1. Hotspot for History and Heritage Sites
Once a forgotten part of the rugged Agulhas coast, this picturesque little village has now worked its way into the history books and into our hearts. The shallows lay riddled with remains of shipwrecks as the small cottages that dot the shoreline are built up with what the sea divulged. The rich and diverse history of the town even gave birth to its two names and the several monuments erected to commemorate its key players.
Along with its beautiful commemorative monuments, it also holds two important heritage sites. The picturesque Kassiesbaai was declared a heritage site in its entirety and also the famous fisherman’s cottage at in Pratt Street. Rich history and yet to be discovered landmarks are waiting around every corner… it is time to explore! History of Arniston
2. Waenhuiskrans Cave
Ready to dive back in time? Following the bread crumbs of rock pools all along the Arniston shoreline will take you to a hidden place sculpted by the sea itself. Holding the origin of half of the town’s double barrel name, the Waenhuiskrans Cave is a natural wonder not to be missed.
Naturally carved by the relentless ocean and tides, the enormous cave holds a sense of wonder and wisdom. As the saying goes, If these walls could talk, we would be amazed by the long-forgotten tales that would be unearthed by the rough walls. And be forever perplexed by the different creatures that seeked shelter underneath its salty roof.
Come and see through the eyes of the long forgotten travellers that looked out from within the belly of this enchanting cave. The burst of colour on the outside is said to give you a new appreciation for the vibrant outside world that we live in. The Waenhuiskrans Cave
Beach towel. Check. Smell of sunscreen. Check. Clear white sand. Check. Warm crystal blue water. Check. Plane ticket to the Bahamas. Uncheck. This tropical-like scene is within your reach and you don’t even have to get on a plane to get there. A mere 3hrs away from Cape Town, you can find paradise. Beautiful white sandy beaches with azure water winking at you in the African sun is located right here at the southern tip of Africa.
Warmed by the warm ocean current, the delightful water allows for relaxation and plenty of fun in the sun. Here the ocean with its characteristic rock pools offers hours of swimming, snorkelling and surfing. The two popular beaches found here is the obvious Arniston Beach and the like-wise tropical Roman Beach. So what are you waiting for – jump in! Arniston Beaches Gallery
4. De Mond Nature and Marine Reserve
Combine a fantastic mixture of untouched natural landscapes and hundreds of intricate ecosystems and what do you get… the De Mond Nature and Marine Reserve. This pristine reserve consists of 36 600 hectares of protected land and ocean all within the Cape Floral Kingdom. Home to 1500 plant species, 260 bird species and various mammals that trek through the area, it is a rustic biodiversity eden.
The rich Reserve allows for overnight stays and the perfect playground for nature lovers and outdoor adventure junkies alike. The Reserve holds various hiking and cycling trails and is a must visit for any bird and plant enthusiast. Up for bigger game, the occasional Bontebok, Cape Mountain Zebra and ostrich can also be spotted. And not to forget our gentle giants of the ocean, the Southern Right Whales that frequent our coasts every year from July – November. Experience the true beauty and tranquillity of land and sea combined all within the De Mond Nature and Marine Reserve. De Mond Nature Reserve
The bountiful ocean of this area has kept the small village going as a thriving fishing community, so why not share in the spoils? Here angling can be enjoyed from the beautiful beaches with an unhindered view of the cerulean Indian Ocean and is only a short walk from wherever you might be hosted for your stay. Venturing along the shoreline, find the perfect spot and throw in a line from the cliffs that jut out over the water. These waters mostly offer up Steenbras, Galjoen and Black Bream, but you never know what the currents might surprise you with.
Feeling like you really want to follow in the footsteps of the settlers, you can rely on the tides to trap the fish in the many rock pools scattered along the shore. A traditional, unconventional way of fishing as it is, it might be better left to the professionals of this quaint village. Fishing in Arniston
6. Fresh Seafood
Heading to Arniston / Waenhuiskrans, be sure to pack your appetite. The bountiful ocean offers up an array of fresh seafood to be caught daily and will not disappoint. Freshly caught fish can be bartered for straight off the fishing boats pulling into the harbour. And who can resist feasting on fresh oysters while enjoying a sundowner.
Freshly caught by the local fisherman or by your hands, the scrumptious seafood can be enjoyed any way you like. Alternatively, sit back and enjoy the view over the swaying ocean as the places to eat in Arniston treat you to their best recipes. Enjoy the “Catch of the Day’ prepared in the creative yet traditional ways that scream proudly South African style. Rounding off the meal, you can sip on one of the many local wines grown right here in Cape Agulhas. Seafood Restaurants in Arniston
7. Hiking Trails
Geared up with your backpack and hiking boots, you need only step outside your door to embark on one of the many hiking trails that meander through this diverse area. One of the main attractions of this area is definitely the undulating landscapes with its exquisite range of different species of fauna and flora that populate it. Luckily for us, Arniston’s various hiking trails lead you through the changing landscape. Starting in town, the trails lead you through open fields of changing fynbos, all the way to the rolling dunes of golden sands at the coast. Let your sense soar as your feet do the walking through the yellow (in spring) landscapes. Hiking Trails in Arniston
8. Golden Dunes of Fun
Captured between the beautiful beaches and wide open landscapes, the dunes reveal a stunning view over both. Many a hiking trail of the area, takes you through the sandy hills, to show the true diversity of the landscape. Following the sloping path of the dunes past Roman Beach you will find yourself at the glorious Waenhuiskrans Cave.
Looking for a fun-filled day in the sun, why not venture into the golden dunes lining the coastline. Stretching from horizon to horizon the famous dunes of Arniston offers up a plethora of activities to enjoy every day. From trekking through the rolling hills to dune-surfing down them the choice is yours. Unfortunately, 4x4 activities have been restricted, but that doesn’t mean the sun-kissed sand can’t be used for surfing, building sandcastles and plain old soaking up the sun. Arniston Landscapes Gallery
Perhaps not on the top of the list like Durban or Jeffrey’s Bay, but unbeknownst to most Arniston holds excellent waters for surfing. The beautiful sandy beaches give way to almost tropical warm waters with quite reliable surf. Locals suggest that the best time for surfing is Winter and that the ideal wind to keep an eye out for is from the west northwest.
Crystal clear waters, warmed almost to perfection allows for great surfing and these beaches are rarely crowded, as not many know about this hidden hotspot. Yet, although not crowded by people, sharks do visit these temperate waters, do keep an eye out for them and also sharp rocks from the notorious Agulhas reef. Outdoor Adventures in Arniston
Home to the characteristic white-washed, thatch roof cottages, no visit to Arniston / Waenhuiskrans is complete without a visit to Kassiesbaai. Hidden behind the sand dunes, lies one of South Africa’s most picturesque Heritage Sites.
The descendants of the founding families have managed to beautifully preserve the essence of this 200 year old village and it is only right to show our appreciation by visiting it. The rustic cluster of cottages seems frozen in time and waiting to be captured on film and canvas. The owners of these quaint cottages welcome you with open arms to their town, their homes and their hearts. Humble people of simple origins, you won’t find folks truer than this. Kassiesbaai