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Hong Kong World Geopark


The 49.85 square acres Hongkong World geopark is the smallest world geopark on earth. However, it boasts the top acidic volcanic columns which cover an area of 100 km2, with average diameter of 1.2 meters. Considering their massive scale and uniqueness, these volcanic columns are honored as the rare wonders in the world, which mirror the geological history spanning from 520 million to 50 million years ago. Scientists hold different opinions on the formation of these volcanic rocks . Besides, you can appreciate the most beautiful sea erosion and deposit landform and a profusion of precious fossils which shed light on the study of ancient environment, climate and the evolution of species here.

On Septerber 17, 2011, Hongkong World Geopark was ratified by UNESCO as the 26 world geopark in China, and a rare geopark in a metropolitan city.



What to See in Hongkong World Geopark


Number One: Volcanic Rocks


 Large Quantities of Hexagonal columns unseen elsewhere in the world can be found in Basalt Island and High Island

Blessed with subtle ripple marks, eye-dazzling colorful outcrops, clearly defined bedding, distinctive sheet conformation and vertical lamination, the Tung Ping Chau shale is famed as the Top rock in Hongkong

 Stunning tubular rock columns Unseen Elsewhere in the World

 "Devil's Fist" Formed by Sea Erosion




Bluff Island (Sha Tong Hau Shan,沙塘口山)
Magnificent sea stacks
Located west of Basalt Island and south of Town Island, Bluff Island resembles a turtle heading from southwest to northeast. Steep cliffs and mountain ridges dominate its southeast area while its northwest area is relatively even. The 140 meters high cliff in southeast area is the highest cliff in Hongkong. Bluff Island boasts extremely distinctive volcanic landform and Sha Tong Hau Cave, one of the four biggest sea caves in East Sea Area. It is 5 meters in width, 25 meters in height and 80 meters in depth. This site is an ideal diving and ocean exploration place.
Attention:Only set off on a fine day when weather is stable. To avoid accidents, do not visit this island when the sea is rough.
Wang Chau(橫洲)
Stunning tubular rock columns and sea caves
Though it is the smallest one among the Ung Kong Islands and has barren earth surface, Wang Chau has one of the most fantastic sea caves which are formed by sea erosion, abrasion and dissolution. The best time to see the caves is several days after typhoon, when the surging ocean calms down and yet the untamed roughness still lingers. You can hear the swirling waves producing the thundering resonance in the caves, demonstrating the mighty power of nature and the most breathtaking landforms such as tubular rock columns.
Basalt Island(火石洲)
Typical coastal terrain
Situated south of Town Island and Wang Chau, east of Bluff Island and north of the Ninepins, the 174 meters high Basalt Island is blessed with numerous hexagonal columns, sea caves, narrow waterways and well-developed sea erosion platforms include sea stacks, reets and wave-cut bays. Like Bluff Island and Wan Chau, Basalt Island’s outcropped stratum belongs to the Early Cretaceous Kau Sai Chau Volcanic Group. It once served as a military training center and was the forbidden area. An air disaster occurred in this site in 1948, and among the 30 victims there is the grandson of President Roosevelt: Quentin Roosevelt.
Ninepin Group (Kwo Chau Islands,果洲群島)
Spectacular joint columns
Located at the outer sea, the key protection area of Hongkong World Geopark, Kwo Chau Islands is composed of South Kwa Chau Island, North Kwa Chau Island, East Kwa Chau Island and many isles, featuring various grotesque sea erosion landforms include steep cliffs, arches and rocks. It also has the most majestic Hexagonal columns with diameter over 2 meters. Besides steep geological landform, this site also has extreme weather conditions such as gale and big waves, thus it is only suitable for travel during summer time with calm weather.
Wong Chuk Kok Tsui(黃竹角咀)
Oldest rock in Hong Kong
The ancient stratum mainly distributed along Tolo Channel belongs to Devonian sedimentary rock and is the most ancient stratum in Hongkong judging from the fossils it contains. Here you can also see the unique Wong Chuk Kok Tsui Formation composed of sedimentary pyroclastic rocks along Pak Sha Tau and Wong Chuk Kok Tsui on the northern shore. The beddings are steep and vertical under the influence of geological movement.
Tung Ping Chau(東平洲)
Youngest sedimentary rock in Hong Kong
Stretching 600 meters in length and 200 meters in width, the crescent-shaped Tung Ping Chau sits in Mirs Bay of the northeastern waters, famous for flat sea, flat island, the most stunning flat rocks and sedimentary rock strata known as Ping Chau Formation. With the highest altitude measuring 48 meters, this island well deserves its name. Its charming erosion landscape, gorgeous shale resembling layered sponge cakes cast a spell on the beholders. Blessed with subtle ripple marks, eye-dazzling colorful outcrops, clearly defined bedding, distinctive sheet conformation and vertical lamination, the Tung Ping Chau shale is famed as the Top rock in Hongkong and is a marvelous wonder by nature.
High Island(糧船灣)
Internationally rare acidic polygonal volcanic rock columns
High Island boasts the biggest dam in Hongkong: High Island Reservoir and numerous bewildering volcanic rocks which form giant polygonal joint columns, among which the hexagonal rock columns worthy of recommendation in particular.
Lai Chi Chong(荔枝莊)
Volcaniclastic sedimentary rock
Lai Chi Chong, located on the southeastern shore of Tolo Channel, has beautiful sedimentary rock strata called Lai Chi Chong Formation which scatter around rural Lai Chi Chong and nearby coastal areas. Rocks types and geological setting here are sophisticated, embodied by distinctive folding, faults and bedding structure, which qualify this place as a top tourist destination and scientific research base. The black siliceous sedimentary rocks interweaved with the pink sandstone, composing an appealing scenery. Notice: it is against the laws to collect or excavate rocks in this geopark.
Yan Chau Tong(印洲塘)
Serene and picturesque marine park
Yan Chau Tong, also known as Double haven, sits on the northeaster shore of Plover Cove Country Park like a beauty. Enveloped by hills on four sides, Yan Chau Tong escapes the strong influence of extreme weather and embraces a bay with picturesque scenery all year around. Strolling along this area, you can indulge the serenity sea landscape in a metropolitan city.
Port Island (Chek Chau,赤洲)
Danxia wonder at sea, the only one in the world
Port Island, the gateway of Tolo Harbour, overlooks the southern Tap Mun Island like a king. The terrestrial colorful sedimentary rocks scatter in this island everywhere were formed by volcanic eruption and weathering and compose the “Danxia” Landform at sea. These rocks known as Port Island Formation are constituted by conglomerate, sandstone and siltstone.
Sharp Island (Kiu Tsui Chau,橋咀洲)
Memories of volcanic lava flows
Located 2 km from Xigong City’s downtown, Sharp Island homes a variety of volcanic rocks and is an ideal place to broad our vision. It is connected by a gravel sand walkway which will submerge by tides, thus you are advised to check the tide information first at the observatory.
Ma Shi Chau Special Area(馬屎洲特別地區)
Permian rock garden of Hong Kong
Composed by Ma Shi Chau, Yeung Chau, Centre Island and an unnamed islet to the northeast of Sam Mun Tsai New Village, the 61-hectare Ma Shi Chau Special Area is an ideal place to study strata, rock properties, sedimentation and various geological compositions. It does not lack sightseeing places also. There are 16 attractions which embrace local geological features. You can appreciate the grotesque permian rocks and enrich your knowledge on volcanic formations, wave erosion and folding.


