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Instagrammable

High Island Geo Trail: relaxing hike explores beautiful reservoir area’s breathtaking volcanic rock formation.

  • About 3.3 km

  • About 3 hours

  • Easy

Written by South China Morning Post ( Morning Studio )

High Island Geo Trail lies beside the beautiful High Island Reservoir — created after two large dams blocked a narrow channel between High Island and the eastern side of Sai Kung Peninsula. The area, situated within Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, is home to breathtaking rock landscapes of international geological importance formed when a supervolcano erupted 140 million years ago. Signs dotting the leisurely trail offer insights into Instagram-friendly delights including towering cliff faces lined with hexagonal rock columns, mysterious caves and sea stacks and — atop Biu Tsim Kok hill — stunning coastal scenery, such as picturesque Long Ke Wan.

ASMR in Sai Kung’s beautiful geopark

Refuel

You can buy snacks and drinks in Sai Kung Town Centre before setting off.

  • High Island Reservoir East Dam

    A blue, anchor-shaped monument beside East Dam, next to the beautiful, rolling hill-flanked 6.67 sq km reservoir, marks the start of the trail. The route, which loops along the side of the Pacific Ocean-facing East Dam and its protective breakwater, offers impressive Instagram-worthy views of the reservoir, dam and breakwater dolosse, or double T-shaped concrete wave breakers, and — out to sea — exposed rock columns along the side of the triangular sea stack, Po Pin Chau, which has been separated from the Fa Shan headland by sea erosion.

    Get me there
  • Biu Tsim Kok

    This 1 km-long extension to the trail leads uphill to Biu Tsim Kok viewing point, which offers 360-degree views of the reservoir, Po Pin Chau sea stack, Ung Kong Group, Ninepin Group and spectacular Long Ke Wan, known for its idyllic, gently curving bay, crystal-clear waters and unspoilt beach of fine white sand.

    Get me there
  • Hexagonal Rock Columns

    The stunning, light-coloured rock columns found in the Geopark’s Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region — created as dense volcanic ash and lava cooled following massive eruptions 140 million years ago — are estimated to cover an area of more than 100 sq km — including some located underwater. Those that are visible rise up to a height of 100 metres and have an average diameter of 1.2 metres.

    Follow the official ‘Guidelines for Visiting Hong Kong Geopark’ during your trip. Do not deface anything with graffiti, or damage or take away any rocks. Never hike near the edge of cliffs to avoid falling and suffering injuries.

    Get me there
  • Fault Breccia Belt

    This geological feature — a fracture zone of hexagonal rock columns is easy to miss when you are admiring the cliffs covered in numerous hexagonal columns. Luckily the information boards along the trail will help you spot one. A fault breccia belt is created when the hexagonal columns along a fault line are broken into fragments during a tectonic movement.

    Get me there
  • Distorted Rock Columns

    The trail takes you past one rock face featuring an area of distorted, S-shaped columns, as if they have melted in the sun. This area of hexagonal rock columns were twisted — by the effects of a geological movement — before the rock columns completely solidified. Some years later, hot magma was able to force its way between the weakened columns and spread across the top of the columns, forming a dyke as it turned to dark coloured rock.

    Get me there
  • Sea Cave

    A wooden walkway at the end of the trail takes you near the entrance to a sea cave, which looks slightly out of place below East Dam. This area — originally part of the narrow waterway running along the fault line between High Island and Sai Kung Peninsula — was blocked off to form the reservoir. The cave was created, slowly over time, as waves wore away the coastline’s softer rock.

    Get me there
  • Dining Option
    Sai Kung Town Centre

    Sai Kung is known for its many waterfront seafood restaurants, which are particularly popular with tourists. But there is also a fine selection of trendy restaurants, cafes and Hong Kong-style cha chaan tengs along the promenade and lively side streets, which serve a vast range of popular Western and Eastern cuisines, including pizzas, pastas, Thai curries, English fish and chips and Turkish kebabs.

    Get me there

Transport

Tips

If you start your High Island Geo Trail journey from Sai Kung Town, don’t miss the Volcano Discovery Centre, located near Sai Kung Bus Terminus, where you can learn more about volcanoes, Hong Kong’s unique hexagonal rock columns and book guided geotours to other Hong Kong Geopark geosites.

Getting to High Island Reservoir East Dam

From MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, take bus 92 to Sai Kung Town Centre, or you can take minibus 101M from MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B1. From Sai Kung Town Centre, catch a taxi to East Dam.

Leaving from High Island Reservoir East Dam

From East Dam, take a taxi back to Sai Kung Town Centre. During the afternoon on Sundays and public holidays you can take minibus 9A back to Pak Tam Chung to catch bus 94 to Sai Kung Town or bus 96R to MTR Diamond Hill Station.

