Hong Kong's best ziplining spots, indoors and out

Permission has recently been granted for a zipline run on The Peak, but with its hilly landscape and dramatic skyline, Hong Kong is already a great place for the adventure sport

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 September, 2015, 8:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 September, 2015, 9:00am

Last month, the plan to build a zipline at The Peak  got the green light. Thrill-seekers will be able to hurtle along a 122-metre zipline on the roof of The Peak Galleria, against the backdrop of the city’s dramatic  skyline. There’s no date yet  for the opening of the attraction, so while you wait  for the mid-air glide on The Peak, there are plenty of  other local options worth exploring.

Founded by Gordon Hon in 2012, Hong Kong Rock Climbing Adventure offers a series of extreme sports, including abseiling down waterfalls, cliff climbing and ziplining.

Hong Kong’s hilly landscape, filled with creeks and cliffs, offers many ideal locations for ziplining, says Hon, citing Cape Collinson, Shek O and Tung Lung Island as examples.

“Participants have to walk to the edge of the cliff and jump off by themselves, which helps them overcome a common fear.”  

Besides cliffs, another ideal location for ziplining are waterfalls among creeks and big rocky outcrops. Examples include the Ma Dai Stream in Ma On Shan, Bride’s Pool in Tai Po and Ping Nam Stream in Nam Chung.

However, as always with Hong Kong, space is still an issue.

“Hong Kong doesn’t have big gorges like those you find overseas, so ziplines here are only around 40 to 50 metres in length,” says  Hon.

“In the West, you can glide for 1km. Even setting up a zipline spanning 100 metres in Hong Kong requires a lot more equipment and  takes much longer to set-up. We’ll need to construct a scaffold and drill nine screws into rocks on each side.”

Although ziplining is considered by some as an extreme sport, anyone can enjoy it without much training, Hon adds. “While rock climbing requires energy and dexterity, ziplining just involves jumping.”

On a recent trial trip to Ma Dai Stream with Hon, a group of enthusiastic youngsters and I geared up – helmets and harnesses with buckles – at the barbecue site in Ma On Shan Country Park. Then we took a 45-minute uphill walk to Hero Cliff. The  trek might be challenging for some as there’s no trail and it involves navigating small gullies and tall grasses, but it’s worth it, as the scenery is spectacular, with turquoise ponds and a large waterfall.

We marvelled at the zipline, set between two rocky outcrops that spanned from the pool to the waterfall.

While it was scary to climb to the edge of the cliff and step off it, once we did take the leap, excitement kicked in immediately.  

In fact, I wish it was longer –  the whole ride took less than 10 seconds.

A day tour to Ma On Shan with Hon costs HK$880 with rock climbing, ziplining and cliff abseiling. Po Leung Kuk’s Jockey Club Tai Tong Holiday Camp and  YMCA New Territories Centre in Kwai Chung also offer ziplining. However, unlike the natural ones offered by Hon, the gliding takes place in fixed constructions like the one planned for  The Peak.