Number Two: Sea Caves


The 3 meters high and 16 meters deep Hanging Bell Cave(吊钟洞), the 20 meters high and 6 meters wide Wang Chau Cave(横洲角洞), the 16 meters high and 3 meters wide Olive Cave(榄湾角洞) and the over 10 meters high Bluff Island Cave(沙塘口洞) which bordering over 30 meters high cliff are top four sea caves in Hongkong. Besides,Heyan Cave, Tongxin Cave, Tianti Cave worthy of sightseeing also.



 Sea Caves

 Sea Caves


Number Three: The Only Danxia Landform at Sea


As we know, China is a kingdom of Danxia landform, such as Danxiashan World Geopark in Guangdong Province, Stone Forest in Yunnan Province, Leye-Fengshan World Geopark in Guangxi Province, and Taining World Geopark in Fujian Province, the only Danxia landform along water edge.


 Danxia Landform in Port Island

 Danxia Landform in Port Island


 Danxia Landform in Port Island

 Danxia Landform in Port Island

Travel Tips
Don’t embark on a rock or landform sightseeing trip alone or in bad weather such as heavy rain or when strong easterly winds speed up.

Check the tidal information on Hong Kong Observatory website first whenever you plan a trip. Some coastal areas aren’t accessible at all times and some are only suitable for boat trips.

Make the route reasonably for everyone, hire a skilled and knowledgeable guide and a boat operator who meets with all the safety requirements and provides life jackets for everyone.

Be alert to potential danger when passing rapids, cliffs, steep slopes and especially when the rock surfaces are wet.

You are not advised to climb the rock columns, especially those weathered ones, and it is not a good idea to dig up, damage or take away any rocks with you, for it is against the law.

Do not depend on mobile phones too much, for coverage may vary. So inform your family or friends of your detailed route and the return time beforehand, just in case danger occurs, they can come to your rescue.

Last, wear comfortable hiking shoes, hats and clothes, besides, prepare gloves, fist-aid kits and weather-proof clothes is a wise choice.

 Yan Chau Tong:Serene and Picturesque Marine Park

 The Mysterious and Poetic Sea Erosion Landform

 Tung Ping Chau is famous for flat sea, flat island, the most stunning flat rocks and sedimentary rock strata known as Ping Chau Formation

Lai Chi Chong has beautiful sedimentary rock strata called Lai Chi Chong Formation


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