Boat Based Whale Watching Cruises
Experience the unforgettable interaction with the giants of the southern seas as never before!!!
Great White Shark Viewing and Cage Diving Trips
Surface viewing of the Great White Sharks is spectacular and is closely observed from right next to the boat. Cage diving with the sharks is a thrilling experience for those who need the adrenalin rush.
Ski-boat fishing, crayfishing and sightseeing cruises
View thousands of Cape fur seals, seal pups, penguins, cormorants and possibly sharks, whales or dolphins.
Perlemoen (abalone) and crayfish (rock lobster) abound in the waters off the Walker Bay coastline, but make sure you are in possession of a permit and observe the regulations before removing any of these marine delicacies.
Local sports shops supply a useful measuring ring that can be used for perlemoen, crayfish, alikreukel (giant periwinkle) and white mussels.
The more adventurous can explore several wrecks along the coast.
Various reefs may be explored by scuba divers from the New Harbour, where a diving school offers training, charters and equipment for hire. Many of the reefs richest in marine life are only accessible by boat.
Reef depths vary from 9m to 40m. Diving areas such as those at the Old Harbour, Boiling Pot, Rietfontein, Table Top, New Harbour and Schulphoek, are accessible to all levels of divers.
Shore entries are possible at several points including Rietfontein and Harderbaai, but the most convenient is at the Old Harbour, part of the marine reserve. Be on the lookout for seals, which enjoy accompanying divers here. The wall varies in depth from 8m to 16m. The sand slopes downwards from 16m, where many gorgonian corals and gorgonshead starfishes can be seen.
Boiling Pot forms part of the marine reserve, and should be dived on a calm day from a boat. The reef varies from 8m to 23m. Abundant fish and algae are to be seen, and in the shallows a tremendous number of sea urchins. Beware of unretrieved fishing lines drifting around the reef.
Areas like Hakskeen and Table Top vary in depth from 6m to 40m. These are towering pinnacles and walls full of creatures to be admired. Table Top is regarded as one of the top 15 dive sites in southern Africa. Divers are advised to leave snagged crayfish nets well alone, as these encourage growth of marine life by forming little 'ecosystems' around them. Schulphoek. From 12m to 30m. Undersea 'canyons' full of coral and other sea creatures make this a spectacular dive. Divers should take constant note of their depth as this can change very quickly. All dives in the Hermanus area should be done using a torch. Thermoclines are plentiful in summer, so be aware and prepared. Marker buoys are a must, especially in the crayfish season, when boat traffic is exceptionally severe.
Outstanding trail, picnic & beach rides.
The cool sea breezes off Walker Bay and ideal soil in the Hemel en Aarde Valley combine to produce some of the top wines in the country.The cellars are all open for tastings and sales and make for an ideal afternoon or morning's excursion.
Visit the movies
Upmarket movie theatre. Marine drive.
Visit an art gallery
The rustic tranquillity of Onrus has attracted many creative people ranging from writers to poets and artists. A small artists' and writers' colony developed which included people such as Uys Krige, Gregoire Boonzaaier, Jan Rabie, Marjorie Wallace, Jack Cope, Cecil Higgs, Elsa Joubert, Simon Rappoport, Klaas Steytier, Koos Human etc.
Today a thriving cultural community exists. Works by many local artists, including Audrey Fourie, Hennie Niemann Snr and Neville Hickman among others, are on display in various galleries in and around Hermanus.
Several teachers offer pupils classes in as many dance disciplines as possible, from ballet to contemporary/modern and funk.
The amphitheatre at Fernkloof is ideal for a summer evening open-air concert.
Lemm's Corner Craft Market offers a wide variety of handmade goods, and browsing in the warm sunshine among the colourful stalls is relaxing and fun.
Hiking in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve
Fernkloof Nature Reserve forms the splendid mountainous backdrop to Hermanus, stretching from the Hemel-en-Aarde valley in the east to Maanskynbaai in the west. The coastal/ mountain fynbos vegetation found within the reserve deserves high conservation status as it is extremely rich in species.
