Header image courtesy of @picnicking_by_misaka (via Instagram)
Autumn is hands-down the best time of the year in Hong Kong to hit the outdoors and soak up the crisp weather, but goodness knows that our city’s autumn days come and go faster than leaves falling from the trees. So why not make the most of the rare cool, sunny skies and experience two seasonal outdoor activities in one fell swoop?
Nestled in the idyllic pockets of Hong Kong, these spectacular picnic locations require a bit of hiking reach, but are worth the extra steps for their scenic views and quiet seclusion. Plus, you’ll be able to work up an appetite before digging into your scrumptious sandwiches and finger foods. So grab your picnic baskets and get trekking!
Pack your dainty sandwiches, cheeses, and biscuits—it’s time to indulge in a classic Victorian-style picnic! Decked out in wrought-iron gazebos and colourful flower beds, this neatly manicured garden near the crest of Victoria Peak throws you back in time to a bygone colonial era without straying too far from city comforts.
Matched with the abundant benches and landscaped pathways, the secluded oasis is ideal for families and children looking to while away a peaceful afternoon. Victoria Peak Garden can be easily reached by a 20-minute walk from the Peak Galleria. However, if you would rather make a full adventure out of it and start your journey from the bottom of the Peak, there are multiple hiking trails to choose from!
Not to be confused with the similarly named highland in Lantau Island, Ngong Ping in Ma On Shan Country Park is a vast, grassy plateau nestled just south of the scenic Pyramid Hill. The flat, expansive field is blessed with an equally uninterrupted bird’s-eye view of Sai Kung Peninsula and nearby hills, making it a coveted playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, including paragliders, campers, and adventure-seeking picnickers. Don't worry about jostling for space though, there’s more than enough to comfortably accommodate everyone!
You can get to Ngong Ping from Sai Kung Town or Ma on Shan; either way will take about an hour following the Ma On Shan Country Trail. Depending on how energetic you’re feeling after your picnic, you could up the ante and tackle the abutting Pyramid Hill too before finishing up the day.
Click here to read our full guide to Pyramid Hill via Ngong Ping.
For a picnic that feels downhome and rustic, Sham Chung should be your first port of call. A quaint, largely abandoned Hakka settlement tucked away along the northern coastline of Sai Kung, Sham Chung is arguably one of the most far-removed places in Hong Kong; but those who are willing to venture away from the main thoroughfares will be privy to the area’s extraordinary patchwork of ponds, lush mangrove forests, and of course, spacious grassy meadows to shake out your picnic blanket and enjoy an alfresco feast.
While it is possible to take a ferry from Ma Liu Shui directly to Sham Chung, getting there by foot is definitely recommended for the most immersive and rewarding experience.
Luxuriate in panoramic vistas of the New Territories as you sip and snack! Ranked tenth amongst the highest peaks in Hong Kong, this 702-metre mountain on the northwestern side of Tai Mo Shan promises endless fresh air and sweeping scenery that is at once striking and peaceful. The open glade at the summit paints an idyllic picture reminiscent of something from the Swiss Alps, complete with a continuous wooden fence, lots of space to lie down and get lost in the clouds, as well as a smattering of picnic tables for a relaxing lunchtime spread.
Despite Wo Tong Kong’s staggering height, the hike is not actually as difficult as it seems. In fact, from the Tai Mo Shan Rotary Club Park, it’s only around a 45-minute uphill trek along Maclehose Trail Section 8—easily manageable even for children and amateur hikers. More importantly, this means you will not have to worry about lugging around your picnic basket for too long!
If a feast on the beach is more your speed, head over to Long Ke Wan to set up your base. While there are numerous beaches all across Hong Kong, this isolated stretch of coastline on the southeastern edge of the Sai Kung Peninsula is unrivalled when it comes to unspoilt, soft-white sand, a swathe of pristine waters, and tranquil ambience—all the makings of a picture-perfect beach picnic with friends and loved ones.
Just keep in mind to pack everything you need for the outing as there are no real amenities around to speak of. Unless you hire a speedboat, there’s no getting away with some kind of a trek to get there, but luckily, there are options ranging from 30 minutes to three hours for your choosing.
Click here to read our full guide on how to hike to Long Ke Wan.
Lakeside picnic against a vivid display of burnt-amber foliage? Yes, please! Nicknamed “sky mirror lake” for its still, glassy waters that perfectly reflects the sky and fringing cypress trees, Fanling’s Lau Shui Heung Reservoir is an exceptionally picturesque spot to savour an outdoor repast. There is a proper campsite outfitted with picnic tables and barbecue pits located five minutes away from the site, but your best bet is simply to plop down on a clear spot along the bank of the reservoir and prepare to be dazzled by nature’s annual colour show!
From the Pat Sin Leng Country Park roundabout, the path to the reservoir takes under 30 minutes, but there is also a longer loop trail for those who fancy making extra pit stops to the scenic Hok Tau and Shek Au Shan.
Click here to read our full guide on how to hike to Lau Shui Heung Reservoir.