Cycling

The rural nature of the Hermanus region lends itself to safe cycling and the newly created cycling track along the main road in Eastcliff has made the town even more cycle-friendly. Fernkloof nature reserve has a special mountain biking trail and the Hermanus Cycling Club meets every Saturday (at least). There is also a fabulous off-road ‘trick’ track behind the Hermanus Cricket Club.

    Go Bike

    Cycling, Leisure and Sport, Things to do

    GoBike is a new bike rental shop in the heart of Hermanus. We opened for business in November 2016, close to the Tourism office. Tel: 082 879 1735 Cell: 082 464 5344 Email: dean@gobiketoday.com Website: www.gobiketoday.com

    Golfing

    Over the years the Hermanus Golf Course has become one of the most popular golf courses in South Africa, reputed to be one of the finest and most beautiful 27 holes of golf. The course is set in magnificent scenery with views of the sea and a backdrop of the mountains – close enough to the coast to be termed a links course, but with a parklands feel to it. Wildlife and natural Cape flora are attractive features and the many trees provide for ideal golfing terrain.

    Twenty minutes drive from Hermanus, is the acclaimed Arabella Golf Estate, frequently voted the number two golf course in South Africa and the top golf course in the Western Cape. The course is diverse with links, parklands and coastal aspects within it. Features of the course are its wide fairways with plenty of bunkers and water hazards, and well-kept “bend grass” greens.

    The Arabella Golf Club has been the annual home to the Nelson Mandela Invitational charity golf tournament from 2003, hosting the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Samuel L Jackson, Ronan Keating, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Tim Clark, Lee Westwood and Sam Torrance.

      Hermanus Golf Club

      Golfing, Leisure and Sport, Things to do

      With its unparalleled scenic beauty, modern infrastructure, upmarket shops and endless adventure options, it is little wonder that Hermanus has grown in size Tel: 028 312 1954 Fax: 028 125 0160 Email: bookings@hgc.co.za Website: www.hgc.co.za

      Surfing

      Hermanus is a great place to surf and body board. Favourite spots are Onrus Beach and Kammabaai. Whilst the surf is fantastic visitors must remember that they are on the southernmost tip of Africa, very close to where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet and the sea can be unpredictable.

      Beaches

      There are several beaches in Hermanus – all unique in their own way; from the expansive Grotto Beach
      (which has Blue Flag status) to the unnamed little beaches found in nooks along the coastline.

      Hermanus has beaches that surfers love, beaches that are favourites with children,
      beaches that are perfect for shore fishing and beaches more easily accessible to the disabled or elderly.

      Below is a guide to our different beaches so you can choose the one that best suits your idea of a day on the beach.
      Don’t forget your sun block – even on overcast days!

      GROTTO BEACH
      Grotto beach is a pristine Blue Flag beach that stretches for kilometres making it ideal for long walks. Dutchies’ Restaurant, a play park, lots of parking and excellent ablution facilities make this a favourite beach amongst the holiday makers. It is a typical Southern Cape sandy beach with good waves and usually pleasantly warm water. The beach can be reached by driving through the town of Hermanus, and as one is leaving the town (drive around a traffic circle) the beach is signposted off the main street of Hermanus. Lifeguards are in attendance throughout the season.

      HAWSTON BEACH
      Hawston beach is tucked away in the village of Hawston as one drives towards the town of Hermanus. It is a truly beautiful beach with views of the sweeping mountains along the Cape coastline and along the extensive dune system which stretches along the coast for some distance. Hawston beach has some of the safest swimming along the Western Cape coastline. Treat the sensitive dune systems with care and only walk along the designated board walk systems.

      There are picnic areas and braai/barbecue facilities in the back beach area as well as an Abalone Restaurant adjacent to the beach.

      It is very rustic, rural and worth a visit (especially to watch the sun set!). Interpretive signage allows one the option to learn more about the unique vegetation and natural resources of the area.

      VOËLKLIP
      This is a small beach that also has excellent ablution facilities and is great for those who don’t like sand, as there are large stretches of lawn above the beach. Voëlkip beach is popular with surfers and sunbathers.

