This is one of Hong Kong’s most underrated attractions — the Hong Kong Global Geopark is a wildly beautiful national park that covers 5000 hectares in the Eastern and Northeastern New Territories.
Most visitors may think Hong Kong is just a concrete jungle. Those who have been living here for a while may know its beaches and country parks. But few people have gotten up close and personal with the world-class geological attractions here.
Giant twisted columns of rock, bridges made of sand and stone, a flame red mass of rock shaped like a deformed hand and dubbed “Devil’s fist” … these are some of the incredible sights throughout the Hong Kong Global Geopark. There are 12 main sites included in the park and they are part of UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network.
If you want to see all the sites you’ll need to get on a boat. The sites are spread across several islands and a day spent out at sea spotting the unusual rock formations is a unique treat for geology nerds as well as for families. Kids are fascinated by the way the land can buckle and bend and are sure to gain a lifelong appreciation of the Earth sciences.
The best and easiest boat tour is the one organized by the Volcanic Discovery Centre. The tour runs only on Saturdays and Sundays and the guides are fluent in English and give in-depth information on all the geological formations.
You can also opt to go at it on your own by studying the trail information on the Geopark’s official website, but independent visitors may find it difficult to see all the sites at once. Best to aim for one or two locations.
The simplest and most fascinating route to take on your own is to hike to High island which is connected by the High Island Reservoir East Dam. The island has some of Hong Kong’s most spectacular angular rock formations that look as though they were purposely carved into the land by a giant artist.
How to go there: To get to the High Island Geo Trail, take bus 94 at Sai Kung Market or 96R at Diamond Hill MTR station (service on weekends and public holidays only). Get off after Pak Tam Chung and walk along Tai Mong Tsai Road to the junction. Turn into Man Yee Road on the right and walk on for about nine kilometers to the High Island Reservoir East Dam, the starting point of High Island Geo Trail.