Things To Do
There are a variety of activities and things to do in and around Stilbaai and Jongensfontein – relaxing is, however, top priority! Here are some suggestions – places to visit; boat rides; cheese, wine and olive tastings; water sports including kite-surfing, kayaking and surfing; museums; deep-sea fishing; hiking; birding; sport etc.
Visit the Where To… (play the Lotto, buy electricity, cut keys, buy fishing licences etc)
- Stilbaai Tides – be updated about the tides, sunrise and sunset, the wind and waves etc.
- Stilbaai Sea Temperature – daily temperature of the sea at Stilbaai
A LITTLE HISTORY
- ANCIENT FISH TRAPS – Skulpiesbaai, a special ‘beach’
Visit the ancient fish traps at Skulpiesbaai. According to history, these traps have been built by the Khoisan people more than 3 000 years ago and are visible at low tide. The fish traps have National Monument status and are situated in the Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve.
- JONGENSFONTEIN MUSEUM (FONTEINHUISIE) – interesting museum! Visit the Fonteinhuisie, the museum at Jongensfontein, to experience the history of this small coastal town. Relax outside on the green lawn while kids play on the swings. The museum is not always open.
(Phone 083 733 7828 / 082 630 0230 / 083 208 8626 for information)
- MEMORIALS – a little history – Stop at the Anglo Boer War Memorial and the Ossewa Memorial next to the R305.
The Anglo Boer War Memorial was erected in 2001, exactly a century after the most southerly battle of the Anglo Boer War took place on 12 September 1901. The Ossewa Memorial has quite an interesting history. Stop to read it.
- MONUMENT IN THE SEA – the story about the monument in the sea
- PALINGGAT HOMESTEAD – tourism bureau, information centre and museum – The Palinggat homestead, also the ‘home’ of the Archaelogical Museum and the Stilbaai Tourism Bureau, was built in 1809 and was declared a national monument in 1985. Take a walk through the museum that includes the Blombos Museum of Archaeology, feed the eels and visit the shop filled with lots of local goods, crafts and gifts. Contact Stilbaai Tourism at Tel: (028) 754 2606
- SHELL MIDDENS – some history – The shell middens is the ‘rubbish dump’ of the Stone Age people and contain a variety of shells, bones of animals and fish which were eaten by the Later Stone Age people and tools made from stones and bone! The shell midden above the Stilbaai harbor is part of the cultural heritage and may not be disturbed. According to www.hesva.org.za, there are many shell middens to be found along the coast between the Gourits River mouth and the Breede River mouth. Follow the foot path from the back to get to the middens.
AT THE BEACH / RIVER
- DEEP SEA FISHING – experience an adventure!
– Boat Tsitsikama & Gremlin for a deep-sea fishing experience. Obtain a fishing license from the Post Office. (Contact Andries 082 787 9418 for bookings)
- – Stilbaai Charters – for groups up to 10 people. Contact André at 084 360 4333 to arrange
- FISHING – fishing / angling – Obtain your permit from the Post Office and go fishing! Visit the fishing shops for more information and assistance as well as equipment to angle in Stilbaai / Jongensfontein.
- GALJOEN DERBY – enter early! – The annual Galjoen Derby is being hosted by the Stilbaai Rots en Strand Kushengelklub and takes place in August. For information, visit www.stilbaaigaljoenderby.co.za
- GOUKOU RIVER – enjoy your activities on the river – The Goukou River can be navigated for 15km inland. Fishing is allowed (fish within the demarcated areas) as well as canoeing; swimming and skiing. Launch boats from the jetty. No jet-ski’s.
- KAYAK RENTALS – go kayaking on the river or sea
– Rent a kayak from Stilbaai Adventures to use on the river. Contact them on 072 994 2585.
– Rent kayaks, sailing boats, rubber ducks, bicycles from Stilbaai Adventure Hire. Contact Sarette on 083 226 6882 or Andrew on 082 377 0244 (in season only)
- SURF, SWIM, TAN, WATER SPORTS – and lots more! Swim within the demarcated areas on the main beach (Lappiesbaai) and the other beaches where swimming is allowed. All water sports are allowed except jet-skiing. Make sure you know the rules and play safe. Read about the surf spots HERE
- Learn how to surf!
- – Garage Surf Shop & Surf School (Hanco Birmingham Tel: 072 244 2165)
- – East Side Surf School (Neil Marwick Tel: 083 310 1430)
- VINTNER’S SURF CLASSIC – happening every August! Do not to miss the annual Vintner’s Surf Classic in Stilbaai or Jongensfontein when the winemakers tackle the surf for a good cause. www.vintners.co.za for the date and more information.
