Mount Kaolino, sandboarding in Germany

Mount Kaolino is a 120-meter-high sand dune located on the outskirts of the city of Hirschau, in southeastern Germany.. It is made up of approximately 35 million tons of quartz kaolin sand, a by-product of more than 180 years of kaolin mining in the area. Kaolin or china clay is rich in the mineral kaolinite, which is used in the production of a wide variety of things, such as paper, ceramics, toothpaste, paint and cosmetics.

Kaolin mining started in 1833. The workers extracted the quartz and kaolin from the sand-clay mixture, setting aside the leftover sand in a ever-growing hill. A portion of all the sand is used for glassmaking and by the construction industries, but another large portion of the deposit remains unused.

In 1957, a local entrepreneur named Hirschau Dobmeyer-Hans, turned the hill into an amusement park after discovering that people were using it for sand for surfing. Today, draws crowds of Germans and Americans eager for emotions throughout the summer. The amusement park has swimming facilities, a track that goes down the hill, the opportunity to climb it, ski or snowboard on well-maintained sand.

Visitors can either pay a small fee and be transported to the top of the hill, or attempt to climb it themselves. From the top, one can have a commanding view of the region.

Mining is still going on around Mount Kaolino, and the hill continues to grow.

Mount Kaolino is also home to the World Sandboarding Championships.