The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is the oldest park in the territory. Built in 1860 and partially opened in 1864, the Gardens was fully completed and opened to the public in 1871, with Mr Charles Ford appointed as its first Superintendent in the same year. Used to house an assemblage of native plants for collection and research in its early years, it had been known as the Botanic Gardens. Since 1876, the Gardens has been building its zoological collection comprising birds and mammals. In 1975, it was officially renamed as the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. The Gardens is also nicknamed by locals as “Bing Tau Fa Yuen” (“Bing Tau” means the head of soldiers and “Fa Yuen” means garden) because it was the site of the Government House from 1841 to 1842 and at some time in the past, the Governor also served as the Commander of British Forces in Hong Kong.
On top of the zoological and botanical attractions, visitors may also enjoy a stroll down the heritage trail to explore five special features of historical importance, namely the Stone Pillars, the Memorial Arch, the Bronze Statue of King George VI, the Pavilion and the Fountain, and savour the stories of the Gardens.