Cape D’Aguilar, or Hok Tsui, is a peninsula located south of Shek O. I’ve often had the urge to explore the area every time the bus to Shek O takes a detour along Cape D’Aguilar Road. This time, we came with the agenda to explore the peninsula.
As we learned, there’s plenty to see and explore at Cape D’Aguilar, from a lighthouse to caves. The trail till the end is paved and is relatively easy and flat, with a slight incline. So, think of this as a exploratory walk rather than a hike.
To get to the starting point for Cape D’Aguilar:
- Make your way to Shau Kei Wan MTR
- Take Exit A3 at the station
- Follow the signs for bus number 9. This is the bus that goes to Shek O, via the starting point for Dragon’s Back Hike.
- Make sure that the bus route states “via Cape D’Aguilar”. Otherwise, the bus won’t take a detour.
- Board the bus and remember to alight at Cape D’Aguilar Road bus stop.
This is the starting point for the trail.
Cape D’Aguilar Trail Info & Map
Here’s a quick overview of the trail, so that you know what to expect.
Here’s a quick video of what to expect
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Walk down Cape D’Aguilar Road
The path from the bus stop is pretty straightforward. Simply walk down along Cape D’Aguilar Road as it winds its way between the hill on one side, and the sea on the other. In the beginning, the road offers some scenic coastal views.
After 3 kms into the walk, you’ll approach the PCCW Cape D’Aguilar HF Radio Transmitting Station. There’s a speed-breaker and some signs that tell you not to trespass. No worries, simply go off-road at this point.
You’ll notice a beaten path that runs in the grassy land along the main road. This path goes around the radio station, and joins the paved road on the other side.
Another 200 metres later and you’ll notice a fork in the road. If you go left, you’ll reach the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse. And if you turn right, you’ll reach the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve. Let’s first explore the marine reserve.
Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve
As you walk the final stretch towards the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve, you get this end-of-the-world feeling. Strong waves and uninhabited islets in sight.
The marine park is one of the six marine parks and reserves in Hong Kong. The other marine park that we really like is Hoi Ha Wan, in Sai Kung. Other than the natural biodiversity of fish and coral in the marine park, what fascinated us most was the rock formation in the area.
So what all is there to see in the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve?
Just as you walk down the incline towards the marine reserve, keep an eye out for a hidden path on your left. This path takes you to Thunder Cave (I think that’s the name), a narrow opening between the rocks that opens up to the sea on the other side.
Be careful as you descend down the rocks, it can be slippery. Once inside the cave, enjoy the peace and quite of the waves washing up onto the rocks.
It should be no surprise then that this photogenic spot is quite popular among Instagrammers.
Bones of Miss Willy (Skeleton of a Whale)
From Thunder Cave, walk back up to the main path and continue walking down the slope towards the white building – The University of Hong Kong Swire Institute of Marine Science. Just besides the building are the bones of a whale for display. Unfortunately, the bones haven’t been protected from natural elements such as the sun and winds and aren’t in the best condition. They’re pretty badly battered.
The question that everyone asks is, where did the bones of this whale come from? Google Maps says that these are the Bones of Miss Willy. But who is Miss Willy? I don’t know, but from what I’ve read the bones belong to either
- “Hoi Wai”, a female orca (killer whale) who performed in Ocean Park for 18 years until her death in 1997, or
- A juvenile Bryde’s whale found stranded between the pillars of a wharf in Victoria Harbour in 1955.
Just behind the Marine Science building is another area of interest. But be careful as you walk towards it, as the ground is full of sharply protruding rocks.
The main attraction here is the Crab Cave, a name given by its arch-shaped appearance that resembles a crab. With it’s view of the ocean, it’s no surprise that the Crab Cave is another popular photo spot for Instagram lovers.
It is also possible to climb on top of the arch for some beautiful views of the South China Sea. Just be careful of the rocks.
Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse
The 9.7 metres tall Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse may not be the most impressive lighthouse in the world, but it sure does have some history attached to it. In fact, it is one of the Declared Monuments of Hong Kong.
To make your way to the lighthouse, simply trace your steps back to the fork in the road, but this time go the other way. Walk past the student accommodation area till you reach the lighthouse.
The Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Hong Kong. It served from 1875 to 1896. But it was re-lit and automated in 1975 . The lighthouse is still running under the management of the Marine Department. But for security and operational reasons, it is not open to the public.
The lighthouse is named after Major-General Sir George Charles D’Aguilar (1784–1855), who served as Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong and Commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong from 1843 to 1848.
Your Guide to Cape D’Aguilar
We hope this post helped you guide and plan your trip to Cape D’Aguilar. There are a couple of other attractions on the peninsula, such as the battery and the waterfall, that are not visible along this trail. We might come back for them later another time.
Feel free to add Cape D’Aguilar into your itinerary when you plan to visit Shek O or Big Wave Bay next, or as a standalone activity. And make sure you share this post with those who will appreciate discovering yet another new part of Hong Kong Island.