When Sunday afternoon arrives and Monday looms on the horizon, fight the blues with a hike to Cap d’Aguilar. With its proximity to the city and stunning sea views, this hike above Shek O Beach is perfect for beginners and families alike.
The hike takes just over two hours and totals 8 km of mostly flat and paved trails. It’s an easy but rewarding getaway that will bring you home at dinner time. There are rock formations, WWII relics, a lighthouse, and much more to see along the way.
How to get to Cap d’Aguilar
To reach Cap d’Aguilar, you can take bus number 9 or the Shek O beach minibus from the A3 exit of MTR Shau Kei Wan.
On weekends, there is also a 9X express bus that departs from Star Ferry or Central Exchange Square. Note, however, that some buses may skip Cap d’Aguilar and go directly to Shek O beach. Beware of buses passing through Cap d’Aguilar.
From the Cape D’Aguilar bus stop, simply walk down Cape D’Aguilar Road and take in views of Stanley and the Tai Tam Reservoir. After about 2.5 kilometers you will come across the HF PCCW Cape D’Aguilar radio transmission station. There are “No Entry” signs here, so head to the grassy path on the left. In a few hundred meters you will come to an intersection, where you can either go left towards the lighthouse or right towards the Cap d’Aguilar marine reserve. Head to the marine reserve first and return later to the lighthouse.
A window to the sea
One of Hong Kong’s six marine parks and reserves Cap d’Aguilar marine reserve is known for its rock formations. The first stop is Thunder cave, which you will probably recognize on Instagram. As you descend towards the sea, keep your eyes peeled for a hidden path on the left that leads to a slit between two rocks, like a window to the sea. Stand between the rocks and listen to the thunder of the crashing waves. the shore.
From there, walk up to the main path and make your way to the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong; it is a white building that is easy to spot. Just outside the institute are the bones of Miss Willy, a fairly large sea creature. No one knows for sure who Miss Willy is. There are two competing stories about who she can be.
According to one story, Miss Willy is Hoi Wai, a female orca who performed in Ocean Park for years before her death.
The other story says Miss Willy was a young Bryde’s whale found stranded between the pillars of a wharf in Victoria Harbor. Although a bit battered by the elements, Miss Willy is worth a visit and is often a children’s favorite part of the hike.
Just behind the Marine Science Institute is another Instagram hotspot. Crab cave, named after its arched shape, offers great sea views. It is even more beautiful on a gloomy and stormy day, but beware of slippery rocks. The crab cave is the end point of the hike, but it’s worth exploring the surroundings and climbing the rocks at the tip of Cap d’Aguilar.
Headlight and batteries
On the way back, take a detour via Lighthouse of Cap d’Aguilar, also known as Hok Tsui beacon.
Commissioned in 1875, it is the oldest lighthouse in Hong Kong. In 1975 it was automated and still operates today under the Department of the Navy. The lighthouse (and cape) is named after Major-General Sir George Charles D’Aguilar, Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong and Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong from 1843 to 1848.
There are also two batteries in Cap d’Aguilar – Bukhara Battery and Battery of Cap d’Aguilar. Bokhara Battery is right behind the lighthouse and hard to miss, while Cape D’Aguilar Battery is near the lower village of Hok Tsui.
The path to the Cap d’Aguilar battery is steeper and more difficult than the rest of the hike, but well worth a visit. Pay attention to a hidden path on the right approaching the lower village of Hok Tsui from the Cape D’Aguilar road. Go down the steps and follow the ribbons and markers along the path until you reach the shore and see the battery. The Cap D’Aguilar Battery was built in 1939 and abandoned shortly thereafter in 1941 during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in World War II. It is now in ruins and partially overgrown, but positively resembles Indiana Jones against the dramatic backdrop of the sea.
The whole detour is about 1 km in either direction, but can take up to thirty minutes as it gets quite steep.