Places to see
Visit interesting coastal and inland towns on the Whalecoast in the Overberg including Baardskeerdersbos, Bredasdorp, Cape Augulhas, De Kelders, Elim, Gansbaai, Kleinbaai, Napier, Onrus Pearly Beach and Stanford.
Enjoy unsurpassed hospitality, magnificent views, excellent food and outstanding quality wines as you traverse a landscape offering you the most diverse Fynbos kingdom to date.
Named after the HMS Arniston, a British troop ship that sank in 1815 killing more than 300 on board, Arniston is a beautiful little coastal fishing village with one of the longest beaches in Africa. Azure blue water, rocky coves and authentic fisherman cottages add to the magical beauty of this coastal jewel.
Here you are still able to buy fresh fish off the fishing boats as they come into the little harbour daily. There is a typical holiday atmosphere in Arniston where you can watch whales at play in the bay annually (September to November), visit the De Mond Reserve and discover the many bird species.
Don’t Miss Out On
- Die Waenhuis Restaurant
- Soetpatats to die for!
- Kassiesbaai Craft Centre
- Craftwood created by locals in addition to traditional meals, home baked breads, delicious fish dishes and more.
- The Arniston Hotel
- Magnificent seaviews from the terrace where many a sundowner has been enjoyed.
A stone’s throw from Franskraal and not to be missed is the enchanting hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos which is fast becoming a sought after haven for city slickers as a weekend getaway. Made up of a fascinating patchwork of rolling farmlands and small holdings with quaint homesteads, the hamlet has a fascinating history in terms of how it gained its name, which directly translated means Beard Shavers Bush!!! One can only deduce that it was so named after the fearsome looking but harmless spider the Jerrymanglum, known for its “hair cutting/shaving abilities”.
The productive Baardskeerdersbos Valley is carpeted with a contrasting landscape of vineyards, flower and cattle farms. Verdant Fynbos stretches for miles as you traverse this enchanting multicoloured landscape to reach your final destination where you will find an interesting fusion of locals who welcome you with open arms to their little hamlet.
Quaint little trading stores dot the main road with a store where you’ll be able to get a good cup of coffee and something delicious to subdue the hunger. You may even be charmed to stay and perhaps invest in this delightful village!
A typical rural town with a large farming community known predominantly for farming with Merino sheep and wheat. Bredasdorp offers a fabulous day trip with several little speciality shops with pottery, antiques and local delicacies on offer.
Not to be missed is the renowned Shipwreck Museum which is the only one of its kind in South Africa. The museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts and furniture from ships wrecked along the coast.
Audrey Blignault who was born in Bredasdorp has a room especially dedicated to her fine history as one of South Africa’s most prominent writers.
- Kapula Candles
Famous for its more than 1000 candle designs
- Antique Warehouse
- Craft Corner
- Heuningberg Nature Reserve
For short hikes – a must for birders.
- Julian Keyser Ceramics
- Klippen Coffee and Gift Shop
- Pandoras Box
- Shipwreck Museum – Bredasdorp
L’Agulhas is the southernmost town in Africa and marks the point where the mighty Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.
Agulhas is a lively little seaside resort which comes alive during the holiday seasons with visitors from far and wide. Several people have taken up permanent residence in this charming resort town with its panoramic seaviews.
There are several activities in nearby Agulhas to keep you busy when visiting.
Don’t Miss Out On
- Fynbos hiking trails
- Mountain Biking
- Swimming (Struisbaai)
- Bird Watching
- Rock and boat angling
- Farm visits
- Visit the famous Agulhas Lighthouse and Shipwreck Museums
- De Hoop and De Mond Nature Reserves
Die Kelders, so named after the “Drup Kelders” which are naturally formed caves which have deep freshwater rock pools filled by water seeping from a freshwater fountain, known also as one of the natural wonders of the old Colony. The natural formation of stalagmites and stalactites are evident throughout the caves and tours are conducted regularly by appointment.
De Kelders is an expansive coastal town stretching from Perlemoenbay to the well-known “Plaat” a popular fishing spot where thousands of silver-grey fighters are caught.
De Kelders offers one of the finest vantage points from which to view whales. The sweeping seascapes offer unimpeded views of these gentle giants who frequent our shores and predominantly De Kelders, where they come to calve before migrating to Antarctic waters to feed until the following season.
