JARDINE’S LOOKOUT HIKE IN HONG KONG
Jardine’s Lookout Hike is quite a short trail but it leads you to one of the best viewpoints over Hong Kong Central and the harbor. Seriously, I went to all the viewpoints and this was one of my favorites. So, if you are looking for an epic view of the city without having to hike for more than a few kilometers, this is your trail.
JARDINE’S LOOKOUT HIKING TRAIL DETAILS
Hike Distance: The total hike distance is 3.5km but there are options to make it a through-hike or to continue to Mt. Butler if you want to continue on.
Hike Duration: The hike will take about 1 hour of hiking time but you will want to watch the sunset at the viewpoint for sure so total adventure time could be 2 or so hours.
Hike Difficulty: This is one of the safest, simplest hikes in Hong Kong. It’s well signed and on a defined path the whole way.
Hike Incline: The total hike incline was just 240-meters.
HOW TO GET TO JARDINE’S LOOKOUT
The trail begins at ‘Wilson Trail Hong Kong Parkview’. There is a big sign from the road and it is unmissable. Simply type Wilson Trail Hong Kong Parkview into Google and the pin will take you right there. I caught the number 6 bus from Hong Kong Central.
I actually got off at the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park and had a look around there before walking up the hill to the trail starting point where all of the signs face the street. I’ve pictured them below and added a map of the hiking route at the bottom of the blog post so you should be set.
MY EXPERIENCE HIKING TO JARDINE’S LOOKOUT
The hike began for me once I got off the bus near Wong Nai Chung Reservoir. After getting off the bus, you make your way up the steep road to the reservoir. It’s on the way from the bus stop to the official starting point of the Jardine’s Lookout Hike and worth a stop to look around. The reservoir has a viewing area and a pathway that wraps around parts of the perimeter for a viewing platform. The most curious part about the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir is that there are hundreds of huge fish swimming about and even lots of turtles floating and sun-bathing. It was quite fascinating to see so many turtles in an urban area!
After hanging out at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir for a few moments, it is time to continue on up the road until you reach the signs on the left of the main road, which are labeled with Jardine’s Lookout, Wilson Trail and Hong Kong Trail. I’ve pictured those above for your reference.
This wasn’t a big adventure and isn’t even tw0 kilometers each way but it still has a slight amount of incline on the way up. The trail begins with a few stairs, like most hikes in Hong Kong. The foliage on either side of the trail is often so high that you can only focus on the path ahead, with all other views blocked by the leaves. This is quite nice as it means the viewpoint is a big reveal of the view.
After about 1-kilometer into the hike, you’ll find the Osborn memorial which commemorates the soldiers who fought in this region. The story on the plaque was in English and Cantonese and was quite interesting. It’s often hard to imagine bloodshed in places like this, which are so peaceful when I’m visiting.
It took only about half an hour at a very leisurely pace to reach the viewpoint. It’s marked by a trigonometric pillar, which is found on all summits in Hong Kong. When we made it to the viewpoint, I was shocked. I was expecting a view but not quite this good. I hadn’t heard too much buzz about Jardine’s Lookout but after three weeks in Hong Kong, it turned out to be one of the best views of Hong Kong Central.
From the official viewpoint clearing area, you have views of Hong Kong Central and all the way out to Tai Mo Shan (highest peak in Hong Kong) behind Kowloon. This is a great view but can be a little obstructed by the high bushes as you can see below.
My tip is to head down one of the wild trails to the left of the official viewing area (marked by ribbons but quite rogue) and find a clearing after 50-meters. Now you will have a private viewing area, not that many others will be at the other viewpoint. However, the main reason to come down to the clearings is for an unobstructed view of the city. You also now have a great little vantage spot where you can take some photos with people standing in the foliage looking out over the city.
The sunsets to the left so you will get that beautiful golden-hour glow flowing through Hong Kong Central. It really couldn’t have been too much better (unless you removed the Hong Kong smog, of course).
The sun lowered into the smog and turned into a fiery red ball as you can see below. It was at about this time we decided to head down. You could do an out-and-back and return the same way but we decided to continue down the opposite end, which was just 1.8-kilometers till we reached our way back to civilization and jumped on the bus. You can also continue up to Mount Butler if you want more of a journey but that would mean you can’t have the sunset at Jardine’s Lookout, which is why we stayed.
I hope you enjoy this epic viewpoint as it really is one of the gems of Hong Kong.
JARDINE’S LOOKOUT MAP