Since our tour to the Geological Museum at the University of Hong Kong, members have looked forward to viewing these rocks in their natural setting. With the cool weather of January, it is now possible to organize a tour to one of Hong Kong’s geoparks under the guidance of two experts in the field, Professor Chan Lung-sang and Dr. Wong Fook-yee.
Geopark is a natural area encompassing sites of scientific importance for geological reasons and thereby valuable for its ecological and cultural factors. Following global trends of integrated conservation, Hong Kong geoparks serve to conserve, educate and offer sustained development of the unique landforms.
Sai Kung Rock Region is one of Hong Kong’s geoparks with hexagonal rock columns that were formed 140 million years ago from huge amounts of volcanic ash spurted out from volcanic eruptions. Unlike others in the world, the hexagonal rock columns in Sai Kung are acidic silica-rich rhyolitic volcanic rocks. Spanning an area of over 100 square kilometers of land and sea, their average diameter is 1.2 meters, making them much larger than similar ones in other parts of the world.
We will visit the High Island Geo-Area that is located within the Sai Kung East Country Park. Beginning with a tour of the Geopark Visitor Centre, we will walk along the High Island Geo-Trail to see the interesting geological features of the area, including faults, folds, twisted rock columns and dyke intrusions. The numerous rock formations from small stones to huge monoliths in the East Dam are nature’s own artwork!
After lunch, we will visit Lions Nature Education Centre and its garden with a walkway lined with rocks of different sizes, shapes and colors. There is also a small indoor gallery showcasing the Centre’s rock collection.
Professor Chan Lung-sang is an expert in Hong Kong geology. He received his bachelor degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and his PhD from University of California at Berkeley. He taught for 10 years in the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and 15 years in the Science Faculty of The University of Hong Kong. His leadership in teaching was recognized when he was awarded The University of Hong Kong’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009. A true believer of experiential learning, he has led many field trips around Hong Kong for the public and education sectors.
Dr. Wong Fook-yee is an avid hiker – a most suitable trait for someone who goes to great lengths to look at rocks and rock formations. He was formerly the Assistant Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong (Country and Marine Park Branch), and is now Honorary Associate Professor of the Geography Department at The University of Hong Kong.
9:00 Assemble outside Romantic Hotel (理想酒店), next to Kowloon Tong MTR Station for coach ride to Sai Kung Country Park
9:45 High Island Geo Trail – High Island Reservoir East Dam, volcanic rock columns
12:00 Lunch at Sai Kung
14:00 Lions Nature Education Centre
17:00 Return to Kowloon Tong MTR Station