Nowadays, the name Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden is a little misleading, for the main focus is no longer farming, but conservation. Kadoorie Farm is worth visiting for its setting alone – a landscaped valley plunging down the north slope of Hong Kong's highest mountain, Tai Mo Shan. Add enclosures with animals, gardens and greenhouses with exuberant floral displays, and it's a cracking introduction to wild Hong Kong.
2hrs travelling; 2-6hrs strolling
Getting there Take KCR East Rail to Tai Po Market Station, then bus 64K ("Yuen Long"); or KCR West Rail to Kam Sheung Road Station, then bus 64K ("Tai Po Market"). There are bus stops outside the farm.
Outings Once you arrive, you can collect a map from reception. Also, check if there are seats available on the free shuttle bus that climbs to higher, wilder areas of the farm: if so, it's well worth making bookings. In the lower area of the farm, you can stroll by enclosures with an assortment of animals.
There are big, indolent pigs, as reminders that Kadoorie Farm once produced breeds to help poor local farmers. Other animals include Hong Kong species that may have been found injured or rescued from illegal trade. You should soon come across wild boar, and nearby leopard cats – like lithe domestic cats with leopard spotting.
There's a large aviary with birds of prey, especially black kites. These were found sick or injured, and veterinarians work with them to return as many as possible to the wild. Above this, streamside buildings hold aquariums, with local species including Hong Kong paradise fish, which is unique to the territory.
You can stroll further, through woods with superabundant bird's nest ferns, to find small pools with flamingos, a deer park, more birds of prey including a handsome white-bellied sea-eagle. Reaching higher areas of the farm requires more walking, or a ride in the shuttle bus. Along roads and side trails are a waterfall, a butterfly garden, orchids, hillsides with wild vegetation – home to porcupines, civets and barking deer – and the craggy summit of Kwun Yam Shan, which looks out across the plain below, towards mainland China.
For visiting enquiries, tel. 2488 1317 or email info [at] kfbg.org
Info from Hong Kong's Great Outdoors