Things To Do in HermanusHermanus Cliff Path
Where? Stil Street, Hermanus, Cape Whale Coast
When? Always open, best during 'Whale Season'.
How much? Free
The cliff path at Hermanus is one of the town's most beautiful features. It meanders for 11 km along the rugged coastline, between the New Harbour to the west, and Piet-se-Bos, just beyond Grotto Beach, to the east.
The entire strip of coast is protected within the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, proclaimed in 2000, in a bid to protect the fragile ecosystem alongside Walker Bay.
It is on the Hermanus cliff path that some of the world's best land-based whale watching occurs (August/September). Set at regular intervals on rocks and cliffs that overlook the sea are a series of wooden benches for that very purpose.
Originally built by the Hermanus Botanical Society, today the cliff path is looked after by a voluntary group of local residents, known as the CPMG (Cliff Path Management Group), who recently oversaw a complete resurface of the path through private donations, and money from the Overstrand Municipality.
There are many ways to enjoy the cliff path, but probably one of the best is to leave your car at the New Harbour and to walk the three odd kilometres parallel with Westcliff Road, past Tamatiebank and Fick's Pool to Gearing's Point and the Old Harbour - the centre of the village of Hermanus.
After lunch, and a good wander around Hermanus, you can either continue along the cliff path to spot whales from Kraal Rock or Siever's Punt, in which case your walk is longer,or simply walk back again.
Fick's pool, where you may also spot the dassies, the Old Harbour, public art at Gearing's Point, and Grotto Beach.
Best places to spot whales:
Between Gearings Point and Roman Rock; Mickey to Kraal Rock; Sievers Punt and Kwaaiwater.
Pick up a map:
At the Info & Booking office in Hermanus.
To get to the New Harbour:
Take a right to Zwelihle on Swartdam Road and at the bottom a left into Stil Street, or head there along Marine Drive.