Saturday, 20 March 2021

Gallop Extension at Singapore Botanic Gardens

It's been a long while since we visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the gardens that is the first UNESCO Heritage Site in Singapore. This March holiday, we visited its new feature, Gallop extension.

The Gallop Extension comprises of two conserved buildings that have been refurbished into the Botanical Art Gallery and Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, the COMO Adventure Grove and Mingxin Rambler's Ridge. The art gallery and discovery centre are air-conditioned, so the best way to visit iss to get some crazy fun at COMO Adventure Grove before visiting the gallery and centre. 

COMO Adventure Grove
Lovely play garden nestled within the greens. When I first saw the welcoming giant fruit at a distance, I thought it was durian, as we moved on to other play section, I thought I saw many ang gu kuehs. What a truly Singapore play idea I thought! And of course, they were not what I had imagined them to be. They are cempedak and saga seeds. 
 
 
COMO Adventure Grove
 
Giant Cempedak
 

Doesn't this look a little like durian?

On a saga seed
 
Aren't they like durian and cempedak from a distance?! 

Kids can get on the warty giant fruit for a not so prickly walk, balance or roll on the saga seeds for some wobbly fun. And of course, swing, slide and climb on structures resembling the aerial roots of the Weeping Fig, or Ficus tree. There are two covered metal slides, probably the only sheltered area within and nearby. One slide is shorter and the other is longer. Kids will need to climb on ropes to get to the entrances of the slides, a higher and arduous climb lead to the longer slide. Our 4 year old did have some challenge trying to reach the higher slide entrance.

Was some problem solving moments for him though.
 
Roots everywhere

Slide fun

Needless to say, Js had most fun with this new found playground. Sweltering weather didn't bother them at all. Just remember to slap on sunscreen and bring gallons of water! 

There is a toilet nearby, up the climbing stairs towards one the of colonial houses, no. 7.  

Botanical Art Gallery 
The Botanical Art Gallery is housed within the second refurbished conserved building, Gallop House No. 7. It houses Singapore’s first permanent display of botanical art, where you will be able to see a selection of the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ collection that includes more than 2,000 botanical paintings, as well as hundreds of sketches, line drawings and photographs. The display will also showcase various art forms, from original watercolours and ink drawings to prints and printing blocks.
 
We missed visiting this, but we will at the next visit!

Gallop House No. 7
 

Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum 
If I can use an unconventional word to describe these colonial houses, I will say these black and white bungalows are handsome! Absolutely smart and good looking.

Gallop house no. 5 showcases Singapore’s forest ecosystems, and highlights the importance of conserving them. Through a series of interpretive and interactive displays, we learned about the Gardens’ historical role in conserving them. It was a great opportunity to know more about our topical rainforest, coastal and mangrove forests. Other highlights include a photographic installation of forest trees, family-friendly displays where we can know more about the common birds found locally, and videos featuring three distinctive forest habitats found in Singapore, and their unique flora and fauna. 

It isn't all just about plants and forests, but animal species too!

No. 5

Knowing the common birds in Singapore

Butterfly specimen

Exhibits

Listening attentively
 
photographic installation of forest trees

 
Mingxin Rambler's Ridge
For a little more adventure, we went on a mild hiking trail, descended the rocky steps and returned to the path where we came from. The trail is mostly sheltered by trees, so it was quite a cooling walk down. 

The ridge draws its inspiration from unique forest habitats on the tropical hills of Southeast Asia. Some of these environments, such as the Kerangas heath forests, are known for their harsh conditions, with poor soil and exposure to strong winds. As such, the plants that naturally occur in these landscapes have evolved fascinating adaptations.

We had a nice walk with it. 

Short trail

It's really wonderful to be having more outdoor playgrounds sprouting up. Our National park ministry did a great job in enticing more families to visit gardens and parks. Greenery and outdoor are always good for our little kids' eyes.

And don't forget to spend some time taking nice pictures within our beautiful gardens. 

Lovely garden we have

How to get there

TRAIN
Alight at Botanic Gardens station, walk towards Foliage Garden, towards Nassim gate visitor centre, then walk towards National Orchid Garden, head to the back and walk towards Gallop Extension. Alternatively, you may walk along Cluny Park Road and Tyersall Road to get there.
 
BUS
Buses: 7, 75, 77, 105, 106, 123, 174, 625
Stop: 13029 bef Tyersall Ave
Walk in via Tyersall Avenue

CAR
Park at the Learning Forest
It not a too long walk to Gallop extension

Opening Hours
 
COMO Adventure Grove: 7am to 7pm
Botanical Art Gallery: 9am to 6pm (Closed every last Thursday of the month)
Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum: 9am to 6pm (Closed every last Thursday of the month)
Mingxin Foundation Rambler's Ridge: 7am to 7pm

FREE admission for all

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