In the northeastern part of Hong Kong, there is a special place called the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark. It’s like a treasure chest full of amazing rocks and landscapes that tell us about Earth’s history. It started in 2009 and is big, covering 150 square kilometers. There are two main parts to explore: the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock area and the Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock area. Imagine it as a virtual tour where you can see both the busy city and incredible nature in one place.
A Geological Marvel with UNESCO Recognition
Formation and Recognition
In 2008, the Hong Kong government did a study to see if it was possible to create a special place to learn about rocks and nature. This study helped make a park, and in April 2009, it was recognized by UNESCO as a Global Geopark. This means it’s now part of a special network of parks worldwide. The park shows how the land in the area has changed over a long time.
Size and Accessibility
The geopark is not very big, about 50 square kilometers. It’s smaller than other UNESCO Global Geoparks. It’s close to Hong Kong’s main business area, so it’s easy to get to. People living there and tourists can easily visit. Reaching this amazing place with interesting rocks and landscapes takes just one hour by bus or car from the city center.
Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region
High Island: Discover the amazing rocky formations at High Island that look like stunning ancient artwork. The tall, straight-sided columns make the landscape on the Sai Kung Peninsula truly mesmerizing.
Ung Kong Group: Discover the Ung Kong Island Group’s distinctive cliff coastline and sea arches formed by columnar-jointed rocks. Wang Chau, Basalt Island, and Bluff Island showcase the geological prowess hidden within the sea.
Ninepin Group: The Ninepin Group is located on the eastern side of Hong Kong. The boasts cliffs and coastal scenery sculpted by inclined columnar jointed volcanic rocks. Marvel at columns reaching up to 3 meters in diameter.
Sharp Island: Sharp Island is in Port Shelter and has old rocks made from volcanoes. During low tide, you can see a tombolo connecting to a small island, showing how the land and sea interact.
Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region
Double Haven and Port Island: Let’s talk about the harbor surrounded by Double Island, Crescent Island, and Crooked Island. In this area, some rocks turned deep red a long time ago because the Earth was getting warmer. Port Island has rusty rocks made up of a mix of pebbles and mud. They telling us about really old changes in the Earth.
North and South Coasts of Tolo Channel: Encounter the oldest rocks in Hong Kong at the Bluff Head formation, formed 400 million years ago during the Devonian Period. Marvel at the Devil’s Fist, a testament to weathering and erosion along the sandstone bedding.
Ma Shi Chau: Explore rocks that are about 280 million years old, filled with fascinating fossils like ammonites, corals, and bivalves. You’ll also see interesting patterns and folds in the rocks that tell us about the powerful forces that shaped the Earth long ago.
Lai Chi Chong: Journey through volcanic rocks and sedimentary rocks formed about 146 million years ago at Lai Chi Chong. Explore black cherty mudstone exhibiting a slump-fold structure. Also, revealing the geological drama of ancient times.
Tung Ping Chau: Visit Tung Ping Chau, the easternmost island in the geopark, to see cool wave-shaped rocks, spongecake-like shale formations, and flat land. This awesome vacation spot shows how different kinds of rocks and land shapes can be.
UNESCO Global Geopark
Educational Initiatives: The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark is not just an amazing place with cool rocks; it’s also a center for learning. They do lots of programs to teach local schools and kids about the Earth and the environment. The Geopark School Programme has special activities to help young people become future rock experts and environmental champions.
Sustainable Tourism: Because people like you support it, exploring the geopark has become a big part of tourism in Hong Kong. When you visit, you can enjoy the geopark’s amazing natural surroundings and help ensure it stays healthy for the future. The people who live here also get involved and gain from the geopark through different projects where everyone works together.
Unveil the Earth’s Story
Hexagonal Rock Columns: Marvel at the iconic hexagonal volcanic columns, similar to those at the Giant’s Causeway. Formed through the cooling and contraction of lava flows, these columns offer a visually stunning landscape.
Sedimentary Rocks: Let’s explore the Earth’s past by looking at some special rocks. Mudstones, siltstones, sandstones, conglomerates, and others hold clues about what happened long ago. Fossils, like ancient plant and animal remains, are like time capsules. They help us learn about the olden days, the environments, and the creatures that lived back then. It’s like reading a storybook written on rocks.
Coastal Erosion and Landforms: Witness the ongoing coastal erosion that has shaped sea caves, sea arches, stacks, stumps, cliffs, headlands, wave-cut platforms, and tidal inlets. These dynamic landforms narrate the constant interplay between the sea and the rocks.
A Geological Odyssey in the Heart of Hong Kong. The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark is like a time-travel adventure where you get to discover the Earth’s incredible story. It’s not just a tourist destination; it’s a journey through time! You’ll see cool things like hexagonal rock columns, sedimentary rock formations, and awesome coastal views. These features all have stories to tell about ancient processes that shaped the region. Being a UNESCO Global Geopark means it’s a special place for learning, taking care of the environment, and enjoying nature. Whether you’re a tourist, hiker, or just love rocks, the Geopark is an awesome place to explore and learn more about the amazing natural wonders right in the heart of Hong Kong.