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Quarry Escapades

by Connie Ong,  BAcc (Hons) 1987

It was another beautiful morning when our BSA Walking Interest Group explored a few disused granite quarries around the Midwest, namely Bukit Batok, Hindhede and Singapore Quarries. With their imposing cliff walls and deep lakes, these quarries make such gorgeous places to enjoy sunny mornings.

Singapore’s geography is abundant in granite, and quarrying activities began as early as beginning 1900s. At the peak in 1970, 25 granite quarries employed some 1,200 workers to feed the post-independence building and construction boom in Singapore. When they ceased operations around the 1970s to 1980s, they were left as craters that gradually filled with ground and rainwater.

Our group of 12pax was split into three teams of 4pax each and followed the safe distancing protocol throughout our walk. They were given full detailed instructions so each team could walk the trail independently. To add to the fun, the teams were given trivia questions regarding the quarries and congratulations to Team 2 for winning the trivia!

(Quarry Escapades Trail 9km)

Group 1. Bukit Batok Quarry

Group 2. Hindhede Quarry

Group 3. Singapore Quarry

I like Hindhede Quarry best of the three. Not only is it the most picturesque, but the trail to it is also the most interesting. 

We walked to it from the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Visitor Centre via a wooden bridge path that wound along beautiful tall trees; and walked away from it using a short but exciting jungle trail that led straight down to the Nature Reserve car park.

The Hindhede Nature Park was officially opened in 2001 by then Minister of National Development Mr Mah Bow Tan. The literature at the park states that the rock surface surrounding the quarry was crystallized from magma beneath the Earth's surface some 200 million years ago.

When quarrying operations ceased there in the late 1980s, the quarry pit was believed to be 18m below sea level with a surface area of 30,500. Because of the impermeable nature of the granite formation, the water from rain and surface eventually filled the pit to become the beautiful quarry we see today. Do come here to enjoy the view and do not miss it!

Among the three, Singapore Quarry is the easiest to access. It's a shaded 10-minute walk from the Rail Mall, or you can ride a bike to it too. Its surrounded by lush greenery and I even saw some colorful carps swimming in the waters there. A viewing platform has also been built so visitors can enjoy the scenery at closer range.

Bukit Batok Quarry sits right at the end of Bukit Batok Nature Park. It is another lovely leisurely stroll through lines of tall trees in the park to get to it. You can normally see fish and turtles swimming in the waters there, and don't forget to listen out to the chirping birds in the trees.

We finished our walk around 9.30 am, very timely for a hearty breakfast at Rail Mall. I can say we exercised and had good camaraderie and experienced some excellent forest bathing in the nature reserve, park and green corridor along our trail, making us feel refreshed and de-stress after it. It was terrific fun, and I hope you will all join us in the next BSA walk!


NUS Business School Alumni Association

National University of Singapore c/o NUS Business School Alumni Office (BIZAlum),

Mochtar Riady Building Level 6, Unit 6-19/20, 15 Kent Ridge Drive, Singapore 119245

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