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Fish Hoek is a waterside suburb overlooking the fabulous False Bay. The long expanse of beach is made all the more appealing with brightly-coloured change rooms, moderate waves for safe swimming and lifeguards on patrol. Add to that two restaurants on the beach and you have the perfect family seaside retreat.
The suburb is handily positioned for day drives to Cape Point or beyond, to the charming seaside villages of Misty Cliffs and Scarborough. Alternatively, day drives in the opposite direction takes in the entire scenic False Bay coast. Fish Hoek is a 40 minute drive from Cape Town.
Fish Hoek was once a whaling station, fortunately it’s now a safe haven for calving Southern Right Whale females.
Things to do
Jager’s Walk is a lovely, sedate walk along a concrete path bordering the sea shore with excellent viewpoints to watch whales and dolphins entering the bay or to explore the many rock pools. Occasionally a Great White shark is seen in these waters.
The waters are warm at Fish Hoek’s wide and flat beach, it’s the idyllic swimming spot. Junior lifeguard trainees called Nippers – aged between 8 and 14 – use Fish Hoek beach as their training ground.
The Southern Line Rail runs along the beach front and is probably the only train in the world that journeys so close to the sea. Buy a day pass to travel further south or take the train into Cape Town city.
No visit to this part of the world is complete without a trip to two of Cape Town’s iconic venues; the most south-westerly point of Africa, Cape Point and the African penguin breeding grounds at Boulders Beach.
Take a day trip on an old steam train to Spier Wine Farm in Stellenbosch. The trip is offered by Atlantic Rail and includes a wine tasting, 3-course meal and an opportunity to interact with the birds of prey at Bird Encounters.
They say drumming is a great stress reliever. Drumming SA holds Djembe Drum sessions on the last Friday of every month in Fish Hoek. Sessions involve interactive drumming for team building or drumming purely for entertainment on the Djembe ‘talking drum’.
Try a round of golf at the picturesque 18-hole Clovelly Country Club.
Topstones Factory in Simon’s Town is one of the world’s largest gemstone factories. Rummage through the scratch patch to purchase a wide variety of polished stones or browse through the exclusive jewellery on offer.
Hike up to Peer’s Cave where a 12000-year old skull, known as the Fish Hoek Man, was discovered in 1927. A few cave paintings are still faintly visible.
Speleology – or the sport of caving – is popular in this area, rich with caves formed by water, sand and wind. On Boyes Drive, start your quest to find Boomslang Cave via Echo Valley. Ensure that you have torches, extra batteries, wear old clothes and go in a group, never enter a cave alone.
The Cape Point Ostrich Farm gives you the opportunity to learn about the world’s largest bird and why they have a tendency to eat small stones. Find out the role of the male during the gestation period and why it’s best to avoid riding them! The farm has a restaurant on the premises and they sell quality ostrich leather products.
Where to Eat
The Galley and the Beachcomber Bistro are two of only a few restaurants situated directly on a beach. The Galley is a large restaurant venue specialising in seafood dishes, tour buses quickly fill up the place! The Beachcomber Bistro offers snack foods, pizzas and refreshing ice creams on a hot day.
The Imperial Garden has a vast array of Chinese dishes, popular with the locals.
Carl’s at the Clovelly Country Club is a bistro best known for their excellent breakfast menu. Snack foods are available throughout the day.
Visit the Casa Labia Cultural Centre in Muizenberg for a whimsical experience. This historic home was built by Count Natale Labia in 1929 and you can combine a meal at their upmarket café (offering commercial dishes with an Italian flair) and a viewing of art at the gallery.
The fresh sushi combos and flavourful Thai dishes make up for the plain décor and uninspiring views at Shin Thai Asian Kitchen.
Barracudas in Fish Hoek offers standard fare, try their goat’s cheese and beetroot salad for something unusual.
Favourably positioned at the old town pier and with views of the marina, Bertha’s in Simon’s Town is the ideal location for fresh seafood served with a glass of white wine.
One of SAs finest seafood restaurants, the Black Marlin has been operating here for close on half a century. A seafood platter served in the garden overlooking the sea is a favourite with tour groups.
The Clovelly Country Club recently introduced night golf. Ask your hosts to obtain details of the next event.
Cape to Cuba in nearby Kalk Bay is located alongside the train line in a wacky beach hut setting. The menu is Cuban accompanied by lively Latino music.
Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg has big windows overlooking the beach, a lounging area, an array of craft beers, grilled food, what more do you need? Open until the early hours.
Where to Stay
Fish Hoek is a desirable area for a stayover and there are several options available, from tastefully appointed guesthouses, villas and B & B venues to well-equipped self-contained apartments.
Air :The nearest airport is Cape Town International, 34km from Fish Hoek.
Trains :There are two train stations, in the centre of Fish Hoek and at Sunny Cove.
Car Rental :Fish Hoek has two car rental agencies; however, car rental bookings can be organised online.
Taxis ;A few metered taxi companies operate from bases nearby. If you have the Uber app, order a taxi via your mobile phone.
There are many transport companies in Fish Hoek that offer shuttle services between Cape Town and the airport.
Did you know?
Shark Spotters are present on Fish Hoek beach for your safety. These men and women have been trained to spot sharks and warn bathers timeously. The spotters use a system of flags to represent the threat of sharks and water visibility. Be informed: get to know the flags.
Baboon minders are a group of men employed to keep unruly baboon troops in check. Look out for them en route to Cape Point, seeing them is an indication of a troop nearby.
Fish Hoek was labelled, until recently, South Africa’s only ‘dry town’. This was due to a stipulation in the 1818 sale of the original farm that no public wine houses were to be erected. There are a few pubs nowadays, however, still no bottle store.
Another stipulation was that the right of fishing should be free and if you arrive on the beach early enough, you will see ‘trek’ fisherman returning with their fresh haul.