Whale watching trips are easily arranged from Walker Bay by licensed operators who will take you within meters from these gentle giants of the ocean. See Things To Do
De Kelders offers a wonderful day trip for whale watching, hiking and cave exploration. There is a bakery, excellent coffee shop with the most awesome view of Walker Bay, restaurant and bar and several lookout points to stop and just take in the magical scenery.
Elim, long been declared a national monument is famous for its thatch roofed homes as are the thatchers from Elim who are sought after as masters of their fine craft. The quaint white washed cottages are painted each year before Easter as a tradition symbolizing purity and simplicity – integral to the lifestyle of the village people who live their lives close to their Church.
The picturesque town is one of the oldest surviving mission stations and is inhabited only by members of the Moravian Church.
- The Water Mill
Built in 1833 and restored in 1990, has the largest wooden water wheel in South Africa and is again grinding wheat as it did in the past.
- The Slave Monument
The only monument of its kind to commemorate the liberation of slaves in the Cape.
- Elim Bakery
Delicious home-baked products can be bought here.
- Moravian Church and Clock
A thatched-roof church in the heart of the village. The clock dates back 235 years.
Gansbaai is located at the foot of the Duyenefontein Mountains and has grown from a small seaside village to a bustling tourist attraction during the past few years as a result of its White Shark Cage Diving Industry.
Renowned as the world’s premier White Shark Cage Diving destinations in the world, the cage dive operators launch their specially equipped boats daily from the Kleinbaai Harbour to take visitors out to view these magnificent predators.
Dyer Island near Gansbaai is a breeding colony for jackass penquins while seals breed on nearby Geyser Island. A warder, stationed on Dyer Island, protects the birds breeding there. A number of these are endemic species, such as the Oyster Catcher and the Swift Tern.
There is a narrow channel in the sea between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island which is home to up to 60 000 Cape Fur Seals. The sea around these islands has become the feeding ground of the endangered Great White Shark. Since the area around Dyer Island has been declared a nature reserve, boats may only enter this area with a permit issued by the Department of Nature Conservation.
Fishmongers are stocked with fresh catches daily. Gansbaai is a popular holiday resort for boating and fishing enthusiasts and whale watchers.
Despite the enormous income from the shark diving industry, Gansbaai is still sustained by its fishing industry. Fishing boats are seen taking to the waters daily making fresh catches regularly available to purchase.
There are several little eateries and pubs in the town which are worth a visit and not to be missed is a visit to the Abalone Farm which produces this culinary delicacy for export.
Don’t Miss Out On
- Great White Shark Cage Diving or Surface Viewing
- Whale Watching
- Horse Riding
- Rock or Boat Angling
- Gansbaai Harbour
- Strandveld Museum (Relics of the HMT Birkenhead)
- Danger Point Lighthouse
Open: Mon to Fri 10H00 to 15H00
The fishing village of Hawston is located between Fisherhaven and Onrus en route to Hermanus. Hawston was named after Charles Haw who settled in Caledon in June 1859 often visiting Hawston for vacations.
The village of Hawston is rich in traditional history and the locals are eager to share their beautiful beach and ocean’s bountiful catch with visitors.
Spend a funfilled day at Hawston’s olympic sized swimming pool (the only one in the Overberg), enjoy a delicious seafood meal at Hawston Abalone Village Restaurant, watch the whales and dolphins at play, take in the breath taking ocean and mountain views surrounding you and take a walk along the magnificent blue flag beach.
Don’t Miss Out On
- Olympic size swimming pool
- Hawston Abalone Village Restaurant
- Whales and Dolphins
- Caravan Park
- Beach walks
- Bird watching
- The famous wild horses
Hermanus was often referred to as the Riviera of the South in bygone days and for all intents and purposes, has maintained its status albeit with a modern fusion of luxury holiday homes dotting the pristine coastline, funky cafes, coffee shops and eateries overlooking Walker Bay, speciality shops to delight even the most selective shopper and craft markets to keep you busy for hours.
Situated just 3 kms outside the town of Gansbaai, this is where it all happens when it comes to White Sharks. Licensed White Shark Tour operators launch their well equipped boats from the Kleinbaai harbour out to Dyer Island and Geyser Rock where all the action takes place on a daily basis, weather permitting.
Whale watching tour boats are also launched from this bustling little harbour which has become a veritable tourist attraction since White Shark cage diving has become so popular.
