Feb 7, 2016

The Complete Family Guide to Kranji Marshes

A combination of lush, marsh, woodland and grass habitats with more than 170 species of birds, 54 species of butterflies and 33 species of dragonflies lies in the north-western part of Singapore – and it is NOW open to everyone!

Spanning 56.8 hectares (half the size of Gardens by the Bay), Kranji Marshes is the largest freshwater marshland in Singapore. Together with Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, it is home to a rich array of flora and fauna, and provides an important habitat in the Kranji area for the conservation of biodiversity, especially marsh birds.

And when there is a new nature playground in Singapore to explore, you can be sure the monkies will be there to suss it out. But prior to heading down, I looked at NParks' website and this particular sentence caught my attention:

"The terrain is rugged at parts and may be unsuitable for younger children."

Hmmm, interesting. Only one way to find out!

There are two main areas – one that is open to public and the core conservation area which can only be accessed via guided walks. For the public walk, the start journey begins at Kranji Gate which is located at the end of Neo Tiew Lane 2 (beside D'Kranji Farm Resort).

The walk is a relatively straight-forward linear one, a 1km route which ends at Raptor Tower.

Do spend some time at the shelter area at Kranji Gate, where visitors will be able to familiarise themselves with the various birds at Kranji Marshes.

Then it was off for our trek to Raptor Tower!

As you can see, the route is entirely paved and smooth. We had a great time strolling alongside Neo Tiew Woods and trying to spot nationally threatened bird species, such as the grey-headed fish eagle and the changeable hawk eagle. No luck though.

But there were plenty of millipedes crawling on the floor throughout! And the monkies loved them! Perhaps it is the result of having brought them to nature parks frequently but the monkies were enough game to have the millipedes crawl over their hands... even Ale.

Along the way, there are two shelters for visitors to rest their legs or take refuge with the first being Weaver Shelter.

Have you ever stumbled upon a cuter find in a Baya Weaver's nest than this?

The second shelter is Woodpecker Shelter, which came complete with useful information panels about woodpeckers.

We did not manage to spot any woodpeckers but at least Ale enjoyed learning more about them!

After a 20-minute walk, we arrived at the highlight that the monkies were looking forward to.

Raptor Tower!

Bur first, there was the tiny issue of allowing the monkies to run wild.

The area is also home to 2 lookout shelters - Moorhen Blind and Swamphen Hide.

These places are where wildlife enthusiasts camp out for a chance to observe shy marsh birds such as the Purple Swamphen and Common Moorhen.

If you are visiting between November and March during the raptor migratory season, look out for visiting species such as the Black Baza and Japanese Sparrowhawk. But even if no birds are spotted, the views from the hides are extremely calming and scenic.

For an even more awesome view, ascend the 10-metre tall Raptor Tower!

Simply because the tower offers a panoramic view of the entire Kranji Marshes.

For sure, the Raptor Tower is THE highlight for the monkies!

To complete an educational day out for the kiddos, head to the nearby Marsh Station where they can learn more about the birds and their respective bills and feet. A very nice touch, in my opinion.

Oh, and remember NOT to go into the water areas so as to avoid giving yourself a nasty surprise.

Yes, crocodiles.

But I reckon everything should be alright as long as one stays on the proper paths.

All in, I feel Kranji Marshes is suitable for families, even for younger children. The paths are well-paved and stroller-friendly - terrain is not that rugged as far as I could see. Also, there is no doubt that the Raptor Tower will be a hit with the kids, as evident from our time there.

With a range of natural habitats such as freshwater marsh, woodland and grass habitats, Kranji Marshes is a great place for parents to bring along their kids to observe and enjoy nature. Not to mention it is FREE!

Planning to head down? Here are a few things to take note:

- Kranji Marshes is open from 7am to 7pm daily.

- There is no lighting within Kranji Marshes.

- The entire walking route from Kranji Gate to Raptor Tower is 1km and takes approximately 20 minutes one way.

- Except for strollers, leave anything else with wheels at home. Yes, bicycles, skate scooters and roller blades are NOT allowed into Kranji Marshes.

- To get there via public transport, hop on the Kranji Express bus from Kranji MRT Station which operates daily from 8.30 am to 5.45 pm. (Bus Schedule HERE) Alight at D’Kranji Farm Resort and take a short walk to Kranji Gate.

- If you drive, free parking is available at Kranji Gate. But parking is extremely limited with 20 parking lots. There are also 10 motorcycle lots and 30 bicycle lots.

- Do keep to the designated trails and appreciate any animals you may see from afar.

- Toilets can only be found at Kranji Gate.

- Prepare adequately, such as wearing proper footwear, bringing sufficient water, and a hat. There are no shops or vending machines at Kranji Marshes, only a water cooler at Kranji Gate.

- Save for Ale's one mosquito bite, we did not have any issues with mosquitoes or other insects.

- Pets are not allowed.

- Remember to take only what you have brought in, and leave nothing behind but footprints.

- Free guided walks are conducted once a month, on Saturday evenings. Explore and learn more about the nature area from the experienced and knowledgeable guides who will take you around. To register, visit HERE.

Useful Information

Kranji Marshes
11 Neo Tiew Lane 2, Singapore 718814
7 am to 7 pm daily
Free Admission

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