      LANGBAAI
      This is, as the name suggests, a long beach in a secluded cove at the foot of the cliffs. Langbaai is considered to be the ‘secret’ beach of Hermanus. There are quite a few steps to get to the beach, which can make things difficult for elderly people or those with small children.

      KAMMABAAI
      Also known as Nanny’s Beach, Kammabaai is a family favourite. It has the best waves for surfing, picnic spots and braai sites under the milkwoods, and great rocks to climb.

      SANDBAAI
      The Sandbaai beach is dotted with rock pools full of marine creatures and is particularly popular at low tide when swimming is safe. It is also popular for snorkelling. There are change rooms and showers.

      ONRUS BEACH
      This is also a favourite for families because of the safe swimming the lagoon provides. Onrus beach is popular with local body boarders and surfers and there are shower facilities. The Milkwood Restaurant overlooks the beach and provides take-away and light meals.

      BREKVIS BAAI
      This little spot at Vermont provides a perfect setting for picnicking. Flanked by high dunes, the beach is sheltered and a favourite place for the sunbather and popular for sand boarding.

      Birding

      Hermanus and its surrounding areas are a birder’s paradise. Few other areas can offer fynbos, mountain, coastal, river and estuarine habitats in such compact terrain, with such easy access.

      Birders come from far and wide to spot the Western Cape specials such as the Orange-breasted sunbird, the Cape sugarbird, Cape siskin, Victorin’s warbler, the Cape Bulbul, the Southern tchagra, the Protea seedeater and many others including more than 186 water bird species. The Bot River and Klein River estuaries, the Onrus River and the Vermont Saltpan offer many surprises including pelicans and flamingos.

      BirdLife Overberg is very active and is an umbrella body for the local clubs that exist throughout the Overberg. They have a huge infrastructure to service birders, with heaps of educational material available.

      Cliff Paths

      The Hermanus Cliff Path is one of Hermanus’s unique attractions. It is just over 12km long and stretches from the New Harbour in Westcliff all along the coastline to Grotto beach in Voelklip. The Cliff Path is accessible from many points along the route, and benches at strategic points provide a place to sit and watch the whales or enjoy the sea. The Cliff Path has made Hermanus famous for providing the best land-based whale watching in the world, but is also alive with wondrous floral and marine life.

      Much of the distance is wheelchair-friendly, with access to the path from many points.

      The easy walk from Fick’s pool to the New Harbour takes about half an hour. In the opposite direction the path leads long Marine Drive to the Old Harbour where one joins it again all the way to Protea Road. At low tide it is possible to rock hop across Bayview Bay where there is no formal path as this area is privately owned. It is easier to follow the road to Mollergren Park from where the path continues on its way along the coastline to Grotto Beach.

      Memorial benches along the way offer walkers a chance to stop and enjoy the sea’s many moods or to watch the whales wallowing in the bay. The path from the Windsor Hotel to beyond the Marine Hotel and from Kraal Rock to the Mossel River is also wheelchair friendly, thanks to the Hermanus Rotary Club and the Cliff Path Management Group.

      The Vermont Nature Reserve in Vermont has a delightful walk long the Coast from the oddly named Brekvis Bay to Hawston Harbour. The walk takes about two hours and leads you through the private reserve of Hoek van die Berg where all alien undergrowth has been painstakingly cleared, revealing a pristine paradise of fynbos. Hoek van die Berg can be reached from either the Vermont or Hawston side.

      The Vermont, Onrus, Sandbaai (VOS) coastal path is currently under construction, with the Sandbaai section of the walk having recently been completed.

      The beach walk from Hawston along Sandown Bay across the mouth of the Bot River Estuary might just afford you a sighting of the wild horses that have been living in that area for decades.

      Registered community guides provide a variety of special tours in all areas of Greater Hermanus. These include cultural, historical, fynbos, beach, abalone and bird life walks, and are a great way to get to know more about the area.

      Fishing

      Hermanus, with its expansive coastline, the estuaries and rivers, is a fisherman’s dream. Fishermen from all over the country are attracted by the rock angling possibilities on our coastline where the waters offer galjoen, cob, red roman, steenbras and many more fish. The bay offers surf fishing as well as chartered deep sea fishing trips which are very popular.

