Thursday, November 26, 2015

Yehliu Geopark 野柳地质公园

Yehliu Geopark (野柳地质公园) is a cape-turned-geological park in Wanli (万里区) District, New Taipei City. The 1.7km-long cape is known as Yehliu Promontory to geologists, as it was formed as geological forces pushed parts of the Tatun Volcanoes (大屯火山群) out to sea.

The cape became a centre of attention due to the many hoodoo rocks found here. Hoodoo rocks are spires of rocks that protude from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or dryland. Generally, hoodoo rocks form within sedimentary rock and volcanic rock formations.

A number of rocks had been given imaginative names according to their shapes, such as Ginger Rocks, Fairy Shoe and Mushroom Rocks.

Mushroom Rocks to the right of the photo

Ginger Rocks

I assumed that the place was a birdwatcher's paradise, as there were many people with binoculars and big DSLR-like cameras walking towards to far end of the cape referred to as the Marine Bird Rock. Also, as the cape is surrounded by sea, there were many warning signs and barriers put up to prevent visitors from stepping to far out due to personal and group safety, as well as protection of natural resources.

The highlight of the geopark is a rock called the Queen's Head (女王头), which is the unofficial emblem for Wanli District. We thought it was going to be huge so there was a tinge of disappointment when it was just about 1 feet taller than I was.

The Queen's Head

To be honest, we found it just so-so, perhaps due to a variety of factors. One could be the amount of tourists there. Too many people just spoiled the serenity of the place. Another could be that we have seen other places with rock formations that were more spectacular than this, for example the Great Ocean Road, where the rock formations are huge!

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