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Interesting things to do | Shipwrecks and Youngberries

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Find your way onto the N2 (as described in our first post in the series: Interesting things to do | Wine Country), once again heading east towards Caledon, Swellendam, George.


Enjoy the drive, as you have to travel about 100 km along this road, passing Caledon (we highly recommend stopping at Dassiesfontein to take a look around the farm shop and perhaps to grab yourself a breakfast) and Riviersonderend to Swellendam.

Once in Swellendam you may want to pop into the Drostdy museum to take a look at some of the old and historic buildings. This area is the biggest producer of youngberries in the world, and one of the local farms brews a delicious youngberry liqueur. Try it for yourself!


A few kilometres beyond Swellendam is the Bontebok National Park. At this point, you may of course return home along the same route as you came. But there are two interesting alternatives.


One is to travel to Barrydale and back, along the beautiful Tradouw pass. It’s about 45 km each way, and there are some very pleasant places along the pass to stop and have a picnic. Barrydale itself is small, but with a few interesting tourist type shops.


The other alternative is to return via Bredasdorp. To do this, you will need to get back onto the N2, and return the way you came - that is travelling west, towards Cape Town.


About 13km from Swellendam there is a turn to the left to Bredasdorp, Agulhas and Arniston. 60 km along this road is Bredasdorp. We suggest a visit the shipwreck museum here, it is full of interesting bits of history.


From Bredasdorp, there are three alternatives.


You can go to Agulhas - the most southern point of Africa. This is about 30km each way.


Another interesting option is the trip to Arniston - also known as Waenhuiskrans. This is about 25 km each way. The village there is charming, with a good swimming beach and a hotel where you can grab some lunch. Pay a visit to the fishermen’s village, where local fishermen still live in quaint and ancient cottages. Even the newer cottages look quaint and ancient!


The name Arniston comes from a ship that was wrecked here - you would have learned all about that if you visited the Shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp. The older name Waenhuiskrans means “wagon garage cliff”, and derives from a huge cave close to the village. This is worth a visit, but you must enquire locally about conditions (you can’t see it if the tide is too high), and how to find it. You can walk right past the entrance without seeing it if you don’t know your way around.


Back to Bredasdorp, and from there start along the road on which you arrived. Shortly there is a turning to the right which takes you back to Swellendam. Don’t take this road, but continue on the R316 to Napier and Caledon. About 32 km from Napier there is a turn off to Stanford and Hermanus. It might look like a short cut, but it is in fact 30 km longer than our recommended route.


Carry straight on to Caledon - about 75 km from Napier. At Caledon there is another apparent short cut direct to Hermanus. But it’s 8km longer, and much of it is on a dirt road. Rather find your way back to the N2 and turn towards Cape Town, then return home the same way you came.






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