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HONG KONG : THE FACTS - Country Parks and Special Areas

HONG KONG : THE FACTS - Country Parks and Special Areas


country parks
Country Park

Although Hong Kong is one of the world's metropolis, out of the total 1108 square kilometres of land, about three-quarters is countryside. Scenically, Hong Kong has a great deal to offer: a landscape rising from sandy beaches and rocky foreshores to heights of almost 1000 metres, woodlands and mountain ranges covered by open grassland and a variety of scenic vistas rarely, if ever, matched in so small a territorial unit.

The Country Parks Ordinance provides a legal framework for the designation, development and management of country parks and special areas. It provides for the establishment of Country and Marine Parks Board to advise the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation on all matters related to country parks
and special areas.

A total of 24 country parks have been designated for the purposes of nature conservation, countryside recreation and outdoor education. There are 22 special areas created mainly for the purpose of nature conservation.

counttry parks facilities



The Parks: The country parks and special areas cover a total area of 443 square kilometres. The country parks comprise scenic hills, woodlands, reservoirs and coastline in all parts of Hong Kong. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) manages the parks and is responsible for tree planting, litter collection, fire fighting, development control and provision of recreation and education facilities. The country parks are very popular with all sectors of the community and spending a day in a country park is one of the best recreational choices in town. About 11.2 million visitors were recorded in 2014 and most visitors engaged in leisure walking, fitness exercises, hiking, barbecuing, family picnics and camping.

Facilities: Park facilities provided in recreational sites include tables and benches, barbecue pits, litter bins, children's play apparatus, shelters, campsites and toilets which are all carefully designed to blend with the environment.

Footpaths and family walks provide easy access to the hills and the woodlands for visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty. Major paths are being improved and waymarked through the hilly terrain.

Hiking becomes more popular nowadays. The four long-distance hiking trails are very popular among hikers. The MacLehose Trail (100 km) traverses the New Territories from Sai Kung in the east to Tuen Mun in the west. The Lantau Trail (70 km) is a circular trail on Lantau Island. The Hong Kong Trail (50 km) traverses all the five country parks on Hong Kong Island. The Wilson Trail (78 km) stretches from Stanley in the south of Hong Kong Island to Nam Chung in the north of the New Territories.

Insectarium, Lions Nature Education Centre

Insectarium, Lions Nature Education Centre

Education and Visitor Service: Many facilities are provided to help visitors to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the countryside. Visitor Centres have been established at Ngong Ping in Lantau, Aberdeen, Sai Kung, Clear Water Bay, Shing Mun and Tai Mo Shan. The Woodside situated at 50 Mount Parker Road in Quarry Bay retains its vigor as the Woodside Biodiversity Education Centre to introduce Hong Kong's precious nature resources and biodiversity. The Lions Nature Education Centre at Tsiu Hang Special Area in Sai Kung is a special attraction to visitors as it consists of five exhibition halls of different themes, a rich collection of fruit-bearing and amenity trees, vegetables, rocks and minerals and other local vegetation. The Shing Mun Arboretum has a collection of about 300 plant species.

Along nature trails and tree walks, there are on-site interpretative plates for those who wish to study the nature. Apart from the interpretative plates, AFCD launched the "Country Parks Tree Walks" mobile application, web page, mobile game application "Forester", and published a new book to introduce 96 tree species and other interesting plants along the 16 Country Parks Tree Walks to promote tree conservation in Hong Kong country parks. Outdoor Study Centre, Butterfly Garden and Ecological Garden were set up at Tai Po Kau, Shing Mun and Tai Lam respectively to promote nature exploration.

Furthermore, AFCD provides conservation education programmes for nature lovers, students and the general public every year. An array of activities under the "Nature In Touch" Country Parks Education Programme such as "Country Park Volunteer Programme", "Hiking and Planting Day", "Great Outdoors Hong Kong", "Country Parks Reporters", and various kinds of guided tours, outdoor studies, public lectures and workshops have been organized. In 2014, about 280600 persons participated in these conservation programmes. To encourage public enjoyment of nature, AFCD produced more than 100 field guidebooks on various topics including Country Parks, animals and plants for public's reference and procurement. The department also promotes hiking safety through exhibition, web page and develops mobile application "Enjoy Hiking".


( As At 1.12.2017)


Country Park Date of Designation Area in hectares
Shing Mun 24.06.1977 1400
Kam Shan 30.12.2013 (revised) 339
Lion Rock 24.06.1977 557
Aberdeen 28.10.1977 423
Tai Tam 28.10.1977 1 315
Sai Kung East 30.12.2013 (revised) 4 494
Sai Kung West 03.02.1978 3 000
Plover Cove 01.12.2017(revised) 4 600
Lantau South 01.12.2017(revised) 5 646
Lantau North 18.08.1978 2 200
Pat Sin Leng 18.08.1978 3 125
Tai Lam 30.12.2013 (revised) 5 412
Tai Mo Shan 23.02.1979 1 440
Lam Tsuen 23.02.1979 1 520
Ma On Shan 18.12.1998 (revised) 2 880
Kiu Tsui 01.06.1979 100
Plover Cove (Extension) 01.06.1979 630
Shek O 22.10.1993 (revised) 701
Pok Fu Lam 21.09.1979 270
Tai Tam (Quarry Bay Ext.) 21.09.1979 270
Clear Water Bay 28.09.1979 615
Sai Kung West (Wan Tsai Ext.) 14.06.1996 123
Lung Fu Shan 18.12.1998 47
Lantau North (Ext.) 07.11.2008 2 360
  Total 43 467
SPECIAL AREA ( As At 01.04.2011)


Special Area Date of Designation Area in hectares
Special Area (Within Country Park)
Shing Mun Fung Shui Woodland 12.08.1977 6
Tai Mo Shan Montane Scrub Forest 12.08.1977 130
Kat O Chau 28.09.1979 24
Lantau Peak 04.01.1980 116
Pat Sin Range 04.01.1980 128
Pak Tai To Yan 04.01.1980 32
Sunset Peak 04.01.1980 370
Pok Fu Lam 07.03.1980 155
Ma On Shan 07.03.1980 55
Chiu Keng Tam 07.03.1980 8
Ng Tung Chai 07.03.1980 128
  Total 1 152
Special Area (Outside Country Park)
Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve 13.05.1977 460
Tung Lung Fort 22.06.1979 3
Tsiu Hang 18.12.1987 24
Ma Shi Chau 09.04.1999 61
Lai Chi Wo 15.03.2005 1
Hong Kong Wetland Park 01.10.2005 61
Double Haven 01.01.2011 0.8
High Island 01.01.2011 3.9
Sharp Island 01.01.2011 0.06
Ung Kong Group 01.01.2011 176.8
Ninepin Group 01.01.2011 53.1
  Total 845
Total area of Country Parks and Special Areas is 44312 hectares.