Eastern Cape DestinationsNoordhoek, Port Elizabeth
The Port Elizabeth coastline is a treasure trove of nooks and crannies, hidden stretches known only to locals and adventurous explorers. Noordhoek is situated along Marine Drive, just past the ever-popular Pine Lodge, and en-route to Schoenmakerskop.
Noordhoek is well-known amongst fishermen, who can launch their boats directly from its shores. The warm Indian Ocean waters are teeming with marine life, including some very exciting fish species. Styles of fishing on the Noordhoek coast may vary from rock fishing to surf fishing and even deep-sea fishing. Commonly found fish include musselcracker, elf, hottentot, bronze bream, leervis, and kob. There are also mussels and crayfish here (licenses required).
The shipwrecks along the coast make for fascinating exploring. Snorkellers and SCUBA divers are able to spend hours examining these wrecks, which are now inhabited by fish and crustaceans.
This is a famous perlemoen spot. While the poaching of perlemoen is not legal in South Africa, it is important to recognise the little gems in which these endangered animals can be found so that they can be protected.
Dolphins frequently pass Noordhoek, delighting onlookers with their playful antics as they cut through the water, leaping out from time to time. Between July and December, visitors should also look out for whales, as they frequent this region as part of their annual migration. The most commonly seen species are the humpback and southern right whales. Naturally curious animals, the whales often breach (leap out from the water), spyhop (peek out of the water) and lobtail (splash their tails on the water’s surface).
The waters are a little rougher than those of Port Elizabeth’s popular swimming beaches, but are still very popular amongst water sports enthusiasts. These ones are frequently seen kayaking, surfing, wind surfing and paddle skiing in Noordhoek’s waters. SCUBA divers are invited to explore the magnificent Scotsman’s Reef, which is 21 metres deep and home to a huge variety of species, including gorgeous corals.
There are a number of great pubs and restaurants nearby. These include The Island, which continues to be a vibrant hotspot for those wanting tasty food, ice-cold beers and stunning views. Other local attractions include SAMREC (a penguin rehabilitation centre), Schoenmakerskop, and Cape Recife Nature Reserve.