Tag Archives: mossel bay

Mini Golf at FantaSea at the Point in Mossel Bay (2017-12-29) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 17 APR 2018

Now that she is more or less old enough to play, I suspect that this might now become a thing whenever I find myself down in Mossel Bay with the eldest munchkin in tow – putt putt at Fanta Sea at The Point.

This particular round of mini golf happened as part of our lovely December holiday getaway, though funnily enough, Jessica and I had actually already played at Fanta Sea back in March. Thing is – all of a sudden the joint was sporting a burst of color and a whole lot of upgrades since we last were there, plus this time around we had both Chantelle and Emily to watch us in action!

(Also, it was believe it or not, quieter than what it had been in March – that Buffalo Biker Rally of the Nomads Motorcycle Club sure knows how to pile the people in here at Mossel Bay! I suspect though that we were somewhat lucky, perhaps most of the Christmas holiday crowd had already packed up and headed off before we finally made the time to come down for a game.)

Anyway, as I mentioned last time, the downside to playing at Fanta Sea with smaller kids is that they only have the adult length putters available, making it pretty difficult for Jessica to play 100% properly – and near impossible for Emily who is still way too small. (Not that that stopped her grabbing a putter and trying of course!)

The weather was good, the putt putt rather nice, and pretty much everyone put in one or two quite excellent shots. I can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure that my mom managed to sink the most hole-in-ones on the day.

I can’t remember having a particularly good day at the office…

Fanta Sea at The Point is actually a great spot for families with young kids. Putt Putt, skateboarding, a jungle gym play area, light meals, splash pool, car rides, ice cream – there is more than enough here to keep the young ones happy for a fair bit!

Related Link: Fanta Sea @ The Point | Mossel Bay

A Golf Cart and the Houses of Pinnacle Point Estate in Mossel Bay (2017-03-20) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 FEB 2018

Thanks to dad’s amazing fractional ownership of a luxury house in Pinnacle Point Estate (out in Mossel Bay), we end up visiting that area quite a lot – which isn’t a bad thing given that it is of course the start of the famous Garden Route of South Africa!

Last year March saw Jessica and I take a drive up for some alone time with Granny and Grandpa, and while we did jam our long weekend full of outings and activities, we also spent an inordinate amount of time zipping about the estate in the golf cart and taking photos – with Jess adamant on spending time either behind the wheel or behind the camera!

Of course, the thing about Pinnacle Point Estate is that there isn’t exactly a lack of photo worthy subjects.

With so many beautifully designed (if monochromatic) luxury houses dotted along the estate, and given our lack of actual camera equipment (i.e. no zoom), a lot of Jessica and my drives were simply dedicated to pretty house hunting, the result being a lot of neat photos grabbed from the process.

Apart from all the pretty home, there is of course then the photogenic natural aspect of the place, the birdlife, the landscape, the seascape, the caves, the fynbos, the Oyster Bay beach, and the cliffs – not to mention the other man made additions such as the photogenic clubhouse and its restaurant and newly-completed spa, the cliffside boardwalk, the magnificent golf course, the resort’s circular pool, etc.

So basically a never ending stream of pretty things to grab a photo or two of then.

Bonus: The guys over at Pinnacle Point Estate commissioned a promotional video to be made, the end result giving you a rather good idea of what the place looks like (not to mention offers):

Pinnacle Point Estate is pretty easy to find actually – just head straight towards Tsogo Sun’s Garden Route Casino and you’ll stumble right through their front door (or better put, entrance booms)!

Related Link: Pinnacle Point Estate | Mossel Bay

Fish and Chips from the Sea Gypsy Cafe in Mossel Bay Harbour (2018-01-11) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 25 JAN 2018

I think that it was my folks who originally introduced us to the Sea Gypsy Cafe, one of their favourite spots to tuck into some fish and chips whenever they are down in Mossel Bay (which, given their Pinnacle Point holiday home, is relatively often).

