Commissioned in 1902 and switched on in 1904, the lighthouse was constructed under the direction of HC Cooper and is named after the HMS Hermes, a ship that undertook national surveys of the Pondoland coastal waters.
Costing little more that £6,191 to construct, the lighthouse tower is unusual in that it is an octagonal stone construction – with the granite used coming in from nearby quarries. This eight sided tower is only 13 metres tall, topped with a white lantern gallery that has a focal plane of 55 m and a 5,000 candle power beam, which can be seen as far as 20 km out to sea.
Still manned by a lighthouse keeper, the Cape Hermes Lighthouse flashes once every three seconds, warning ships of the hazardous Eastern Cape coastline. With panoramic views of the ocean, river mouth, and lush cliff faces, this is definitely a sight worth the walk.