Last Updated on February 20, 2021 by queenie mak
Want to spend an hour hiking in Southern Hong Kong and see a rhinoceros? Well, it isn’t exactly a real rhino, but one of the large boulders on the east side of the Stanley Peninsula looks like the head of a rhinoceros.
The Rhino Rock hike is not difficult, but it can be tricky when it comes to navigating. However, the short hike is worthwhile because you can see the amazing rock formation. Moreover, you can easily combine other activities like exploring Stanley, a charming coastal town and hike the famous Violet Hill and Twins hike.
If you are wondering what the short hike is all about and how to go to Rhino Rock, then keep reading. I”ll show you exactly how you can explore one of the best off the beaten path hiking trail in the city.
What you need to know before attempting the Rhino Rock hike
Before you hike this Stanley hiking trail, check out my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of the city.
And here are some additional travel tips for hiking the Rhino Rock trail:
- Rhino Rock in Stanley is a short trek – it takes about an hour to complete. Consider adding The Twins and Violet Hill trek (from south to north on the Wilson Trail Section 1) and hike both trails all on the same day.
- You can climb Rhino Rock all-year-round but would recommend going early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The sun during a mid-day hike is brutal!
- Make sure to wear proper hiking shoes. The trail going down to the Rhino Rock is quite slippery.
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking the bus to the beginning of the trail and going home.
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How to hike Rhino Rock in Stanley
It is not super difficult to hike the Rhino Rock trail. But the most difficult part is looking for the markers along the trail and descending a short slippery path on the way to the rock.
You can find the location by searching for the “Rhino Rock hiking trail“. It shows up as “Che Pau Teng – Rhino Rock Hiking Trail” in Google Maps.
However, the actual hiking trail is not in Google Maps. I took a screenshot of the area and drew the dotted lines (see map above) as that is how I remembered the path to the Rhino Rock.
The whole hike takes about an hour. About 40 minutes going to the Rhino Rock and 20 minutes going back to the bus stop. It took longer to get there because of slippery slopes.
- Difficulty: easy to intermediate (slippery slopes and navigation)
- Duration: 1 hour
- Distance: 2km
- What to bring: hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation)
Related Post – 11 Off the Beaten Path Places in Hong Kong
How to Get to Rhino Rock in Stanley
The trailhead for Rhino Rock is at Stanley Fort in Stanley Peninsula (see map). Bus 6A and 14 can take you to the start of the trail, which is also the last stop on the bus routes.
Here are the schedule and fares for both buses. For more information, look for Bus 6A or 14 in the “route list” on the CityBus website.
- Bus 6A: from Central Bus Terminus near Hong Kong Station to Stanley Fort
- Time: 52 minutes (every 20 minutes) on Mondays to Saturdays
- Cost: $9.00 HKD (use Octopus card)
- Bus 14: from Tai On Street near Sai Wan Ho Station to Stanley Fort
- Time: 33 minutes (every 20 minutes) every day
- Cost: $9.40 HKD (use Octopus card)
And if you are already in Stanley or completed the Violet Hill and The Twins hike, you can take bus 6A at Stanley Gap Road, or take bus 6A or 14 at Stanley Village.
Technically, it is possible to walk from Stanley Village to the start of Rhino Rock Trail and it will take about 30 minutes. But the road is quite narrow, and the cars and buses drive quite fast. It is a bit dangerous. I recommend taking the bus to the trail and save your energy for the hike.
Beginning of the trail for Rhino Rock HK
When you get off the bus at the last stop, you will see a set of staircase on the left side, next to the military base entrance.
Hike up the set of stone stairs which will take about 10 minutes.
At the top of the hill at Che Pau Feng
At the top of the stairs, there is a path on the lefthand side going up the mountain. Continue walking until you reach the top where you will see the satellite station on the lefthand side.
And this is the top of the Stanley Peninsula, which is known as Che Pau Feng (斜炮頂).