For some or other unknown reason it has now managed to also wiggle its way into being a bit of an institution for both Chantelle and myself, so much so that we now tend to pop in for a bite to eat almost each and every time that we too find ourselves in the general area!

So anyway, two weeks ago Chantelle and I left the kids behind with her folks in Bellville in order to spend the last bit of our holiday driving up to George, where we would then fork over R7,500 to collect our car that had been forced to stay behind for a week at the Kia/Hyundai Service Center for repairs. (More on that story later, I promise. In essence though, it revolves around old spark plugs and coils, just in case you were wondering.)

With the fixed Accent now back in our possession, Chantelle and I opted to not sleep over in George again, but rather drove our two cars down to Mossel Bay for a change of scenery. After spending a lazy day around the Diaz beach area, we did a bit of a ‘taking in the sights of Mossel Bay’ drive out and about, before heading down towards the harbour for a spot of supper – selecting the aforementioned Sea Gypsy as our restaurant of choice for the evening of course!

Situated on Quay 4 along the harbour wall, the bright blue Sea Gypsy and its gorgeous views of Mossel Bay’s beaches and surrounds is admittedly looking rather tattered these days. (Though to be honest it’s probably always been a little… weathered. It just seems to be getting more and more noticeably so with each and every subsequent visit!)

Anyway, looks/first impressions aside, we grabbed an outdoor seat next to the wall, ordered our food, watched some seagulls, engaged in small talk, witnessed a woman awkwardly trip over the foot of one of the benches, and then finally tucked into some pretty good hake and chips. (The calamari was okay at best).

Still, the views were pretty amazing.

(Also, being in the South Cape I very obviously had a Glenhoff Draught to accompany my meal, because as I’ve now very firmly established for myself, I REALLY do enjoy their brew.)

Seeing as sunset was now upon us, we hopped down the road to The Point, now thankfully devoid of most of the crazy holiday caravan crowd that descends upon Mossel Bay each and every December holiday season.

Thanks to the smokey haze stretched across the sky (from a massive fire in the Albertinia area), the sun looked particularly fiery as it worked its way ever lower, with me managing to capture this particularly cool photo featuring the iconic St. Blaize Lighthouse in the background:

I’m pretty chuffed with it actually.

As for the rest of the evening – we spent that wandering about Hartenbos while listening to a Native American busker doing his thing.

Related Link: Sea Gypsy Cafe

Springbok and a round of Golf at the Mossel Bay Golf Club (2017-03-19) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 14 NOV 2017

Back in March, Jessica and I spent a long weekend away with my folks up at Pinnacle Point Estate in Mossel Bay. Unbeknownst to me, my dad packed in my golf clubs (and by “my golf clubs” I mean a bag filled with clubs donated to me and periodically upgraded every time my brother or dad buys something new), with the intention of putting in a day of golf over the weekend.

Which is exactly what we then did.

The Mossel Bay Golf Club itself is over a hundred years old, having been first established back in 1905 when the course was still positioned at the old aerodrome. The current golf course location came about in 1924 (after the Mossel Bay Municipality made the land available to the club), with its current form the result of a big 1999/2000 re-development that pumped new life into the golf club through the establishment of the surrounding Mossel Bay Golf Estate.

The rebranding and new, modern club facilities worked, with the club now enjoying a very healthy membership and often cited as a major tourist attraction for the town.

Seeing as I only play a round of golf probably once or twice in a year, I was really appreciative of the fact that by some miracle the weather played its part, leaving us to enjoy a cloudless, and, more importantly, windless day, all of which combined rather nicely with the golf course’s already picturesque nature.

That said, I hadn’t even set foot on the course yet before an official pointed out that without a proper golf shirt I wouldn’t be allowed to play. Cue a hasty jog to the Pro Shop situated in the clubhouse, a quick discussion with the helpful store clerks, a rushed swipe of the credit card, and finally the emergence of myself wearing something that was very definitely NOT my usual black.

