Welcome to the Mai Po Marshes
Set over 60 hectares in the New Territories on the unique Mai Po Marshes, the park’s primary mandate is to preserve the habitat of the flora and fauna that thrive in this rich environment. It’s an area of incredible biodiversity – from crabs and mudskippers to dancing dragonflies and a patchwork of butterflies. The park is, however, most famous for its birds and wildfowl. This is one of the most important locations in the world for migrating birds, with thousands using Hong Kong Wetland Park as a rest and refuelling pit stop on their way north or south. The park's most famous inhabitant is Pui Pui – Hong Kong’s favourite crocodile.
Apart from the actual wetlands themselves there is also a very decent, 10,000m2 visitor centre, which offers interactive, themed exhibits. While the static exhibitions are no atch for the real deal outside, they are a good introduction to where you are and the Swamp Adventure playground is ever popular with kids.
So what do I actually do at Hong Kong Wetland Park?
Ok, so there are lots of animals but what do I actually do at the park? Well you won’t need a tent and machete. The beauty of Hong Kong Wetland Park is the dedicated trails seamlessly carved through the park to help visitors explore.
The different walks are designed to take you through different habitats inhabited by different creatures and plants. For example the stream walk takes you through the flats, where you can spot river otters, kingfishers and other birds while the Mangrove boardwalk tours through the lush mangrove vegetation of the park. While it might not offer the impressive animals at Hong Kong Zoo or the spectacular creatures at Ocean Park, the attraction here is seeing the animals in their natural habitat.
How long you spend in the park is really up to you, but for the blockbuster bird hides and bird watching walks budget for around 2 to 3 hours of actual walking.
When is the best time to visit Hong Kong Wetland Park?
It depends what you want to see. The park really is a wildlife haven throughout the year but there are some seasonal highlights. The best bird watching is during the annual migrations, mostly in October and November and then again in March and April. During summer you’ll find the park lit up with butterflies.
It can also be worth checking when the tide will be out as it’s usually easier to spot birds and crabs in the mud flats.
How to get to Hong Kong Wetland Park?
There is only limited car parking at the park itself so travel by public transport is advised.