Find red marker at the triangulation station
And on the righthand side, you will see the triangulation station.
Although it is not very obvious where the trail is, look for the red marker tied to the post on the triangulation station’s right. There is a narrow walkway into the bushes and trees, eventually leading you to the famous rock.
At the fork of the trail
So far you’ve done the easiest part of the trail because it is a straight forward hike up the mountain with stairs and a paved path.
The next part requires a bit of navigation. But don’t worry, all you have to do is find the red markers tied on trees and bushes.
After a few minutes in the narrow path, the trail splits into two. Both paths can lead you to the Rhino Rock but I find the path on the right is easier. Take a look at the photos below.
When you take the path to the left, the path is steep and quite slippery. If you choose this path, please be careful of hiking down the sandy path.
So I would recommend taking the path on the right. The narrow path continues but the steep descend is not as obvious.
Rocky paths to Rhino Rock
The marked trail continues through the bushes and crosses a few rocky paths.
There are a few areas where you can walk on the rocky paths. But there is one where you will have to squeeze through a narrow gap between the large boulders.
Keep looking for markers
It wasn’t very obvious to me where the actual trail is. I really had to look for the markers to make sure I am on the right path. Most of the markers are red, but on occasion, I found a few green ones.
If you go on a weekend, there will be other hikers on the trail as the Rhino Rock hike is pretty popular with locals. I went on a Saturday afternoon, and there were a few helpful people to make sure I was on the right path.
Arriving at the Rhino Rock in Stanley Peninsula
While I was hiking on the trail, I saw many large rocks on the mountain and kept thinking that each rock was THE Rhino Rock.
But the real Rhino Rock is very obvious because of the striking resemblance. And also because there were a lot of people hovering around the rock to take photos.
The famous Rhino Rock in Stanley, Hong Kong
The tip of the large rock looks exactly like the head of the rhinoceros. You can clearly see the horn at the tip, and several small craters in the rock resembles the eyes and nose of the animal. And it even looks like the rhino has its mouth opened!
Behind the Rhino Rock, you can see Stanley Prison (large complex of buildings) in Tai Tam Bay.
And in the distance, you can see the mountain range of the Shek O Peninsula. If you are interested in other hikes in Hong Kong, check out Dragon’s Back where the trail runs on top of these mountains.
Move to the side of Rhino Rock for more photo opps
I saw some people climbed on top of the Rhino Rock to take photos. It is an awesome Instagram photo opportunity. But I know myself – I’m pretty clumsy and afraid of heights so I didn’t dare.
But if you are interested in climbing on the Rhino Rock, there is a rope at the back that can help you get up.
I only managed to moved closer to the Rhino Rock by climbing the small path just beside the rock. And got to this point and walked down a few steps to take photos.
When you have taken all your photos and rested, return to the start of the hike. Going back is much easier. It will take less time, about 20 minutes or so. Then take bus 6A or 14.
Want to explore Hong Kong with a tour? Check out one of these exciting tours:
Are you including the Rhino Rock hike while you are in HK?
I highly recommend hiking the Rhino Rock in HK. It is a short hike with rewarding views. But make sure to wear good hiking shoes because the trail is quite steep and slippery.
And while you are already in the Stanley area, make a full day of hiking, consider hiking The Twins and Violet Hill.
And if you have any other questions regarding this hike or other hikes in Hong Kong, leave a message in the comment section below.
Other Hong Kong hikes you might be interested:
- Victoria Peak Hike: See Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline
- High West: A short hike to see the Victoria Peak sunset
- Dragon’s Back Hike: the most popular day hike in HK
- Pineapple Mountain: the Great Canyon of Hong Kong
- Lamma Island: hike from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill: best spot for sunset and night views
- High Junk Peak: one of three sharpest peaks in HK
- Ma On Shan Hike: hike across the horse-saddle mountain to Sai Kung
- Pat Sin Leng Hike: hike over 8 peaks named after Chinese Mythological immortals