      The coastline from Rietfontein to Kraal Rock is a marine reserve and although angling is allowed, nothing else may be removed from the sea or rocks in this area including bait. Fishermen can also enjoy fishing in the Klein River and Bot River estuaries. A brochure containing all the rules and regulations can be colleted at the Marine and Coastal Management office in the New Harbour. Fishing permits can be obtained from the local post office at a prescribed fee.

      Fly fishing is becoming increasingly popular in the area. There are four dams in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley where members of the Hermanus Fly-fishing Club cast their flies.

      A diving permit obtainable from the local post office entitles you to four crayfish per person per day during the season which opens on 1 November and closes on 28 February. Crayfish may be caught daily from 08h00 to 16h00 up to 31 December and thereafter only on weekends and public holidays. There is a size restriction on the crayfish and it is advisable to obtain a measuring ring before you dive. Various restrictions exist for the transportation of the crayfish.

      Hiking

      There are several well-maintained and well-marked trails in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Fernkloof showcases a diverse and spectacular variety of unspoilt coastal mountain fynbos. Over 50km of hiking trails traverse the reserve, offering spectacular panoramic views of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Walker Bay, with its visiting whales. There are guided tours by arrangement at a nominal fee. A series of graded trails, catering for all ages and fitness levels offer a window into the wonderful world of plants found in Fernkloof Botanical Gardens. Wheelchair-friendly paths cater for the less energetic. An on-going exhibition of what is in flower can be seen in the visitor’s hut situated at the start of the footpaths.

      The Three Reservoirs, Rotary Way and Vogelgat in the Klein River mountains overlooking the town offer magnificent hiking opportunities.

      Hoy’s Koppie, a rocky outcrop in the middle of Hermanus, offers splendid views of the town and is the lofty burial place of Sir William Hoy and his wife Gertrude. A pathway with stone steps leads one around the koppie to the summit where their graves can be seen. In addition to the panoramic views and the easy access to abundant fynbos, Hoy’s Koppie provides a link to the area’s earliest inhabitants. Archaeologists have found evidence that indigenous Khosian people inhabited Klipgat Cave on the southern side of the hill long before the town was established in the mid 1800’s.

      The Frans Senekal Nature Reserve in Vermont offers a delightful walk from Vermont along the sea’s edge past Hoek van den Berg to Hawston harbour. The walk takes about two hours; with a host of mountain ranges and nature reserves, and a coastline that is so diverse, there is no shortage of hiking trails – each uniquely breathtaking.

      Platbos, Africa’s southernmost forest, is a jewel with ancient tree specimens over 1000 years old. A unique remnant of the “sandwoud” forest type is composed of tree species that characterize Afromontane ravine forests as well as those that make up coastal milkwood thickets. This enjoyable walk takes between 1 and 2½ hours to complete, and the gentle gradients make it an easy trail for young and old alike to enjoy. Relax on the benches situated along the path or walk the forest’s labyrinth made from mother-of-pearl sea shells. Both guided and self-guided tours are available. Participate in the Trees for Tomorrow Reforestation and Conservation Project by making a donation to have a tree planted in your name on the forest edge and help to safeguard this ancient forest for future generations.

      Pre-booking is essential.

      Swimming

      With the sea, the lagoon, the rock pools along the cliff paths, several tidal pools and the Klein River there are obviously many places to swim.

      ‘On-shore’ bathing spots include the tidal pool below the Marine Hotel, Fick’s Pool on the Westcliff side off Marine Drive, the tidal pool in Vermont; Davies Pool at Onrus River near the camp site; and the lagoons at Grotto Beach and at Onrus Beach.

      Hawston has an Olympic sized public swimming pool and there is an aqua centre in Sandbaai which has an indoor pool.

      Look at our beach guide for more info on ocean swimming spots.

      Photography Walks

      River Cruises

      Hermanus Historic Walks

      Whale Walking Tours with the Whale Crier

      Massage Therapy

      Health & Beauty