Jurong Bird Park is a well managed animal park on Jurong Hill in Singapore’s southwest. It’s the large sanctuary containing hundreds of species of colourful birds. The birds represent species of the region and around the world including parrots and penguins. It also has attractive play areas and exceptional facilities that’s good for families.
The park covers a huge area of beautifully laid out Southeast Asian tropical wilderness. There are literally thousands of varieties of birds and the park boasts an open concept design amid natural habitats. It’s where visitors are able to mingle and get up close with the birds.
What started off as a bird exhibit in the early 1970s has burgeoned into a world class facility through the vision of Dr. Goh Keng Swee—who wanted locals to have an escape and appreciate nature. The largest bird park in Asia has also received many accolades because of its conservation efforts, particularly through the Breeding and Research Centre. There are several themed areas including a massive aviary, high lookout towers, feeding areas, and some impressive shows.
The Waterfall Aviary itself houses several hundred birds and is the most impressive part of Jurong Bird Park. Birds are free to go where they like and some even landing on visitors. Many species are rare like the funny looking turaco. The aviary is also filled with lush vegetation of the region and, true to Singapore flair, includes an impressive 30 metre high waterfall.
Of particular appeal to lovers of Australian parrots is the Lory Loft and suspended bridges allow visitors to get up close. Other points of interest in Jurong include the Jungle Jewels South American rainforest with its toucan, the Penguin Coast underwater gallery, and the hundreds of flamingo at the Flamingo Lake.
It appeals to kids especially the Birdz of Play playground with fun pools, water slides, and dry zone. The High Flyers and Kings of the Skies show allow kids to interact with the birds, the latter being especially impressive with its birds of prey. The best way to get around and avoid the intense heat is via the Panorail monorail and guided trams. The Songbird Terrace has the best dining with a delicious buffet and a parrot show.
Jurong Bird Park is a fair way west of the city centre, involving a combined MRT and bus ride to get there. It’s also a bit of a drive which is around 30 minutes and there’s a parking fee. For convenience, it’s best to see the park on a tour where transport, entry, and a guided visit are included. It’s open every day from 08:30 to 18:00.
Note: A newer, better bird park is planned at the extensive Mandai Eco Precinct, scheduled to open in 2020, replacing Jurong Bird Park.