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Sisters’ Island are two of the Southern Islands in Singapore and are located to the south of the main island of Singapore, off the Straits of Singapore. Big Sister’s Island, about 39,000 square metres (9.6 acres) in area and also known as Pulau Subar Laut in Malay, faces the open sea, while Little Sister’s Island, about 17,000 m2 (4.2 acres) in area and also known as Pulau Subar Darat, faces the mainland. The two islands are separated by a narrow channel, which can be traversed by ferry. Currents through this channel can be very dangerous to swimmers and divers. Only Big Sisters’ Island is open to the public as a Marine Park, while Small Sisters’ Island is being used for research and conservation to promote species recovery and habitat enhancement. 

Currently, Sisters’ Island is closed and undergoing maintenance work until 2024.

The Story of Sisters’ Island Marine Park

The legend of Sisters’ Island Marine Park tells of a poor widow who had two pretty daughters, Minah and Linah, who were very close to each other. After their mother died, the sisters left the village to live with a distant uncle.

One unfortunate day, Linah met a group of pirates while she was fetching water from a well near the sea. Frightened, she ran home while the pirate chief gave chase. At the uncle’s home, the pirate brandished a dagger and made known his wish to marry Linah. That night, the two sisters wept bitterly in each other’s arms. When dawn broke, the pirate chief and 16 of his men came to take Linah away. Clinging to each other, they were torn apart by the pirates, and Linah was forced to leave with the pirates. Just then, the sky turned dark, and a storm broke out. Desperate, Minah swam after the boat but drowned. On seeing this, Linah freed herself from her captors and jumped into the sea to join Minah.

The storm subsided but nowhere could the sisters be found. The next day, the villagers were shocked to see two islands at the spot where the two sisters had drowned.

The two tranquil islands, called Pulau Subar Laut and Pulau Subar Darat, were henceforth known as the Sisters’ Island. It was said that every year on that very day when the sisters turned into islands, there would always be storms and rain.

How to Get to Sisters’ Island Marine Park?

If you want to go to Sisters’ Island Marine Park, you must take a ferry to Marina South Pier. The tickets cost SGD17 per adult and SGD12 for children aged 4 to 12, and it includes other stops like St. John’s Island and Kusu Island without additional costs. That means you can visit all three islands in one trip. However, do note that Marina South Pier ferries that go to Sisters’ Island only operate on weekends and Public Holidays.

To reach Marina South Pier, take the Marina South Pier MRT Station (NS28) and follow these steps:

  • Head southwest on Marina Coastal Dr for 12 metres
  • Turn left, and you’ll find Singapore Island Cruise & Ferry Services on the left after a 67-metre walk.

The Islands

Today, Sisters’ Island has become a Marine Park managed by the National Parks Board of Singapore. It has become a platform for outreach, educational, conservation and research activities related to our native marine biodiversity. The location was chosen due to its variety of habitats, including coral reefs, sandy shores and seagrass areas.

This new initiative aims to give Singaporeans a first-hand experience of our rich biodiversity, which is submerged most of the time. The Sisters’ Islands Marine Park will protect Singapore’s coral reefs, which support an ecosystem inhabited by rare and endangered species of seahorses, clams, sponges and other marine life. More than 250 species of hard corals can be found in Singapore’s waters out of over 500 species within the region. Being located in close proximity to one of the world’s busiest ports, the Marine Park will provide a safe refuge for the teeming biodiversity around the Southern Islands and its surrounding waters, as well as safeguard our natural heritage.

southern islands

Did you know?

A Sisters’ Island Marine Park Public Gallery is set up at St John’s Island, to showcase the biodiversity in Singapore waters – an alternative site for visitors to learn more about the marine life in Singapore.

Did you know?

A Sister Island Marine Park Public Gallery is set up at St John’s Island, to showcase the biodiversity in Singapore waters – an alternative site for visitors to learn more about the marine life in Singapore.

What to Do on Sisters’ Island Marine Park?

Picnic

Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the island and have a picnic with friends and family. Be wary of monkeys that could steal your food, though!

1

Swimming

Swim on the beach during high tide, and you can bring your own snorkelling equipment as well.

2

Intertidal Walk

During low tide, all sorts of marine life will be visible on the beach and learn a thing or two about them on this island.

Check out our Sisters’ Island Guide: What to Do and How to Get There to plan out your itinerary.

3

st.john's

Picnic

Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the island and have a picnic with friends and family. Be wary of monkeys that could steal your food though!

1

Swimming

Swim on the beach during high tide and you can bring your own snorkelling equipments as well.

2

Intertidal Walk

During low tide, all sorts of marine life will be visible on the beach and learn a thing or two about them on this island.

3

Visit Sisters’ Island Marine Park

Book a ferry ticket in advance to Sisters Island Marine Park and our other marine park destinations, like Lazarus Island Resort and Kusu Island Shrines, with Singapore Island Cruise today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sisters’ Island Marine Park

The ride to Sisters’ Island Marine Park typically takes approximately 40 minutes on an average ferry journey. It’s important to note that this duration may vary on weekends and public holidays due to increased demand and potential delays caused by a higher number of visitors exploring various Marine Parks in the area.

Unfortunately, overnight stays are not permitted at Sisters Island Marine Park or any of the surrounding islands. Instead, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the Big Sister Island’s natural beauty and do activities, like picnics, swimming and snorkelling, during the day. If you wish to stay overnight on an island, you can consider camping at St. John’s or Lazarus Island.

Yes, you can use a ticket or island-hop pass to shuttle between the islands, but the availability of this service varies depending on the day of the week. On weekends, you can enjoy island hopping, allowing you to explore not just Sisters’ Island Marine Park but also St. John’s Island and Kusu Island. However, on weekdays, the ferry service typically operates between Marina South Pier and St. John’s Island, without intermediate stops at other islands.

It’s highly encouraged that you book your ferry tickets to Sisters’ Island Marine Park on a day most convenient for you, as your ticket may only be valid on that day. However, you can board the ferry at whichever time on the day of your trip, but also know that it’s advised that visitors do not come after 3 PM on weekends.

Certainly, you have the option to cancel your ferry booking to Sisters’ Island Marine Park; however, it’s essential to be aware that the tickets you have purchased are non-refundable. This means that, unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for a refund upon the cancellation of your ferry ticket. Feel free to contact us for more information about your booking.