The Jardine’s Lookout and Mount Butler hike, from Wong Nai Chung Gap Road (Parkview) to Quarry Bay, is one of the more scenic hikes on Hong Kong Island. This route makes its way through sections of the Wilson Trail, and Hong Kong Trail and combines two very popular hills – the Jardine’s Lookout (433 metres), and Mount Butler (435 metres). Needless to say, the two vantage points offer spectacular views of Hong Kong’s skyline!
The hike is moderately difficult, with a fair amount of climbing and steps. It covers a distance of 6.5 km, and can take between 3 to 5 hours to complete, depending on your speed and breaks. To really enjoy this hike set out on a clear day. Other than the stunning views of the skyline, this hike also passes through areas of historical significance, such as the abandoned wartime stoves and quarries.
Here’s a quick video of the hike
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Jardine’s Lookout Starting Point
Make your way to the Wong Nai Chung Gap Road bus stop. Buses 5, 6, 41A, 63, 66, and 76 stop next to the gas station. From here, walk up the steps and to Parkview, past the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir on Tai Tam Reservoir Road. Take your time as this is a gradual slope up all the way to Parkview.
Just before Parkview is the entrance to the Wilson Trail and Hong Kong Trail. This is the starting point of the hike. Follow the signs to Jardine’s Lookout.
As you begin your hike, don’t forget to stop by the Osborn Memorial, a plaque dedicated to all the Winnipeg Grenadiers of Canada.
After a kilometre of hiking, you’ll arrive at your first vantage point – Jardine’s Lookout. Although the area does have historical significance to Jardine Matheson, and the Battle of Hong Kong, today it offers hikers a glorious view of Hong Kong’s skyline.
Take your time at the lookout point to admire the densely populated concrete jungle below you. Behind Jardine’s Lookout, you should also have a clear view of Tai Tam Country Park and Tai Tam Reservoir.
From Jardine’s Lookout make your way to the next vantage point of Mount Butler. However, before you arrive at Mount Butler, there is another point of interest along the way.
Mount Butler Quarry
As you begin your descent from Jardine’s Lookout, you’ll notice a massive quarry – the Mount Butler Quarry. The quarry started operation in the 1940s and ceased operation in the 1990s. Part of the quarry is now the base of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Bureau for handling and storage of explosives; while part of the site is the firing range of the Disciplinary Forces of Hong Kong.
Is this the quarry that put the quarry in Quarry Bay? Probably.
At this point, the hike rapidly descends and runs along the boundary of the quarry. Once the quarry ends, a short climb ensues. Keep hiking till you arrive at the second vantage point – Mount Butler.
2 km east of Jardine’s Lookout is our next vantage point on this hike. At 435 metres, Mount Butler offers gorgeous views of Quarry Bay and Tai Koo.
After having climbed all those steps to the top, catch a breath on top of Mount Butler. Admire the views. Once you’re ready to head back to the city, make your way down towards Mount Parker Road. You’ll be delighted to know that the remainder of the hike is all downhill.
Mount Parker Road
The short, but steep descent to Mount Parker Road brings you to an intersection. From here, take the road going downhill towards the city. There’s one last attraction on this hike that remains. And here’s how to not miss it, because it involves a slight detour.
Just over a kilometre after the intersection, you’ll reach a fork in the road. The path going left will take you to the city. But the path going right will take you towards the Quarry Bay Tree Walk. Stay right, and keep walking till you stumble upon the first cluster of wartime stoves.
On the slopes of Mount Parker, several groups of outdoor stoves are still in existence. After Guangzhou fell under Japanese occupation in October 1938, the Hong Kong government prepared for an imminent attack. Measures included preparing food rationing, heightening air raid precautions and first-aid training, and building shelters in densely populated areas. These are the only known ruins of communal stoves in Hong Kong from that period!
Quarry Bay Tree Walk
We saw two areas of wartime stoves on our way through the Quarry Bay Tree Walk. The tree walk then connects with Mount Parker Road (same path if you had taken a left at the fork). From here the road gradually descends into the noisy bowels of the city. And you finally emerge on King’s Road next to Tai Koo MTR station.
This sadly ends this beautiful and historically significant hike. At King’s Road, buses, trams, and the MTR are available for your journey back home.
Map Of The Hike
For those who require navigational assistance during the hike, here is a map with the highlighted path for you.
If you’re looking for a hike with scenic views of Hong Kong’s skyline, I’d highly recommend this one. Besides, you get to see a few relics from Hong Kong’s past along the journey.
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