Garden Route Tourist AttractionsBartolomeu Dias Museum Complex
The Western Cape coastline is full of history and wonderful tales of exploration and discovery. Mossel Bay is situated along the Garden Route and has grown from a small harbour town halfway between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town into a bustling tourist destination known for its water sports, fantastic views and laid-back vibe.
The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex is dedicated to celebrating the rich history of this region, and the contributions that it has made to the culture of modern Mossel Bay. It was originally established in the 1960ís, but was officially opened under its current name in 1989. The Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex is named after the Portuguese explorer that discovered the area in 1488.
This complex is home to:
The Post Office Tree
Dating back some 500 years, this is considered to be the oldest post office in South Africa, as it was where the first written letter was left (likely in a shoe), warning whoever read it of the troublesome conditions in Calcutta.
The Maritime Museum
Home to many delights, not least of all the Dias Caravel; a life-size replica of one of the caravels used by the Portuguese explorers of old.
The Shell Museum and Aquarium
Here, shells and marine animals from all over the world are exhibited for young and old to enjoy.
The Ethno-Botanical Garden
Showcasing the plants used by the indigenous folk and the settlers for food, shelter and medicine over the generations. There is also a Braille garden for the visually impaired.
The Malay Graves
Discovered in 1968, this site is situated nearby to the Post Office Tree.
The Bartolomeu Dias Museum complex is conveniently situated and easily accessible, with a host of restaurants, shops and other attractions and activities within close proximity. There are conference facilities for between 48 (seated) and 100 (cinema-style) people, and whales can sometimes be seen from the museum grounds between June and November.