Hong Kong provides a wealth of outdoor leisure and cultural activities in both rural and urban areas that you can enjoy with your family. Here you can learn more about Hong Kong’s numerous fascinating places and facilities for outdoor activities, including beaches, country parks and campgrounds and barbecue locations.
Public Beaches, Swimming Pools and Water Sports
Swimming is one of the most popular forms of recreation in Hong Kong. There are 41 gazetted beaches throughout the territory and 37 public swimming pools that are available to the public for a small fee with considerable concessions for children, senior citizens and full-time students.
Opening hours for swimming pools and lifeguard services at beaches vary by season and location.
- More on public beach and swimming pool locations, opening hours and admission feeshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/beach/en/index.php
Swimming can be a healthy activity with fun as long as you observe the following safety precautions:
- Do a few warm-up exercises before swimming
- Do not swim immediately after a meal
- Never swim alone
- Do not jump from a beach raft or dive underneath
- Never swim after dark or during a thunderstorm
- More water safety tipshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/beach/en/atten-general.php
- Information on warning signs posted at beacheshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/beach/en/atten-warning.php
You should always check the weather conditions and the latest beach water quality before setting out.
- More on weather conditions, visibility and UV readingshttp://www.weather.gov.hk/sports/watersports.shtml
- More on the latest beach gradingshttp://www.beachwq.gov.hk/en/map.aspx
Surrounded by sea, Hong Kong is an ideal place to take part in – or learn – water sports. You can go sailing, kayaking or windsurfing at one of the five water sports centres on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories. Training programmes are available, or you can hire different craft to practise those activities in which you are already skilled.
- More on water sports centre locations and feeshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/watersport/en/index.php
- Information on water sports safetyhttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/watersport/en/guideline.php
Parks, Gardens and Zoos
While Hong Kong is renowned for its dazzling cityscape, it also offers plenty of greenery parks, gardens and zoos to keep away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Other options include a variety of marine parks, the Hong Kong National Geopark and the 61-hectare Hong Kong Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai.
- More on Hong Kong's parks, gardens and zooshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/ls_park.php
- More on Hong Kong's marine parkshttp://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/country/cou_vis/cou_vis_mar/cou_vis_mar.html
- More on Hong Kong National Geoparkhttp://www.geopark.gov.hk/en_index.html
- More on the Hong Kong Wetland Parkhttp://www.wetlandpark.com/en/index.asp
Hiking Trails, Holiday Camps and Campgrounds
The more adventurous may like to visit one of Hong Kong's many country parks, which cover about 40% of its territory. In addition to relaxing in rural surroundings, you and your family can enjoy a hiking or mountain bike trail. These vary in length and difficulty, and gentler family walks and tree walks are also an option.
- More on hiking trails and family walkshttp://www.hkwalkers.net/eng/index2_3.htm
- More on mountain bike trailshttp://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/country/cou_vis/cou_vis_mou/cou_vis_mou_mou/cou_vis_mou_mou.html
- More on The Hiking Schemehttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/healthy/hiking/en/index.php
Hiking requires careful preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey:
- Familiarise yourself with the route before setting out
- Use only paths that are clearly marked and maintained
- Wear suitable clothing and footwear
- Take all essentials, including maps, compass, drinking water, food, torch, rain gear, radio, first-aid kit, whistle and mobile phone – and be aware of mobile phone blind spots
- More hiking safety tipshttp://www.hkwalkers.net/eng/index2_5.htm
- More on mobile phone services in country parkshttp://www.ofca.gov.hk/en/consumer_focus/mobile_telecom/country_parks/index.html
- More on staying in touch while hikinghttp://www.gov.hk/en/residents/communication/mobilecomm/stayingintouch/
- Weather Information for Hiking and Mountaineeringhttp://www.hko.gov.hk/sports/hiking_e.html
The four holiday camps under the management of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) are ideal places to relieve the stress of city life. In addition to providing day, residential and evening camp services to visitors, the holiday camps are equipped with various kinds of leisure facilities such as archery, ropes course, sport climbing, badminton and table tennis for holiday makers.
- More on LCSD's holiday campshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/camp/en/index.php
For those who prefer to rough it, the territory's country parks feature 38 designated campsites.
- More on public campgrounds, including locations, regulations and safety tipshttp://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/country/cou_vis/cou_vis_cam/cou_vis_cam_cam/cou_vis_cam_cam.html
Various golf facilities under the management of the LCSD also provide golf service of high quality at low hiring charge to you and your family.
- More on LCSD's golf facilitieshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/golf/en/index.php
For a quieter day out, you can take your family to fish in one of the territory's reservoirs during the non-spawning season, i.e. from 1 September of each year to 31 March of the next year.
- More on fishing in reservoirshttp://www.wsd.gov.hk/en/education/fun_of_fishing_in_hong_kong/index.html
Having a barbecue is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Hong Kong. Check out the barbecue locations on the following links.
- Barbecue site in beaches, parks, playgrounds and picnic areashttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/lsb/en/districts.php?ftid=9
- Barbecue area in country parkshttp://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/country/cou_vis/cou_vis_rec/cou_vis_bar.html
Outdoor Cultural Activities
Free entertainment programmes and festive events are organised by the LCSD throughout Hong Kong all year round. You may access the following website to discover the various programmes and events:
- Free entertainment and cultural activities by districtshttp://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/Entertainment/EntertainmentOffice/en/about/index.html
Last review date: May 2012