Kids Can Play, Family-Friendly Hiking, Scenic Coastal Views – Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
Fast Facts – Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
Any parent knows, kids love to play. We see this in Peri and Kai daily. Many also know that play is integral to healthy child development, and that it helps children thrive in countless ways. As there is no consensus about how much time children should play each day, our approach with Peri and Kai is to follow their lead. We can tell when their batteries are charged, and we know when it’s nap-time. We give them indoor and outdoor playtime, though admittedly, we tend towards the outdoors. While we’re not going to offer any indoor play activities here (check out 55 Things to Do With Kids In Hong Kong for some of those), we are going to share with you Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) at Shek O (石澳), which we think is one of the best natural playgrounds in all of Hong Kong.
Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) at Shek O (石澳) has a nearly endless supply of rocks to throw and skip across the water. Peri played on this one rocky bit of coastline for over an hour. He never ran out of rocks – heaven for him! He also never wanted to leave, but alas, we eventually peeled him away.
Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) has plenty of gentle, paved, and toddler-friendly hiking paths. As there is only about 2.4 km of paths to explore (round trip – including a bit of a road walk from Shek O Beach), there really isn’t much hiking to do here. At Tai Tau Chau, it’s all about taking it slow and playing a lot!
Tai Tau Chau, for us, was an unhurried, open-ended, island exploring adventure. Peri poked into the island’s nooks and crannies, climbed around on the rocks, and more broadly played on this scenic and natural playground!
We found Tai Tau Chau a relaxed and mellow place, and one ripe for an outdoor family adventure. We also found it breathtakingly scenic! Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) is essentially an island, and we lost track of how many coastal photo-op spots we discovered.
If you’ve never heard of Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲), that’s most likely because it’s often overshadowed by Shek O, or more casually, Shek O Beach.
In any case, if you have been to Shek O Beach, whether you know it or not, you’ve been right around the corner from Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲).
And, while we certainly wouldn’t recommend skipping over Shek O Beach, if your kids are anything like Peri and Kai, you’ll be glad to have a veritable jungle gym nearby for them to play on. That nearby jungle gym is Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲).
Want To Hike With Us?
Let Us Guide You At Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
While Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) at Shek O (石澳) is more of a natural playground than a hiking destination, we are speaking from experience when we say, we know how nice it can be to have an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands around when you’re out adventuring with your kids. And while we definitely appreciate Peri and Kai having unstructured playtime, we also like when they learn something about the natural features of the area they’re exploring.
Since we are both outdoor experts and professional educators with backgrounds in Environmental Science and Child Development, we not only love guiding young folks (and families) on outdoor adventures, but we are also experienced in making our outdoor adventures educational and fun.
Cutting to the chase, if you’d like us to show you all the nooks and crannies of this spectacular island, and if you’d like your little ones to learn a bit about ocean ecology, geology, the flora and fauna endemic to this area, and much much more, we’d be glad to guide you around Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲).
To make a booking with us, click below, or drop us a line here, and we’ll start making plans with you!
Questions Or Comments?
As always, if you have any curiosities or comments about all this, feel free to leave us a comment below. We’ll get in touch with you just as soon as we can.
Difficulty, Distance, Duration, And Elevation Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
Fast Facts – Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
We found Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) at Shek O (石澳) a perfect place for playing around and spontaneously exploring. The map below (as well as the downloadable map way below) details where we explored. It is certainly not exhaustive. If you find a new spot we didn’t check out, please let us know! We definitely plan to take Peri and Kai back here, as there’s simply too much to enjoy in one single visit.
The route we took starts and ends right at Shek O Beach. It is not pram-friendly. We made our way out to the coastal overlook. Then, we turned around and essentially retraced our steps. There are many small paths out here, all of which you can find if you use Guru Maps app (iOS/Android). Unfortunately, the small paths are not included on most other mainstream mapping apps.
We realize the elevation profile looks intense, but it’s merely due to the scale of the graph. Starting at 0 meters and eventually getting up to 49 meters, the elevation gain here is barely noticeable. The path we walked on had a gentle incline the whole way, and from start to finish, we barely broke a sweat.
Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳) – Start At Shek O Beach
As we mentioned before, our route starts at Shek O Beach. We gave Peri a bit of time to play here, and then we continued on to Tai Tau Chau. If you come here on a beach-worthy day, you could certainly spend a lot of time at Shek O Beach too!