The nature reserve is criss-crossed by a network of nearly 60 km of well maintained hiking trails. These provide the opportunity for people of all fitness levels to go out and enjoy some fresh air and exercise.
A display of some of the flowers that can be found in the veld is permanently maintained at the Fernkloof Visitors' Centre. All the above trails start from the visitors' centre, where there is ample safe parking.
Visit the Beaches
Soak up the sun or go for a long stroll on one of many beaches. Hermanus has kilometres of beach and sheltered coves, so however busy the summer seoson is, there is always a secluded cove or stretch of beach where visitors can escape the crowds.
Bird watchers can revel in the numerous species to be found in the mountains and in and around the wetlands. Favourite spots include the Klein River lagoon where a small hide provides an ideal viewpoint from which to observe the many water birds and summer migrants that flock to this lagoon. It is located at the mouth of the Vogelgat River. There is a bird sanctuary on the eastern end of the Bot River Lagoon at Meerensee. A great number of waterfowl and flocks of flamingos can be seen on the lagoons.
Fishermans Village Photo Cottage
A little stone building on the Market Square above the Old Harbour. It houses a fascinating photographic exhibition depicting the history of the village. Originally a Sunday school situated near the Dutch Reformed Church, this building is inherently interesting in that it was carefully and systematically dismantled, stone by numbered stone, from where it originally stood and then re-erected on Market Square, Hermanus.
Old Harbour Museum
Old fishing boats - These remnants of the early history of Hermanus, lying idle on the shore down at the harbour, are being carefully restored. They are the original boats used by loca fishermen between 1855 and 1961.
The small museum - Contains several exhibitions depicting the history of fishing and whaling in the area and sections of a whale skeleton. There are also a series of marine tanks in which the sea creatures of our area are kept for study. Talks on the intertidal zone are held daily on request and provide a fascinating new insight into the life that abounds along our shoreline.
Mon - Sat.: 9:00am - 1:00pm & 2:00pm - 5:00pm
The Hermanus Yacht Club on the Kleinriver lagoon is superbly situated and has an enthusiastic membership taking part in fun or competition sailing almost every weekend. Several major competitions are held every year.
At Fisheraven the Lake Marina Yacht Club provides all facilities for watersport enthusiasts.
The interesting variety of shops in Hermanus makes shopping a delightful experience. Fascinating little shops are tucked away in unexpected places, within walking distance of one another.
A wide spectrum of sport facilities are available in Hermanus. A world class golf course at the foot of the mountains offers excellent golfing and with the bowling club, tennis and squash clubs, welcomes visitors to use their facilities. There are also clubs for rugby, cricket and hockey enthusiasts.
The sea, lagoon and prevailing winds encourage an exhilarating array of watersports such as sailing, surfing, board-sailing, canoeing and powerboating. A fully equipped gym, walking, cycling and running clubs and various exercise classes are on offer for those who want to stay trim and fit. Hawston is home to an olympic sized swimming pool.
Seafood is a speciality at most Hermanus restaurants but there is a wide variety of taste sensations to be enjoyed in anything from a cosy coffee shop to an elegant restaurant. There are several late night venues for music and rendezvous.
Day trips from Hermanus
Hermanus is a good base from which to explore the Overberg and Western Cape.
Walk up Hoy's Koppie
Named after Sir William Hoy, now part of Fernkloof Nature Reserve, this hill is in the middle of the village and a well-made path and steps afford easy access to the top where Sir William Hoy and his wife are buried. Splendid views of the village spread out below make visiting definitely worthwhile.
Drive up Rotary Way
Scenic drive with panoramic views across Hermanus & Walker Bay.
Paragliding from the mountain
Paragliding is excellent off the top of the mountains on Rotary Way.
Watching fishing trawlers unloading their catches can be a fascinating experience. The well-stocked fish shop has a variety of fish and life crayfish, oysters and mussels.
Painted by artists from many different angles, the Old Harbour was and remains the focal point of village life. The clifftop entrance to the harbour allows visitors a panoramic view of the entire Walker Bay, while the whales breach or laze in the seas below.