As with a lot of coastal golf courses, the Mossel Bay golf course is of course very pretty, but for me the icing on the cake was definitely the herd of springbok that happen to call the course home. These guys are obviously very used to all the golf carts and angry men brandishing metal/carbon clubs, because they just lazily move about the various fairways, chewing grass, going for a gallop, or just wistfully looking out towards the sea.

I didn’t get close enough to exactly touch one, but they were definitely close enough to admire!

As for the golf itself, it was as always a mixed day, with the number of okay shots equalling the number of bad shots, with just the occasional great shot thrown in to ensure that you don’t wrap your clubs around a tree or toss them over the next convenient cliff.

(I’m speaking for myself of course. Dad had a pretty decent round on the day).

Nevertheless, it was loads of fun. The customary lunch break was had, I zoomed about in a golf cart, and I hit a lot of balls as hard as I could – seriously, what’s not to enjoy about spending a day doing this?

Also, because Ryan wasn’t there, I actually got the chance to take a few photos without being shouted at or triggering stares of annoyed contempt the whole time! (To be fair though, he just doesn’t like me wasting time if there are other people on the course. Or at least I think that’s the reason that he gets so annoyed with me every time that I whip out the phone when playing a round of golf with them).

So, the photos then:

In summary, the Mossel Bay golf course is a really pleasant course to play, well suited to casual players like myself and which definitely features some really nice views to take in. That said, from listening to my brother and dad speak about it over time, it certainly sounds like Mossel Bay can get a bit windy out there at times!

(Also, we didn’t just forget about Mom and Jessica for the day – a thank you involving supper at The Sea Gypsey was definitely well received!)

Bonus: In case you are wondering why we didn’t just play at the spectacularly picturesque Pinnacle Point golf course (which by the way, I have played before) seeing as we stay on the estate, the reason is twofold. Firstly, I’m such a casual golfer that the difficulty level of the Pinnacle Point championship golf course makes for an even more frustrating outing that what it should be, and secondly, Pinnacle Point asks a much higher fee to play – as a non club/association member, that visitor fee – around R800 – often feels just a little too steep for my liking.

Related Link: Mossel Bay Golf Club | Mossel Bay

Dassies at the Cape St. Blaize Cave at The Point in Mossel Bay (2017-03-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 12 NOV 2017

When it is whale watching season in Mossel Bay, a drive to The Point followed by a short stroll up to the Cape St. Blaize Cave viewing platform can quite often result in some good shore-based whale watching moments. (I known, because we’ve seen some great ones from there in the past. That said though, the adjacent parking lot down below is pretty good for lazy whale spotting as well!).

However, if it is not quite whale watching season then what you are left with is an important, and coincidentally one of South Africa’s oldest, archaeological excavations instead. (Well, technically, you also have the cool Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse above your head, so there’s that too).

First excavated in 1888 by George Leith, the Cape St. Blaize Cave has revealed deposits dating back some 200,000 years, giving us a glimpse into the possible life lead by the native San people that inhabited this area at the time.

Excavations over the years have revealed evidence showing the use of dyes in symbolizing, advanced blades, the use of heat treatment in manufacturing tools, and thanks to the unearthed middens, the systemic exploitation of marine resources such as shellfish.

Now home to nesting birds, a large colony of dassies, and the odd wandering tourist, as you might imagine, the cave has quite a strong stench lingering about it – meaning that standing around for too long isn’t really an option, or at least that’s what Jessica indicated to me when we took her there back in March this year!

The cave doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to walk around and take in all the signposted information, though there is now a big board erected in the parking lot that indicates the coming of a future educational Point Discovery Centre.

Worth noting: The cave also serves as the starting point of the Cape St. Blaize hiking trail, which allows you to walk from The Point in Mossel Bay, past Pinnacle Point, and then all the way through to Dana Bay (perhaps better known as Danabaai).

