Hong Kong Wetland Park is an outstanding example of achieving a balance between man-made and natural environments.
Hong Kong Wetland Park is the first major ecotourism facility in Asia and one of the largest wetland eco-parks in the world with a mission to foster public awareness about the value of wetlands and marshal public support and action for wetland conservation.
Wetland wildlife spotting
Abundant in freshwater, mud-flats, and mangrove habitats, the park’s 60-hectare Wetlands Reserve was specially designed for the vast diversity of Hong Kong’s wetland creatures.
This world-class birding destination is home to an impressive array of 273 resident and migrant bird types as well as many species of butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians, fish, and reptiles. The park also hosts close to a hundred aquatic plant species.
Visitors are invited to explore the park by taking one of the several trails that meander through the reserve, each with viewing points perfect for spotting water and land species in their natural habitat.
Architecture and ecology
The beauty of the Wetland Park doesn’t lie only in its conservation efforts. The ecological design of the Visitor Centre building—boasting themed exhibition galleries on biodiversity, culture, and conservation—is an outstanding example of green architecture within an extreme urban environment such as Hong Kong.
The Visitors Centre earth-mound shaped construction with grass roof highlights the harmonious relationship between architecture and ecology. This ambitious design has won numerous environmental awards since its opening in 2006, including the Hong Kong Green Building Award and the Hong Kong Development Bureau Skyrise Greenery Award.
Sustainability at heart
The environmentally friendly and energy-efficient Visitors Centre building is above all designed to effectively manage natural resources. This entails harnessing renewable energy and selecting materials that do the least harm to natural resources.
The Visitors Centre stands out in its extensive use of recycled and local materials ranging from renewable source softwoods to recycled timber, granite, and concrete. An exterior wall is made of the abandoned oyster shells collected from nearby oyster farms, while recycled Chinese bricks, taken from demolished traditional village houses, adorn the south facade of the building.
The design boasts many energy-efficient features. The skylight design, for instance, maximizes the amount of incoming natural light, thus significantly reducing the need for artificial lighting. Furthermore, carbon dioxide sensors regulate fresh air in accordance with the number of visitors.
The sustainable design also includes an efficient geothermal system that takes advantage of subterranean temperatures to provide cooling. In addition, the water features of the premises rely on using water drawn from the freshwater lakes and recycling it back into the system, therefore minimizing water consumption. The automatic irrigation system uses rain sensors.
The result of these multiple sustainable efforts is an exceptionally creative design, seamlessly integrated into the surrounding wetlands landscape. It makes this ecological reserve a true oasis of calm, serenity, and harmony with nature within a bustling city.
Address: Wetland Park Rd, Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 10 am–5 pm (closed on Tuesdays, except public holidays)
Entrance fee: Adult HK$30, children aged 3 to 17, full-time students and seniors 65 or above, people with disabilities and one accompanying carer HK$15.
Getting there: Bus 618, 967, 276B, or E34A