“The South Coast – a treasure trove filled with hidden gems.” As native “Souties”, we know that there are many places we frequent that are unknown to out of town visitors. In this blog, we share a few of these hidden gems with you. If you missed part one of this two-part blog series, click here to read all about the treasures between Scottburgh and Shelly Beach. Don’t worry – we will keep your spot here until you return.
1. Wonder through the botanic gardens at Stephward Estate Orchid & Exotic Plant Nursery
Stephward Estate Orchid & Exotic Plant Nursery is well known in South Africa for their collection of rare and exotic plants which are available for purchase. Meander through their botanic gardens after a delightful lunch in their Edwardian-style restaurant or sip on a hot drink outdoors on their fairytale pool deck.
2. Watch the local teams rough it out at Douglas Mitchell Sports Grounds
Douglas Mitchell Sports Grounds – also known as “Dougies” by the locals, is a popular spot on the South Coast, which offers tennis and squash courts, rugby and cricket fields along with a model car racing facility, restaurant and bar. The restaurant and bar has a vibey atmosphere and often hosts live entertainment.
3. Meander through the Uvongo Rotary Market
Walk through rows of stalls and discover a multitude of interesting handmade goods at the Rotary flea market, which is held every Saturday morning. Every so often you can experience live music in the tea garden.
4. Enjoy a meal at the Pavilion Italian Restaurant on Uvongo Beach
The Pavilion Restaurant is located on Uvongo beach and boasts incredible views of the beach, Uvongo lagoon and the warm Indian Ocean. Their indoor and outdoor seating options make the restaurant a popular dining option, regardless of the season. After a long day at the beach, stroll on over to the Pavilion Restaurant and enjoy a mouth-watering feast.
1. Mingle with locals at the Village Tavern
So much more than just a local watering hole, the Village Tavern is a place where you can sit back and relax, enjoy a meal (and an ice-cold drink), while listening to great music. This bustling venue with an impressive nightlife is a hit with young and old.
2. Enjoy a mouth-watering feast at Tiago’s
Tiago’s is all about healthy, affordable, and delicious Take-Away. They have delicious options for the whole family as well as vegetarian-friendly meals. Tiago’s is a must-try for anyone visiting the South Coast – one bite and you are sure to be hooked!
3. Burn some rubber at Kart Freaks
Kart Freaks is so much more than just a Go-Kart venue. At Kart Freaks, you can have your car washed while you run around playing paintball or race around the Go-Kart track. If Go-Karting isn’t for you, then give their Quadbikes a go on the ATV track.
1. Scoff down some waffles at The Waffle House
The Waffle House is a historical South Coast landmark on the banks of the Ramsgate Lagoon and within walking distance from the popular Ramsgate Beach. The Waffle House can get very busy in peak season so be sure to go early!
2. See beautiful butterflies at Butterfly Valley
Butterfly Valley specialises in breEding South African butterflies and invites the public to witness the entire life-cycle of these beautiful creatures.
3. Say your name in the Resonant Circle
Did you know that if you stand in the centre of the compass, face towards the South West and say your name out loud, it will echo all around you? The Resonant Circle can be found between The Waffle House and the Ramsgate Beach.
4. Pack a picnic and visit Bellevue Park
This natural heritage site has been rehabilitated and encourages environmental education. Bellevue Park is an Eco-play Park, as well as a Botanical Garden. Pack a picnic basket and spend the day relaxing on the grassy lawns surrounded by more than 200 species of indigenous trees and gorgeous wildlife.
1. So much to do at Mac Banana
The Mac Bananas Estate is an all-in-one experience for the whole family. The Banana Café has been made popular by the sweet and savoury pancakes on offer. From Segway Tours to Paintball and a Rope Adventure Park, there is something to keep everyone entertained.
2. Travel back in time with Pistols Saloon and Wild West Museum
The Wild West Museum is filled with cowboy memorabilia and is open to the public to view. Pistols Saloon is filled with character and will make you feel as though you are in an old western movie. This is not your typical pub.
3. Browse goods at The Outlook Trading Post
Formally known as The Barn Owl, this popular “trading post” sells handmade crafts, a wide selection of fresh, farm produce including: bananas, macadamia nuts, as well as other seasonal fruit. Homemade Jams and preserves are also available for purchase. Their farmhouse kitchen is a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing lunch before heading off on a banana farm tour.
4. Experience Croc hatching at Riverbend Crocodile Farm
The Riverbend Crocodile Farm is open daily for crocodile viewing, however, feedings only take place twice a week. Please keep in mind that the crocodiles are most active during feedings. In summer you will also be able to watch as baby crocodile’s hatch. Riverbend Crocodile Farm also offers a fully licensed café, art and wine gallery, as well as a small curio shop.
1. Sample the best coffee at Beaver Creek Coffee Estate
If you consider yourself a coffee lover, then you have to visit Beaver Creek Coffee Estate during your next South Coast vacation. Embark on a Crop to Cup Coffee Tour and Tasting to learn all about what goes into making that cup of coffee that you drink every day; from growing and harvesting to roasting and brewing, you will learn about the processes involved in making coffee. After the tour, enjoy a bottomless coffee tasting of their locally grown coffee as well as their signature blends and single-origin coffees.
2. Go biking at Clearwater Trails
Clearwater trails provide cyclists, hikers and walkers with amazing trails with breath-taking views, so bring your own bicycle or hire one (and gear) from the Clearwater team. Trails range from beginner to intermediate with natural stone markers painted white with blue or green arrows to guide riders, walkers and runners in the right direction. The routes make their way through macadamia orchards and banana plantations with small forested areas, open grasslands, dams and stream crossings along the way.
3. Marvel in the strange sight that is the Red Desert
Reputed to be the smallest desert in the world – the Red Desert is located just outside of Port Edward and stretches barely 200 meters across. The Red Desert is a strange sight to behold as it is surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation.
4. Shop handmade at Emithini Artwear & Décor
Do you enjoy bright colours and gorgeous patterns? Then you will love Emithini Artwear & Décor. Their psychedelic artwear and décor is all handmade and reminiscent of the ’60s. So pop on over and browse their incredible wares and their incredibly unique location.
5. Enjoy the water at The Old Pont Holiday and Water Sport Resort
Spend a day in the great outdoors at The Old Pont Holiday and Water Sports Resort. You can expect an entrance fee for each adult and child upon arrival. Visitors are encouraged to bring their kayaks, jet skis, boats and any other water sports paraphernalia.
6. Splash around at Wild Waves Water Park
Wild Waves Water Park forms part of the Wild Coast Sun Casino and offers an assortment of rides that will entertain both young and old. The Kidz Zone is perfect for smaller children with its shallow water and tailored activities. Adults and school-going children will enjoy all of the other activities in the water park.
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