A tidal pool exists along this rugged coastline with its many rock pools. The views are absolutely spectacular and sunsets are a photographer’s dream.
Kleinbaai boasts several fine eateries, coffee shops and bars in addition to a 9 hole golf course laid out in the indigenous Fynbos vegetation.
Napier, Cape Overberg: The town, named after the governor of the day, Sir George Napier, was founded 12 April 1838 when the first erven were sold. The town is central to a prosperous wheat and wool producing area in addition to producing large quantities of strawberries in summer.
Napier lies beneath the Soetmuisberg surrounded by bright yellow canola fields, barley and wheat. A typical country town steeped in history with its main road lined the prominent Dutch Reformed Church, houses and interesting stores selling antiques and various specialities. It’s not unusual to find a little shop operating from the front stoep of a home in Napier. Photographers, nurseries, artists, potters and restauranteurs all exist side by side in harmony.
There’s a spirit of kinship and understanding in this country town where everyone knows everyone. Breads, croissants, jams and preserves are made locally and you’ll find these delicious homemade goodies in many accommodation establishments as the locals support their own.
Restaurants, pubs and farmstalls abound in this village where you can enjoy traditional country fair, French cuisine or a delicious pizza or pasta. The choices are endless. Farmstalls offer anything from olives, olive oil, jams, preserves, farm fresh breads and cakes, fruit and vegetables to West Coast Bokkoms (dried mullet – traditional salted and dried fish).
Napier is proving to be an ideal wine producing area as new vineyards are planted for production. Already there is a wine tasting boutique in Napier where you can sample wines from the area.
The town is a shoppers paradise when it comes to antiques and collectibles. Speak with the locals and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Don’t Miss Out On
- Moerse Farmstall
Delicious country fare, West Coast Bokkoms, fresh produce. An absolute must.
- Art & Toy World
Art Gallery • Toy Museum • “Rose” Toy Steam Boats
5 Almond Street “Chris Vilas Arts & Crafts”
- Green Chameleon Shop
T-Shirts, Keyracks, Cards, Coasters, Games, Pet Mags, Doggy Bandanas and 100% Napier Products
- Greta’s Place
- Collectable’s • Antiques • Bric a Brac
- Napier Antiek
Antiques and Collectibles
- Napier Farmstall and Restaurant
- Jean Daniel Wines (Boutique Winery)
- Vindigo Wine Tastings
Specialising in wine sales, local arts and crafts.
Onrus is a typical laid-back holiday town and home to several famous artists and authors such as Jan Rabie, Elsa Joubert, Uys Krige, Gregoire Boonzaaier and Marjorie Wallace amongst others.
Typically known for lush growth of Milkwood trees, this tranquil seaside village offers ideal water sport opportunities. Swimming is safe and the lagoon is warmer than the sea where lifeguards are generally on duty during season time.
Whales come extremely close to the shoreline and are an absolute joy to watch from the Milkwood Restaurant where you can enjoy a great meal on the waters’ edge.
There are several local art galleries which should not be missed in addition to craft and speciality shops.
Don’t Miss Out On
- Gallery Gregoire
- The Mission House Gallery
- The Atelier d’art Gallery
Tel: 028 316 3238
Things To Do in Pearly Beach
- Pearly Beach is a popular angling spot, and on some weekends the beach is lined with fishermen. The Angling and Recreational Club holds competitions on a regular basis, as well as offering meals and a big-screen TV.
Unspoilt pristine white beaches are perfect for long walks.
- Whale Watching
- Southern Right Whales visit from about July to January.
With the Klein River meandering through this picturesque village, Stanford offers one of the finest bird watching venues in the Overberg.
A popular weekend getaway for city slickers, this town is home to several permanent residents who prefer the fresh air and tranquility of this interesting little Overberg town.
There are a multitude of country restaurants serving excellent cuisine made from the freshest ingredients, art and craft shops, hiking trails, cruising down the Klein River on the African Queen or kayaking on the river.
Not to be missed is the Birkenhead Brewery which not only produces its own local beer but has planted extensive vineyards which will soon come into production. You can also enjoy a great meal at the restaurant on the premises. Magnificent views.
Don’t Miss Out On
- Birkenhead Brewery
- Bird Watching
- Kleinriver Cheese Farm
- Browse antique and craft shops
- Picnic on the river
- African Queen River Boat