- WHALE WATCHING – be patient, they’re there! – The Southern Right wales return to the southern Cape coast between July and November each year to mate and calf. The wales can be seen from the beaches – or go to the Whale Lookout (S34° 23’ 10.72” E21° 25’ 20.96”) close to the harbour.
- BIRDING – bird watchers’ paradise! Apparently 200 bird species have already been recorded here and the estuary of the Goukou River and the bird hide at Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve offer bird watchers a perfect environment to enjoy bird watching.
- EELS – feed fresh-water eels daily at 11:00 – The eels at the Stilbaai Information Bureau are the only tame eels in the country and have been living there for the past 125 years! Visitors can feed these freshwater eels daily (Monday to Saturday at 11:00) Contact Stilbaai Tourism for information – Tel: (028) 754 2602
- HIKING TRAILS – explore nature on these safe trails! There are various scenic and safe hiking trails in and around Stilbaai.
- MILKWOOD TREE – the biggest in SA! Visit South Africa’s biggest milkwood tree in the Langbos Woods. Its trunk diameter is 10,45m; it is 14m high and the tree-top spans 475m². For more information and visiting arrangements, phone 072 798 3234
- NATURE RESERVES – explore nature! Stilbaai has three Nature Reserves: the Pauline Bohnen Nature Reserve; the Geelkrans Nature Reserve (S34° 21’ 54.93” E21° 27’ 17.26”) and the Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve as well as a few private reserves (like Jongensgat Nature Reserve and Blomboschfontein).Visit the hiking trails and enjoy the scenic nature.
- TUIN-OP-DIE-BRAK – THE garden to visit! Tuin-Op-Die-Brak is situated just off Main Road East (Stilbaai East) and is a fynbos park filled with plants unique from the Hessequa region. There are more than 240 species of fynbos that include endangered species. Informative sign boards; a sundial; labyrinth; a braille ‘touch and smell’ route and many more. Entrance is free.
- CYCLING – explore with your bicycle – If you like to cycle to explore the area and/or to get or stay fit, you have various routes to do so. Mountain bikers and road cyclists, fit or not so fit, cycle where the road takes you! Participate in the annual Windpomp Sjerrie MTB Challenge on 2 Jan. 2021.
- GOLF – 9 holes with a sea view! Play a round of golf at the Stilbaai golf course, a 72 par / 9 hole course with bent greens. The course rating for men is 70 (5789m) and 71 (5111m) for the ladies. Bookings are essential for Wednesday and Saturdays and daily visitors are welcome. For information and bookings, phone the club at (028) 754 2625
- NSRI 10KM – annual run on 31 Dec! End the year on a jog and participate in the annual NSRI 10km on beautiful scenic routes on 31 Dec. Run (or walk) for a finisher’s medal (no race in 2020 due to COVID-19)
- TRAIL RUNNING – run the scenic routes
- – Participate in the annual Hessequa Heritage Festival‘s Trail Run (16km and 5km) on Heritage Weekend in September and run between Jongensfontein and Stilbaai along the scenic coastline. Enjoy the ‘Brood- en Beskuifees’ at the finish at Stilbaai Tourism. (Information)
- – Do the monthly Kasselshoop Farm Run / Walk on the last Saturday of each month at Kasselshoop Cheese. (Info here)
- OUTDOOR GYM – gym with a sea view! Why not get your daily exercise at Stilbaai’s Outdoor Gym (‘trim park’) with a view over the river mouth. Situated in Stilbaai West just off Waterkant Street next to the beach, this park is ideally situated for those who enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of nature while exercising. Boards at each obstacle explains exactly how to use the apparatus.
- PUTT-PUTT – play putt-putt golf! (When open) Fun for the whole family at the putt-putt course, 10 Osler Street, Stilbaai East (next to the Bellevue Hotel).
- SKATEBOARD PARK – have some fun! Take your skateboard or BMX bicycle or roller blades and have fun at the skateboard park at the rugby fields just off Main Road West.
- STILBAAI ADVENTURES – guided sea-kayak trips, kayak rentals, team-building and more. Tel: 072 994 2585
- TOUCHIES! – annual touch rugby on 26 Dec – Stilbaai is known for the ‘biggest and best’ on the annual Touch Rugby Tournament and takes place on 26 December every year next to the Goukou River. Be there! (No event in 2020 due to COVID-19)
- ART – visit the artists! Visit the various artists and galleries in Stilbaai, Jongensfontein and Melkhoutfontein and view their paintings, ceramic work and pottery, glass fusion work, leather products, mosaic and more. Contact information HERE. See Art Route under ROUTES.
