Western Cape Tourist AttractionsHermanus New Harbour
Where? New Harbour, Hermanus, Cape Overberg, Western Cape
Hermanus New Harbour lies west of town, alongside the township Zwelihle and close to the western end of Westcliff Road.
The well-known Old Harbour, by comparison, lies close to Gearing's Point - the town's main promenade, now strewn with outdoor art pieces that range from the bold to the unusual, and with ample railing room to scour the bay for whales.
It is unusual to find two harbours in such a small town. In this case, the Old Harbour is an historical site with a museum dedicated to its upkeep and publicity.
The New Harbour, by comparison, is a 'small fishing harbour', even if it does become inundated during the whale season when boat-based whale charter companies run from the quayside.
Huge boards advertising boat-based whale charters dominate the landscape before the descent to the quayside, where there is parking and a couple of restaurants - Harbour Rock, perched up above the quayside with enviable views across to Hermanus, and The Whale Shack - literally a blue wooden shack that not only sells bags of fish 'n chips but also boldly advertises the time of the next whale trip.
The New Harbour has been here since the late 1920s, when the Old Harbour no longer supported the high number of fishing boats.
The succession of the Great Depression and a world war meant that though the harbour's southern breakwater was finished, the second, to the east, was never built - not an ideal situation, and one that has resulted in more than one wreck, and drownings, in the harbour's vicinity.
We recommend: if you are in Hermanus during the Whale Festival (September) leave your car just above the New Harbour, at the start of the Cliff Path, and walk the path into Hermanus, returning after lunch (3 km either way).
Take a right off the R43 in the direction of Zwelihle (there are road signs indicating Zwelihle) into Hermanus' light industry area) down Swartdam Road. Continue until you see a left turn to the harbour, down Stil Street. The end of Stil Street is a parking area for the Cliff path, and the New Harbour is right off Stil Street. Or get there from Marine Drive in Hermanus.