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Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve



This nature reserve has long been popular with those especially interested in nature, including naturalists and biologists, plus those who feel a need for quiet and unspoiled surroundings. It was originally called the Tai Po Kau plantation, describing the 440 hectares of forest on the steep catchment area of the stream you see near the car park area. The height above sea level extends from 50 metres to 647 metres at the top of Grassy Hill ( Tso Shan ) .


Special features



The area of the reserve is 460 hectares, and covers the long-established forestry plantations. The plantations extend from the eastern slopes of Grassy Hill down to Tai Po Road. The area is heavily wooded, with more than 100 different species of trees.

Planting of the area began in 1926 when the Government first began afforestation in the New Territories. The dominant tree was Chinese Red Pine ( Pinus massoniana ) and because of that the nature reserve has come to be known locally as Tsung Tsai Yuen, meaning Pine Garden. More recently, small areas of Camphor Tree, China Fir, Taiwan Acacia and Paper-bark Tree have been planted.

There are also many interesting native species, such as the Fragrant Litsea, Giant Bean and Sweet Gum. As you walk along the quiet paths you find stretches of ground carpeted with large, brown leaves. These are from the tree called Castanopsis fissa, a good timber tree formerly much used by the Chinese in making agricultural implements such as the primitive wooden plough.



The nature lover who walks quietly in the forest may see many species of bird and animal species. Common birds include the Spotted Dove, Chinese Bulbul and Crested Bulbul, etc. In winter you may see owls and wagtails, while in summer there are cuckoos and Black Drongos. Barking deer may be heard now and then, and occasionally the civet cat, pangolin and porcupine may be seen. In late winter and early spring there are many beautiful butterflies.

Fresh Water Habitat
Fresh Water Habitat

Place to go

Members of the public are welcome at all times and no permit is required. On the other hand, no barbecue pits are provided, and no fires of any kind are permitted. The prime purpose of the area is to conserve Hong Kong's native fauna and flora. Those interested in the appreciation of nature will enjoy a visit to the area, and will find a few picnic sites where they can enjoy a packed lunch.

There are five way-marked walks you can take in the nature reserve. Four are "colour-coded walks" and the fifth is a Nature Trail. At a short distance from the entrance of the reserve, you can find an information board that describes the coded walks, including the varying lengths of each. The shortest is 3 kilometres; the longest takes you 10 kilometres. You can easily switch from one coded walk to another with no danger of getting lost. It should be almost impossible to lose your way. You may also take reference of the Countryside Series Map – North East & Central NT published by Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department.

The fifth and shortest of the walks, is the Nature Trail, about one kilometre in length. There are on-site interpretation signs to introduce the points of interest and the growing habits and characteristics of various plants in the sub-tropical forest. At the end of the one-hour walk, signs point you onto a path that leads you directly back to the vehicular road.

The Countryside Code

Public Transport Information


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Last Review Date : 11 October 2017