Pinewood Battery, Victoria Peak
Hong Kong Island
Standing high on the 300 metre contour of a western spur of Hong Kong island’s Victoria Peak, in what is now the Lung Fu Shan country park, lies the Pinewood Battery. Constructed by the British military at the very end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th to counter perceived threats to British colonial interests from other European powers, the Battery originally consisted of 2 naval guns to protect the western approaches to Victoria harbour.
The battery was, unbelievably, considered surplus to requirements shortly after its’ completion in 1905 and by 1913 had been decommissioned. However, during the 1930’s, with conflict in the Far East with the Japanese Empire looming, it was quickly brought back into service – this time in an anti-aircraft role.
Badly damaged during bitter fighting with the attacking Japanese forces on 15 December 1941, the battery was evacuated and the defending Indian soldiers fought on as infantry until the British surrender on Christmas Day 1941. Following the Japanese surrender in 1945 the battery was never re-used by the returning British military, and now stands virtually unchanged since those dark days of the World War 2 battle. As such the site is practically unique in Hong Kong.
We reach the start of the walk by taking the spectacular Peak tram to the Peak terminus, then walk along the scenic Lugard Road with breathtaking views of Victoria harbour. The walk down to Mid-levels is through scenic woodland and we return to Central district via the stairway next to the Mid-levels escalator; at over 800 metres in length the largest outdoor covered escalator system in the world.
Highlights: Peak Tram, Views over the harbor, Pinewood Battery, Escalator.