- ROUTES (Art, Gourmet and Culture Routes) – Follow the route! Visit the Stilbaai Information Centre to get a map and information about the Art, Gourmet and Culture Routes in Stilbaai and Jongensfontein. The Art Route include leather work, upcycle and living art, ceramic and pottery and wood furniture. Tel: (028) 754 2544 for information.
TO DO, TO VISIT
- BRAAI – next to the sea – Make use of the braai areas at Morris Point (to the right of the harbor) to braai next to the sea or next to the river at Lapskuit Restaurant. Please do not vandalise the braais and keep the braai areas clean.
- CHEESE TASTING – at Kasselshoop Cheese – Experience a unique cheese and wine / or tea / or craft beer / gin / chocolate tastings at Kasselshoop Cheese on their farm 17km from Stilbaai. Booking is essential. Kasselshoop’s traditional hand-crafted cheese (white and yellow cheddar, gouda and various flavoured cheeses) is being produced, packaged and distributed country wide while you can also purchase it locally. Information and bookings: Tel: 074 819 4659 / www.kasselshoop.co.za
- DINING – breakfast, lunch, dinner, take-away! Visit RESTAURANTS for a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, take-aways and other eateries in Stilbaai and Jongensfontein.
- FARM STALLS – on the road to Stilbaai – Visit the farm stalls, Droëvlakte and Putstop (kiosk, petrol and diesel open 24 hours) on the R305 between the N2 and Stilbaai for a variety of interesting things including home-made items, tasty treats and all sorts of goodies.
- HARBOUR & WAFRA – a must visit! Visit the harbour; watch the fishing boats arrive with their daily catch or spend time watching the activities. Walk to the back of the NSRI Building to visit the Wafra, the fishing boat that sunk on 25 April 2002.
- INVERROCHE DISTILLERY – taste our local fynbos gin – Visit the Inverroche Distillery, a progressive craft distillery creating uniquely South African spirits using rare hand-harvested wild African Fynbos botanicals. Distill your own gin at their Gin School. The distillery is a few kilometres outside town just off the R305. Contact them on Tel: (028) 754 2442 to book tastings or tours Monday to Saturday, 10:00 – 16:00
- PREEKSTOEL – rock formation and beautiful beach! Preekstoel (a ‘Preaching Pulpit’ in English) is a rock formation on the beach section now known as Preekstoel Beach on the far eastern side of Stilbaai. There is a small parking area close to the beach or walk from Lappiesbaai beach.
- 4X4-DRIVING – a sandy route – Try the 4×4 sand route just outside Jongensfontein at Eden Park. R150 per vehicle for a permit. Contact André at 072 155 4257.
MARKETS, FESTIVALS AND EXPO’S
- ARTS AND CRAFTS MARKET – a 3-day market on 16, 17, 18 Dec. 2020 in the Stilbaai Community Hall (Tel: 082 458 8517)
- CHRISTMAS IN JULY – Festivities in Stilbaai in winter including the Street Night Market in Voortrekker Street! Christmas lights, snow and fun in Stilbaai during the July school holiday. (Tel: 083 333 1810)
- CRAFT BEER, GIN AND WINE EXPO – the annual 2-days tasting experience not to miss hosted during the March / April school holiday in the Stilbaai Community Hall. (Tel: 082 337 6286)
- HESSEQUA HERITAGE FESTIVAL – during Heritage Weekend in September (26 Sept. 2020) (Tel: 082 458 8517)
- DIE BRUG MARK – every Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00 at the stalls in Stilbaai East (Feb. to Nov.)
- JAGERSBOSCH BUITEKOMBUIS – hosted at Die Waenhuis (Jagersbosch) every first Saturday of the month (Tel: 028 754 1934)
- JONGENSFONTEIN MARKET – hosted on the Saturday morning before Christmas (Tel: 083 388 0337)
- STILBAAI KERSMARK – a Christmas market during the December holiday (Tel: 079 128 1893)
- VOEDSEL- EN WYNFEES – hosted by the Lions Club on 19 and 20 Dec. 2019 in the Stilbaai Community Hall.
WHERE TO – buy electricity, cut keys, buy fishing licences, play the lotto etc.