More Routes

Instagrammable

High Island Geo Trail: relaxing hike explores beautiful reservoir area’s breathtaking volcanic rock formation.

  • About 3.3 km

  • About 3 hours

  • Easy

Written by South China Morning Post ( Morning Studio )

High Island Geo Trail lies beside the beautiful High Island Reservoir — created after two large dams blocked a narrow channel between High Island and the eastern side of Sai Kung Peninsula. The area, situated within Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, is home to breathtaking rock landscapes of international geological importance formed when a supervolcano erupted 140 million years ago. Signs dotting the leisurely trail offer insights into Instagram-friendly delights including towering cliff faces lined with hexagonal rock columns, mysterious caves and sea stacks and — atop Biu Tsim Kok hill — stunning coastal scenery, such as picturesque Long Ke Wan.

ASMR in Sai Kung’s beautiful geopark

Refuel

You can buy snacks and drinks in Sai Kung Town Centre before setting off.

High Island Reservoir East Dam

A blue, anchor-shaped monument beside East Dam, next to the beautiful, rolling hill-flanked 6.67 sq km reservoir, marks the start of the trail. The route, which loops along the side of the Pacific Ocean-facing East Dam and its protective breakwater, offers impressive Instagram-worthy views of the reservoir, dam and breakwater dolosse, or double T-shaped concrete wave breakers, and — out to sea — exposed rock columns along the side of the triangular sea stack, Po Pin Chau, which has been separated from the Fa Shan headland by sea erosion.

See more...
Get me there
Biu Tsim Kok

This 1 km-long extension to the trail leads uphill to Biu Tsim Kok viewing point, which offers 360-degree views of the reservoir, Po Pin Chau sea stack, Ung Kong Group, Ninepin Group and spectacular Long Ke Wan, known for its idyllic, gently curving bay, crystal-clear waters and unspoilt beach of fine white sand.

See more...
Get me there
Hexagonal Rock Columns

The stunning, light-coloured rock columns found in the Geopark’s Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region — created as dense volcanic ash and lava cooled following massive eruptions 140 million years ago — are estimated to cover an area of more than 100 sq km — including some located underwater. Those that are visible rise up to a height of 100 metres and have an average diameter of 1.2 metres.

See more...

Follow the official ‘Guidelines for Visiting Hong Kong Geopark’ during your trip. Do not deface anything with graffiti, or damage or take away any rocks. Never hike near the edge of cliffs to avoid falling and suffering injuries.

Get me there
Fault Breccia Belt

This geological feature — a fracture zone of hexagonal rock columns is easy to miss when you are admiring the cliffs covered in numerous hexagonal columns. Luckily the information boards along the trail will help you spot one. A fault breccia belt is created when the hexagonal columns along a fault line are broken into fragments during a tectonic movement.

See more...
Get me there
Distorted Rock Columns

The trail takes you past one rock face featuring an area of distorted, S-shaped columns, as if they have melted in the sun. This area of hexagonal rock columns were twisted — by the effects of a geological movement — before the rock columns completely solidified. Some years later, hot magma was able to force its way between the weakened columns and spread across the top of the columns, forming a dyke as it turned to dark coloured rock.

See more...
Get me there
Sea Cave

A wooden walkway at the end of the trail takes you near the entrance to a sea cave, which looks slightly out of place below East Dam. This area — originally part of the narrow waterway running along the fault line between High Island and Sai Kung Peninsula — was blocked off to form the reservoir. The cave was created, slowly over time, as waves wore away the coastline’s softer rock.

See more...
Get me there
Dining Option
Sai Kung Town Centre

Sai Kung is known for its many waterfront seafood restaurants, which are particularly popular with tourists. But there is also a fine selection of trendy restaurants, cafes and Hong Kong-style cha chaan tengs along the promenade and lively side streets, which serve a vast range of popular Western and Eastern cuisines, including pizzas, pastas, Thai curries, English fish and chips and Turkish kebabs.

See more...
Get me there

Transport

Tips

If you start your High Island Geo Trail journey from Sai Kung Town, don’t miss the Volcano Discovery Centre, located near Sai Kung Bus Terminus, where you can learn more about volcanoes, Hong Kong’s unique hexagonal rock columns and book guided geotours to other Hong Kong Geopark geosites.

Getting to High Island Reservoir East Dam

From MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2, take bus 92 to Sai Kung Town Centre, or you can take minibus 101M from MTR Hang Hau Station Exit B1. From Sai Kung Town Centre, catch a taxi to East Dam.

Leaving from High Island Reservoir East Dam

From East Dam, take a taxi back to Sai Kung Town Centre. During the afternoon on Sundays and public holidays you can take minibus 9A back to Pak Tam Chung to catch bus 94 to Sai Kung Town or bus 96R to MTR Diamond Hill Station.

More Routes

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