Cape Collinson, or Hak Kok Tau (黑角頭), is the east-most point of Hong Kong Island, located close to Siu Sai Wan. It’s known for its lighthouse, which unfortunately is inaccessible, and its ancient rock carving, which is also quite difficult to reach. And the famous Cape Collinson Battery is located much further south, and is accessible via a separate hiking route.
But if you’re looking for a mini excursion to a secluded Insta-worthy spot, with lovely views of the sea, then Cape Collinson might be of interest to you.
The Walk to Cape Collison
I wouldn’t technically classify this as a hike because it’s an easy walk 98% of the way. However, the last 2% is as treacherous as treacherous can be! Which is why I like to refer to it as a mini excursion.
The distance from Siu Sai Wan Promenade to Cape Collinson is about 1 km, and it should take 15-20 minutes to complete the journey. And with that out of the way, let’s find out how to start this excursion.
Siu Sai Wan Promenade
To start the Cape Collinson excursion, make your way to the Siu Sai Wan Promenade, next to Island Resort. You can use Google Maps to guide you here via bus, as the MTR terminates at Chai Wan.
Some of the buses that stop close by are 8H, 8P, 8X, 19, 82, 82M, 82S, 82X, 85P, 88X, 682, 788, and 789.
Once you arrive at the promenade, find the playground next to the public toilets. Next to the public toilets, you’ll find the steps that go up to the Leaping Dragon Walk.
Sitting-out Area No. 2
As you climb up the steps and the slopes, remember to stay on the right. You will pass by two outdoor sitting areas in quick succession.
Once you reach the Siu Sai Wan Sitting-out Area No. 2, turn left and walk towards the back. Here you should see the start of the Cape Collinson Path that runs parallel to the Leaping Dragon Walk.
All in all, it should take you only a few minutes to reach here from the bottom of the steps.
Cape Collinson Path
The Cape Collinson Path is a 500 metre long picturesque coastal walk with views of the Tathong Channel and Tsuen Kwan O.
If you wish to sit and enjoy the views, there are a couple of spots along the path with amazing views. Take your time and enjoy this short walk!
The path finally ends at the fence around the Cape Collinson Lighthouse.
Cape Collinson Lighthouse
The Cape Collinson Lighthouse was completed in 1877 and modernized in 1964. During the modernisation the lantern was moved to Tang Lung Chau (near Ma Wan), and replaced by an electric light. The lighthouse was also briefly used as a weather station by the Royal Observatory.
Today the Cape Collinson Lighthouse is still active, and I guess that’s why it is protected by a fence from the public.
Next to the lighthouse is a gap along the wall, from where a trail is seen heading down. Next to this gap is the sign for the rock carving and also warning people not to proceed further. I guess that means proceed with caution!
Short, Steep Decline To The Shore
Until now, the trail is literally a walk in the park. But the next 50 odd metres is a treacherous downhill slope to the rocky shoreline of Cape Collinson.
The start of the trail is lined with Tibetan prayer flags that add a bit of colour to the surroundings. The slope gets rockier and steeper as it descends. Make sure you hold onto a tree branch or the ropes along the way.
Fortunately, it’s a short distance till you reach the rocky shores below.
Rock Carving at Cape Collinson
Once I reached the shore, I kept wondering where the ancient rock carving is located. As it turns out, the rock carving is relatively inaccessible from the trail. It’s located on a cliff towards the left, 11 metres above sea level.
The rock carving at Cape Collinson was only discovered in October 2018, and declared a monument in 2019. The design is a combination of geometric and curvy lines, measuring about 160 by 260 cm.
Fortunately, I was able to send my trusty drone to hunt for the rock carving and take a few pictures.
From the trail, continue walking along the rocky shoreline towards the end of Cape Collinson. Be mindful of your steps as the rocks are very uneven and may even require a bit of clambering.
Once you reach the edge (of Hong Kong Island), take a moment to enjoy the views of the Tathong Channel, the eastern channel leading into Victoria Harbour through Lei Yue Mun, with Junk Island (Fat Tong Chau) and Tung Lung Chau in the east, and Hong Kong Island in the west. During non-pandemic times, you are within touching distance of passing cruise ships at this location!
Given that this north-east end of the island, the shoreline is totally exposed and the waves crashing into the rocks do make a rather big splash!
The views, the waves, and rocks in my opinion make for some great photo opportunities.
The East-most Point of Hong Kong Island
I visited Cape Collinson on a day when I was too tired to set out on a hike, and this mini excursion turned out to be a perfect way to spend my afternoon!
I honestly enjoyed just sitting on the rocks, watching the waves crash against them, and the boats pass by. It’s clearly no Cape D’Aguilar, but it has its own charm, which means it was quite secluded. But of course, if you’re looking for a more adventurous and photogenic location, head to Hong Kong Island’s south-east tip, Cape D’Aguilar!