Singapore. It’s better known for being safe, clean and green than it is for leaning to the extreme, but you may be surprised to discover there’s more to Singapore than retail rampages and food frenzies. And with a family of adrenaline junkies in tow, we discovered there are loads of extreme sports and adventurous activities – indoors and out – geared to visitors of just about every age in the Lion City.
My eight-year-old son took years off my life when he nonchalantly took the leap off a 15-metre platform on a simulated parachute jump at MegaZip Adventure Park. But not to be outdone, I took off a few more as I flung myself off the jungle-clad peak of Imbiah Hill, across jungle and sea, on the park’s 75-metre high MegaZip, clocking up pant-wetting speeds of 60 kilometres per hour as I screamed my way to Sentosa’s Siloso Beach.
For those who prefer not to induce heart attacks by leaping off hilltops, Forest Adventure also offers aerial fun with elevated bridges, swaying trapezes, Tarzan ropes, hanging lights and zip-lines. There’s even a kids’ course for your safely trussed-up offspring to take the leap.
Or why not simulate a 3,600-metre freefall in a five-storey indoor wind tunnel? iFly Singapore will take daredevils aged seven and over through step-by-step training before introducing them to the vertical wind tunnel where they’re swept up by airspeeds of 150 to 300 kilometres per hour. Or you can watch through the glass like I did.
Oh, you’d rather get launched 60 metres into the sky at speeds of 100 kilometres per hour? Then the G-Max Reverse Bungy at Clarke Quay is just the place for you. The reverse bungy accelerates at the velocity of a rocket launch and offers lovely views over the Clarke Quay. At least that’s what they tell me, I had my eyes welded shut from fear.
Tracks and Trails
While it is hot and humid, Singapore offers some excellent hiking trails. The Southern Ridges offers hikers 10 kilometres of lush, green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve. Macritchie Reservoir Park is another personal favourite, offering incredible tropical scenery and an impressive array of wildlife, including flying lemurs and long-tailed macaques, along its secluded hiking paths and treetop walkway.
Prefer to explore on two wheels? Take the short bumboat ferry ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin and Ketam Mountain Bike Park. This rustic little island with its rickety kampong houses remains fairly unspoilt, but biking is its main attraction. You can bring your own or rent a mountain bike for a few dollars to take on the island’s 10 kilometres of jungle-fringed, international-standard mountain bike trails, flying down steep hills past wild pigs and monkeys and soaking up the incredible views. Or, if you're like me, you’ll be soaking up mud and nursing your bruised butt and pride after a tumble.
Wild Water Fun
Who needs a beach to surf? Ride the waves at Wavehouse Sentosa. The centre boasts two epic surf simulators – one a flat double Flowrider and the other a flow barrel – for more experienced surfers. If you’re new to surfing, you can start out on a boogie board before upgrading to a surfboard. That is, when you’re not wiping out in spectacular head-over-heels style, like me.
You’ll find more watery action at Singapore Wake Park. The cable wake park amps up the adrenaline with cable-controlled wakeboarding, knee-boarding, water skiing and trick skiing at competition speeds of 20 to 58 kilometres per hour. The park provides all the necessary equipment including safety-vests, helmets, skis, kneeboards and wakeboards plus instruction for beginners. One of our family’s favourite spots in Singapore, my primary school-aged children nail it every time. I don’t share their skills, though I have managed to stand up once or twice, for entire seconds at a time.
Adventure Cove Waterpark offers a watery adrenaline rush on its Riptide Rocket, a hydro-magnetic coaster with powerful climbs, plunging drops and terrifying twists. But if that’s not enough to get your heart pumping, you can always swim with the manta rays and hammerhead sharks. Or join me on the lazy river and leave the rest to the more daring members of your crew.