How to Get to Sisters’ Island & What Fun Activities to Do

Located just off the south coast of Singapore are two hidden gems that not many know about or would think of visiting – Sisters’ Islands.

Among the Southern Islands of Singapore – Lazarus Island, St. John’s Island, and Kusu Island – the Sisters’ Islands are by far the most untouched. However, funnily enough, this secluded hidden gem has the richest history and most well-known legend that many locals are aware of.

The legend of Sisters’ Islands tells the tragic tale of two sisters with a close-knit relationship who were torn apart by pirates and drowned while trying to reunite with one another. Two islands appeared at the spot where they had drowned and were given the name “Sisters’ Islands”.

As you would have probably guessed, Sisters’ Islands include two islands – Little Sister Island and Big Sister Island. Unfortunately, only Big Sister Island can be accessed by the public by ferry (note: it is currently closed for enhancement works till 2024).

So, what can you do on Big Sister Island? Well, here are six fun activities to do if you are planning a trip to this hidden gem rich in history in the near future.

1. Snorkelling

Forget making a trip to the SEA Aquarium, get up close and personal with marine life by snorkelling through the undisturbed waters of Big Sister Island.

What’s great about snorkelling on Big Sister Island is how secluded and unbridled the nature of the marine environment is. Home to some of Singapore’s greatest reefs, keep your eyes peeled for the wide variety of fishes, corals, and other fascinating underwater creatures as you swim through the crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Watch out for jellyfish, though, as they have been sighted recently. You wouldn’t want to be stung!

The only downside is that there are no snorkel gears for rent available on the island, so you’d have to get and bring your own equipment along.

2. Clear your mind by taking a stroll

Clear Your Mind By Taking A Stroll

You know what they say, if you have a lot on your mind, the best remedy is to go on a walk.

If you are looking for some quality me-time or a great place to quiet your mind and do some thinking, then getting a ferry to Big Sister Island would be a great choice.

As mentioned earlier, the island is much more secluded and not as frequently visited as the other Southern Islands of Singapore. This means that it is the ideal location that offers you the tranquillity you are looking for to recharge and clear your mind. Take a stroll among the trees or by the waves and spend a few moments appreciating the surroundings.

3. Picnic in the shade

For those who love spending time with your loved ones with a scrumptious spread but hate the heat and humidity, you’re in luck.

There are a number of sheltered benches where you can have your picnic in the shade and hide out from the sun. Plus, many of these sheltered benches overlook the island’s pristine waters. Food, family, friends, shade, and a stunning view – it really does not get any better than this.

4. Swimming

At Big Sister Island, you’ll discover two pristine lagoons perfect for safe swimming. However, it’s crucial to stay within the lagoon boundaries as the currents beyond can be quite strong. Additionally, exercise caution to avoid encounters with jellyfish. If you wish to rinse off the seawater after your swim, the island provides a restroom equipped with basic shower facilities for your convenience.

5. Intertidal Walk

During low tide, you have the opportunity to explore the fascinating biodiversity along the island’s shoreline. Timing the low tide can be a bit challenging, especially on weekends when schedules may experience delays. Nevertheless, witnessing this natural spectacle is truly magnificent. To enhance your experience, wear waterproof footwear to keep your feet dry and don a hat to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

6. Diving

Before embarking on a diving adventure in Big Sister Island’s dive trails, there are certain prerequisites to meet. The island offers two established dive trails: the Shallow Dive Trail, with a depth of 6 metres and the Deep Dive Trail, with a depth of 15 metres. Diving is permitted exclusively through approved dive operators’ organised trips. They typically require participants to have logged 20 dives and completed at least one local dive in the past two years to ensure safety and preparedness.

Things Prohibited on Sisters’ Island Marine Park

Before buying ferry tickets to Sisters’ Island Marine Park, be aware of the activities that are prohibited:

  • Camping – Overnight camping is not allowed in Big Sister Island. If you want to stay overnight on a Southern Island in Singapore, you can consider St. John’s Island.
  • Fishing – The purpose of the Marine Park is to protect the marine biodiversity in Singapore, so fishing is strictly prohibited.

Getting to Sisters’ Island

Now, how do you get to Sisters’ Island?

It’s simple – you would just have to purchase a ferry ticket to Sister Island from Singapore Island Cruise and hop on a ferry. Tickets cost just SGD17 per adult and SGD12 for children aged 4 to 12. However, ferry services are currently unavailable as the island is closed for maintenance work until 2024.

Another way to get there is to charter a private ferry to Sisters’ Island Marine Park. This would give you the freedom to decide your own departure and arrival times and allow you the luxury of having the whole ferry to yourself!

However, if you want to charter a private ferry to Sisters’ Island, you have to take note of the following:

  • Approximate Position: 1.2146° N, 103.8350° E
  • Prior approval from NPARKS is necessary to use the six mooring buoys located around the islands.
  • Anchoring is strictly prohibited within the designated area of the marine park.
  • Fishing is not permitted within the marine park.
  • Beaching within the boundaries of the marine park is prohibited.
  • Exercise caution when swimming, snorkelling, or diving in the presence of strong and multi-directional tidal streams, especially if you lack experience in such conditions.

For more information, check out our Kusu Island Temple, Lazarus Island, and St. John ferry schedules.