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1. Harold Porter Botanical Garden
Harold Porter Botanical Garden forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The reserve consists of almost 200 hectares of natural coastal fynbos, and the area includes iridescent waterfalls, amber pools, deep gorges, forests, flats and dunes adjacent to the beach. As you enter the gates, the 10-hectare cultivated garden area is perfect for leisurely walks, picnics and photoshoots. Often mischievous baboons enjoy frolicking in between the neatly trimmed shrubs. Hiking trails include waterfalls and natural pools where you can cool down. Find more Things To Do in Betty's Bay.
2. Stony Point Penguin Colony
There are only two shore-based African penguin colonies in South Africa. These are at Boulders Beach in Simonstown and Stony Point in Betty’s Bay. Penguins began breeding at Stony Point after the old whaling station closed in 1930. The best time to visit these rare tuxedo-clad birds is in the morning or late afternoon. Otherwise, most of the colony is usually out hunting for food during the day. These fishing trips sometimes take them up to 20km out to sea. Unfortunately, because of various adverse conditions, penguin numbers have been reduced to a mere 170,000. The area is now protected, and visitors can use a wooden pathway that carefully curves through the colony to view the birds. While visiting the penguin colony, keep an eye out for the Cape cormorant, bank cormorant, and the rare white-breasted cormorant. Find more Things To Do in Betty's Bay.
3. Old Whaling Station
A whaling station was built at Stony Point in 1913. The bay’s natural harbour and the influx of southern right whales from June to December each year made it the perfect location. At its peak, the station was responsible for catching up to 300 whales in season. However, the station was not without its problems, and in 1930 it closed shop when the price of whale oil dropped. All that remains of the old whaling station are the foundations of some of the main buildings. There are also old blubber tanks, the rail line and the station’s original slipway. Something to celebrate is that the gentle giants of the ocean are now a protected species. They attract thousands of fans from around the globe every year. Read more about the History of Betty's Bay.
Betty's Bay’s coastline has many rocky outcrops that are met by crashing waves. However, there are spots where the rocks open up and give way to pristine beaches that are perfect for walks, swimming and surfing. Rolling dunes stretching out on either side of the 4km main beach welcome visitors. A 200m dune drop, perfect for sandboarding, is a big drawcard for adventure lovers. With an endless ocean in front and a backdrop of mountains behind, the view is splendid regardless of where you are in Betty’s Bay. For those who enjoy solitude, beaches are empty most of the time. If you prefer a bit of action, they fill up just enough to entice that holiday feeling during the peak summer season. Browse the Beaches Gallery.
Strap both feet to a single board and soar down one of the best sandboarding dunes in Africa. The highest dune measures approximately 200 metres and accommodates sand boarders of every level of expertise. Beginners can easily slide down the dune sitting on the board. With some practice, balancing, standing up and gaining momentum are all part of the fun. This activity is perfect for everyone, and there are experienced sand boarders who offer daily tours and sandboarding lessons. Find more Outdoor Adventures in Betty's Bay.
Amongst the fynbos thickets on the beach side of the main road, you can find shops and galleries selling handmade pottery. Colourful mirror collages, comical figures, spiky heads and a twisted wooden structure are dispersed across the walkway. Once inside, walls are lined with shelves that are filled with crockery and detailed sculptures. It is great for browsing or buying something to give your home more character. Connect with Arts & Culture in Betty's Bay.
Blessed with a spectacular natural setting of mountains and the ocean, Betty's Bay is perfect for a scenic hike. There are several marked hiking trails but even a simple stroll along the coast will offer great views. Harold Porter Botanical Garden is home to the majority of hikes in Betty's Bay, and you can choose between wheelchair-friendly walkways, garden strolls, fynbos trails, and more strenuous hiking routes to waterfalls and lookout points. Other than inside the garden, several trails include a beach walk and one that combines town attractions with nature. Take a look at Hiking in Betty's Bay.
8. Whale Watching
The Western Cape coastline is well known for its world-class whale-watching opportunities. Despite the variety of whale species along this stretch of the Atlantic Ocean, the most popular whale to see is the southern right whale. These gentle giants are curious and love venturing close to shore, to get a glimpse of the fans who travel from around the world to see them. Whale season begins in June when the whales make the journey from the Antarctic to mate and calve in our warmer waters. The last whales make their way back to their icy home to feed, by December. A drive down along the main road or a walk along the rocky coastline will reveal the friendly flapping of tails and acrobatic breaches out at sea. Since the old whaling station closed in the early 1900s the population of southern right whales has increased by approximately 7% per annum. They are a truly magical sight to behold. Find more Things To Do in Betty's Bay.
9. Seaside Holiday Town
Betty's Bay’s charm lies in its natural beauty and serene ambience. Although the Stony Point Penguin colony brings in a lot of tourism, the village often has very few people. It gets busier during peak season in summer, yet it still never becomes overcrowded. The area first became a recognised holiday spot in the 1800s and to this day it still is. It is the ideal place for people to retire from a busy lifestyle and take the time to enjoy life at a more relaxed pace. It is also very popular for holidaymakers who simply want to relax and while away their days with an incredible natural setting on their doorstep. Find out more About Betty's Bay.