Event Detail


Boat Field trip to Nine Pins

Leader: Professor Bernie Owen
Saturday, 21 Mar 2015

The Royal Geographical Society is delighted to welcome Professor Bernie Owen to lead another boat excursion to the beautiful and inaccessible Nine Pin Islands.

The Nine Pin Islands are probably the most spectacular development of columnar hexagonal jointing in the world, and are reminiscent of the world heritage site of Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

The tuffs of the islands were erupted about 140 million years ago, a time when dinosaurs roamed the world.  It is estimated that approximately 70 cubic kms of rubble were erupted during the single event which formed the tuffs.  This compares with only 2 cubic kms for the Mt. St. Helens eruption and 12 cubic kms for the Krakatau eruption of 1883, which dispersed haze all over the world.

The boat trip, through attractive scenery and then open seas to the islands, first visits the North Nine Pin Island to see and walk over the beautifully developed hexagonal columns, some of which have toppled over above a large rock slide.  The second stop is on the South Nine Pin Island at a sea arch developed along a fault.  The trip also includes a circumnavigation of the islands to view the spectacular cliff scenery.

In the event that a landing is not possible at the Ninepin Islands due to wind, following the circumnavigation of the Nine Pins, the trip goes to the Bluff Island area.  The boat stops at either Bluff Island or High Island, where there is an interesting hike to visit similar fine hexagonal columns and a sea cave, plus a visit to a local island village with a temple and restaurants available.

Timings:      Meet at City Hall, Central                        9.00 am
                  Meet at Saikung Public Ferry Pier             9.45 am
                  Arrive at City Hall, Central:                     by 6.00 pm

Cost: HK$400 for Members and $450 for Members’ guests, including full buffet lunch. Bus ticket $50.  

Please bring: Water bottle, walking shoes and appropriate clothing for being on a boat.  Guests with field glass/binoculars should consider bringing them.

To reserve places please email the RGS HK on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You’ll then receive from the RGS booking instructions, a booking form and detailed joining instructions.

Information on the areas being visited is available at:

See other events in 2015