Victoria Peak is a mountain in Hong Kong. It is also known as Mount Austin, and locally as The Peak. The mountain is located in the western half of Hong Kong Island. With an altitude of 552 m (1,811 ft), it is the highest mountain on the island proper, but not in the entirety of Hong Kong, an honour which belongs to Tai Mo Shan.
The actual summit of Victoria Peak is occupied by a radio telecommunications facility and is closed to the public. However, the surrounding area of public parks and high-value residential land is the area that is normally meant by the name The Peak. It is a major tourist attraction which offers views over Central, Victoria Harbour, and the surrounding islands.
As early as 19th century, the Peak attracted prominent European residents because of its panoramic view over the city and its temperate climate compared to the sub-tropical climate in the rest of Hong Kong. The sixth Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Richard MacDonnell had a summer residence built on the Peak circa 1868. Those that built houses named them whimsically, such as The Eyrie, and the Austin Arms. See First houses on the Peak.
With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong.It offers spectacular views of the city and its harbours. The viewing deck also has coin operated telescopes that the visitors can use to enjoy the cityscape. The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centres, the Peak Tower and The Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other.
The Peak Tower incorporates the upper station of the Peak Tram, the funicular railway that brings passengers up from the St. John's Cathedral in Hong Kong's Central district, whilst the Peak Galleria incorporates the bus station used by the Hong Kong public buses and green minibuses on the Peak.The Peak is also accessible by taxi and private car via the circuitous Peak Road, or by walking up the steep Old Peak Road from near the Zoological Botanical Gardens.