Revel In The Romance Vibe – Shek O Lovers Bridge (石澳情人橋)
After walking through Shek O Village via. Shek O Headland Road, we arrived at the Shek O Lovers Bridge.
This is a popular spot for wedding photos and other romantic occasions, so don’t be surprised if on a nice day, there are folks here in full wedding garb!
On Fresh Legs Hike Around Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
Once you cross over the Shek O Lovers Bridge, you can more or less wander and explore anywhere you’d like. Again, feel free to use our downloadable route map (available below), or explore on your own.
Also, once you’ve crossed the Shek O Lovers Bridge, you’ll be right at the rocky coastline which Peri absoutley adored.
Knowing Peri, we decided to hike around and explore first, and then we came back to play here later on. Once he gets into a good rock-throwing rhythm, he doesn’t like to do much of anything else. Of course, you know your kids best, so enjoy Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) in whatever order is optimal for your little ones!
Take In Tai Tau Chau’s (大頭洲) Coastal Views
After crossing over the Shek O Lovers Bridge, we headed up a few stairs. Again, they were super mellow, and Peri had no problem with them. And the beautiful views were really what we focused on anyway. Off in the distance, we were able to see part of the Leaping Dragon Walk (龍躍徑), which is another family-friendly hike we very much enjoy.
The coastal views are abundant on Tau Chau (大頭洲), and they start right away!
Eventually, you’ll arrive at this fire pit. We’re planning to come back here some night to enjoy a bonfire! We are also planning on bringing a few trash bags, as this area needed a bit of cleaning. If you can help out in this way too, we’ll all be able to enjoy a cleaner Tai Tau Chau.
While it’s not pictured here, you’ll eventually reach a gazebo, and just past it, you’ll be able to head downhill to some of the best coastal views we found. We eventually reached this rocky cliff ledge.
From the cliff, we enjoyed the unobstructed views out into the Tathong Channel, west over to Tung Lung Chau, and south to Po Toi Island, both excellent and family-friendly adventure sites!
And of course, we couldn’t resist a family photo or two!
At this point, Peri was chanting on repeat, “Throw rocks! Throw rocks!” So we retraced our steps back to the rocky shoreline. On the way back, we stumbled upon this survey marker.
We also saw this majestic Black Eared Kite (Milvus migrans lineatus). There is an abundance of natural beauty in every aspect of Tai Tau Chau.
Playground Time – Rocky Shores Of Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲)
At long last, we let Peri throw some rocks into the water. We’re not sure why, but nothing else (at least nothing else we’ve discovered yet) seems to make him as happy as throwing rocks into the water.
Peri will throw rocks until his arms are shaky, until he can barely hold on to them anymore, and until we have to intervene to keep him from accidentally dropping one on his toe! We’re thinking he might be a natural born shot-putter?
More seriously though, Peri gets lost in throwing rocks. In his little and unique way, this is how he communes with nature, and we’re glad to give him many chances to do so. Even though sometimes, he does get a bit wet.
Gear For Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
Since Tau Chau (大頭洲) at Shek O (石澳) is a very mellow hike and is really more of a place for kids to play around, you won’t need any technical hiking gear. Sturdy shoes, sun protection, water, a few snacks, and beach gear if you’re planning on enjoying Shek O Beach, and you should be good to go.
If you do have toddlers who might get tired after walking for a while or infants who can’t yet walk, you’ll need a baby backpack and/or a baby carrier.
Below is what we brought when we explored Tau Tau Chau, but of course modify this list to fit your own needs.
- Water Bottle(s)
- Sun Protection
- Rain/Wind Jacket
- Hiking Shoes
- Hiking Socks
- Baby Backpack
- Baby Carrier
- Spill-Proof Snack Cup
- Beach Sun Shade (optional)
Tau Chau (大頭洲) at Shek O (石澳) is not strenuous terrain. 1.0 liter per adult and 0.5 per child should be enough. We like Hydro Flasks as they are insulated, rusable and durable.
There isn’t much shade on Tai Tau Chau, and certainly not much on Shek O Beach. Make sure you stay sun-safe, as we all know sunburns can be nasty.
We basically don’t go on any outdoor adventure without our Marmot PreCip jackets. They are so lightweight and compactable yet useful as a rain or wind jacket that we always feel it’s worth having them with us.
