill overlooking the straits, so you’ll get a gorgeous view of the crystal-blue waters while dining here.
What I like about the Beaulieu House—aside from the view and the delicious meals—is that it’s decorated in a cozy, nostalgic theme, so I feel at ease when dining here.
If you’re with a group, you can order from their available sets, which can feed six to ten people. Weekend brunch is also available here if you’re interested.
- Operating Hours: 11 am to 2:30 pm, 5:30 to 10:30 pm (weekdays); 10 am to 2:30 pm, 5:30 to 10:30 pm (weekends)
Make your family hangout in Sembawang Park more fun by booking one of the eight BBQ pits available here.
These pits are located near the picnic tables and the beach, so I’d suggest booking one if you’re planning for your family to stay on the beach for a long time. This is so that you can cook burgers and other grilled dishes while everyone is swimming in the sea.
Do take note that you need to book your pit via AXS beforehand.
There are also a few rules that you need to follow, which are as follows:
- You can only use the pit from 12 noon to 10:30 pm on the day of the barbecue.
- Using open fire and/or naked flames other than the one in the BBQ pit is prohibited. Also prohibited is using LPG cylinders, refillable gas cylinders, mobile kitchen portable stoves, or generators.
- Don’t throw away hot charcoal in the bins.
- Be sure to keep your group up to eight members only.
- Take care of the property when using it.
What other attractions can you find near Sembawang Park?
Once you’ve seen all the attractions in Sembawang Park and you’re still in the mood for more, you might be interested in checking out the other attractions near the park. Some of the landmarks that might pique your interest include
- Kampung Wak Hassan
- Old Admiralty House
- The Navy Museum
- Melayu Perempatan Masjid
- Sembawang Hot Spring Park
Kampung Wak Hassan
Literally right next to Sembawang Park is Kampung Wak Hassan, a 150-meter stretch of road with a few historical houses. To outsiders, this area may seem insignificant, but this kampung is actually one of the oldest villages in the country.
The village was first established by Wak Hassan bin Ali in 1914. The original location was somewhere west of what we know now as Sembawang Shipyard, but it was relocated to the northern coastline because of the construction of the British naval base.
Kampung Wak Hassan continued to survive the decades, living through conflicts and wars. But by the end of the 1990s, the village had been cleared out due to construction and renovations in the area, and residents had left for new villages.
Now, Kampung Wak Hassan is more of a road where people stroll to enjoy the sea, but it’s still wonderful to know about the history of the area. Former residents also visit the area from time to time, reliving the many happy memories they had in the past.
Old Admiralty House
Canberra House, also known as the Old Admiralty House, is a historic building with a striking Arts and Crafts architectural style that was popular in the 1800s.
It used to house the Furen International School, but now it’s part of the Sembawang Sports and Community Hub.
What I like most about Old Admiralty House is that it looks so charming. It reminds me so much of a traditional English cottage since the building is nestled in a lush, open garden.
If you decide to stop by this place, it’s a great spot to snap some pictures to post on Instagram.
- Address: 345 Old Nelson Road
- Operating Hours: 8 am to 5 pm (weekdays), closed on the weekends
History lovers, don’t pass up the chance to stop by The Navy Museum! Here, you can learn all about the Singapore Navy—how it started and what challenges the sailors encountered throughout the years.
The best part about this museum is that it has so many sections, such as the Modern Display and the Underwater Warfare Technology Gallery.
My favorite has to be the simulation section because I get to try to take out enemy targets or navigate a ship through the busy Straits.
- Address: 112 Tanah Merah Coast Road, inside Changi Naval Base
- Operating Hours: 9 am to 5 pm (weekdays), 9 am to 3 pm (Saturdays); closed on Sundays, public holidays
Melayu Perempatan Masjid
Melayu Perempatan Masjid is a mosque that was built by the residents of Kampung Tengah and was opened in 1963. Despite being located in Kampung Tengah, this mosque was also used by residents in nearby villages.
Just like the Old Admiralty House, one thing I like about this mosque is its eye catching-design design: it’s a traditional Malay mosque design with vibrant colors. So, in addition to its religious significance, the building is beautiful to look at.
- Address: 27B Jalan Mempurong
- Operating Hours: 24 hours (daily)
Sembawang Hot Spring Park
Exploring Sembawang Park can be quite draining, and what I like to do after a day in the park is head to Sembawang Hot Spring Park to relax. Luckily, this hot spring park is only a few minutes away, so you don’t have to travel far.
Sembawang Hot Spring Park is a natural hot spring that was discovered in the early 1900s, and its waters were once commercially used by Fraser and Neave.
Now, it’s a park where people can relax after a long, tiring day. The most popular feature is the Cascading Pool, where you sit down and soak your feet in the hot spring water.
That said, you can also do other exciting things. One of my personal favorite activities is cooking eggs using the park’s hot spring water.
- Address: Along Gambas Avenue
- Operating Hours: 7 am to 7 pm (daily)