Trail runners or light hiking shoes, like the ones below, are all we needed for Tai Tau Chau. Unless you’re particularly prone to ankle sprains, leave your boots at home.
It might sound crazy, but we hike in wool socks year-round. Lightweight ones in the summer and heavier ones in the winter help keep our feet dry and thus blister-free.
Even though our route only covers a total of 2.4 km round trip, we brought our Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier, as Peri sometimes tires out around this distance. This baby backpack is super-durable, a dream to wear, and is part of our essential gear.
If your kiddos can’t yet walk, but you still want them to experience Tai Tau Chau, grab yourself a LILLEbaby Airflow carrier. It’s made of strong yet breathable mesh, so Kai (and previously Peri) stays cool even when he’s tucked inside.
Spill-Proof Snack Cup
Peri spilled his snacks until we bought him one of these spill-proof snack cups. Now, his snacks make it into his mouth, and we’re all happier for it!
There are lots of great places to take photos on Tai Tau Chau. At the very least, bring your phone camera. If you’re looking for something with a lot more power than your phone, we highly recommend the setup below. It’s what we use, and it always serves us well. Particularly because it’s weather-sealed.
NOTE: We bring either our 24-105mm zoom lens or our 35mm prime lens. The a7 II E-mount is the only body we own, so we certainly bring that too.
Beach Sun Shade (Optional)
If you do plan to spend some time on Shek O Beach, this will very much come in handy.
Getting To And From Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek O (石澳)
Using Public Transit
Our route begins at Shek O Beach. There is no single best way to get here, so we recommend you use the City Mapper app (iOS/Android) to plan your transit here. We think it’s the best app for planning public transit routes around Hong Kong.
Driving and Parking
If you want to drive and park, you’re in luck, as there is parking right near Shek O Beach. Since our route starts and ends at Shek O Beach, it’s convenient for driving. However, on weekends, make sure to arrive early, as the lot fills up quickly!
Taking A Taxi/Uber
Taking a Taxi/Uber here is easy. Let them know you want to go to Shek O Beach (石澳泳灘), and you’ll be all set. We use the HK Taxi App (iOS/Android) to reserve taxis ahead of time, but you can always just flag one.
Download Our Route Map – Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) At Shek Shek O (石澳)
Even though Tai Tau Chau is ripe for unscripted exploring, if you’d like to see some of the spots we went to, you can download our map file below.
While it’s possible to open our map file on a few different apps, we LOVE Guru Maps app for offline navigation. It’s powerful, intuitive, and makes sharing our adventures with friends super easy. We made a few free video-tutorials about the app to showcase some of our favorite features.
To do download our map file and then open it using the Guru Maps app, follow these simple steps.
1. Download Guru Maps (iOS/Android). If you want to buy the pro-version, or a yearly subscription, get in touch with us, and we’ll send you a code for a discount.
2. Click on the GPX, GeoJSON, or KML links here or in the top right-hand corner of the map below.
3. Once the map file has finished downloading, on your mobile device choose the option to “Open In,” and select Guru Maps. Then, you’ll have our route map (and a whole lot more map data too) right in your pocket. It’s that easy!
And, if you prefer other mapping options, we’ve got you covered.
More Hong Kong Family-Friendly Adventures
Tai Tau Chau (大頭洲) at Shek O (石澳) is just one of the many family-friendly adventures in Hong Kong. Located very nearby, and something you could do on the same day if you have older kids (10+) is the Leaping Dragon Walk (龍躍徑). If you do combine it with Tai Tau Chau, start at Big Wave Bay Beach, and end at the Siu Sai Wan Promenade.
Also relatively close by, you and your family can hike Devil’s Peak. It’s scenic, not too hard, and is steeped in history.
One more recommendation for good measure is either a day hike or some overnight camping on Tung Lung Chau. Both are family-friendly.
We could go on, but we’ll leave it there. Ultimately, if you have any comments, questions, or compliments about any of this, feel free to leave them below, and we’ll connect with you as soon as we can.
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Great information, thank you!
Would be helpful to include whether the hike is also stroller friendly
Thank you for your kind words and good question. This route is not stroller-friendly, and on your suggestion, we updated our article accordingly. Cheers!