Related Link: Cape St. Blaize Cave | Mossel Bay

Weekend Away at Pinnacle Point in Mossel Bay (2017-03-17) Accommodation | Photo Gallery 06 NOV 2017

This year was a lot different than last year for me in that 2016 was dominated by going away at least once a month for some sort of weekend getaway, whilst 2017 saw that flipped on its head and instead everything was concentrated into a single, decent length family holiday back in June (which I still need to put down on paper here).

However, Jessica and myself did manage to slip one weekend getaway in at the start of this year, when the two of us drove up to Mossel Bay to join my parents for a long weekend away at their place in the gorgeous Pinnacle Point Estate.

With Chantelle and Emily enjoying some alone time back home (honestly, the abundance of rain spiders from our 2015 visit was the reason for this particular weekend of single parenting adventures), Jessica and I got down to the serious business of enjoying a very busy/fun packed weekend with Granny and Grandpa.

Pinnacle Point is of course paradise for little girls who are now big enough to steer a golf cart, meaning that plenty of golf cart explorations were the order of the day. Too chilly to swim, we were instead entertained with jungle gyms, visits to Oyster Bay beach, braais, and LOTS of Go Fish! and Monopoly Deal in the evenings.

Mossel Bay on the other hand was perfect for wool shopping, Putt Putt (made more exciting by the multitude of motorbikes that had invaded the town for the annual Buffalo City bike rally), a round of golf with my dad at the Mossel Bay Golf Club, and of course dassie gazing at the St. Blaize Cave.

George on the other hand gave us a stroll about a botanical garden, mini burgers at the comically named Getafix, and loads of vintage trains, planes and cars at the Outeniqua Transport Museum.

(Sadly though, we couldn’t get mom to agree to allowing us to attempt crossing the narrow entrance bridge with dad’s Lexus SUV in order to visit The Island at Great Brak River.)

So, as you can see loads of fun was had, and as an added bonus, this time around we only encountered ONE rain spider – on the very last day of our visit.

Love this place, and can’t wait to get invited back again!

Related Link: Pinnacle Point Estate | Pinnacle Point

Sand and Waves at Oyster Bay Reserve Beach in Mossel Bay (2017-03-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 09 AUG 2017

On the outskirts of Mossel Bay, tucked between the residential townships of Dana Bay, Kwa Nonquaba, Pinnacle Point and Heiderand, is the Oyster Bay Reserve, a 330 hectare botanical nature reserve.

Established with the intention to conserve, preserve and educate through a variety of community projects, the Oyster Bay Reserve is also home to a number of hiking trails, the most famous of those running through it being of course the St Blaize Hiking Trail, the 13.5  kilometer long trail that stretches from the St Blaize Lighthouse (Mossel Bay) all the way through to Dana Bay.

The Pinnacle Point Estate (my dad has a fractional ownership in one of the gorgeous houses there) has direct access to the tiny, tucked away Oyster Bay Beach (complete with a 24 hour guard station), a sliver of friendly sand in between the otherwise rugged (and often misty) coastline.

Accessible via golf cart (as is pretty much everything else in Pinnacle Point), this quiet, unspoiled little bit of sand is the perfect escape if you have little kids, and want to avoid the often more busy beaches that come along with a drive through to Mossel Bay.

Jessica and I joined my mom and dad for a long weekend away at their place in Pinnacle Point back in March this year, and of course, play time in the sand with Grandpa and Daddy was very much in demand from my little girl.

(And yes, as always, Jessica remains terrified of the actual sea – meaning that when it came to building a moat around our sandcastle, fetching buckets of water was very much left in dad’s and my domain!)

A tiny, hidden little gem then.

Related Link: Oyster Bay Reserve | Pinnacle Point | Mossel Bay

A Visit to Hartenbos via the Diaz Express from Santos Beach, Mossel Bay (2017-01-02) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 06 AUG 2017

At the start of this year, while away for a bit of a break in Gouritz, I took a drive out to Mossel Bay in order to treat the girls with a ride aboard the cute, tourist friendly Diaz Express.

In a nutshell, the Diaz Express is a fun rail experience that takes a resurrected Type 40 Mark II Wickham Inspection Trolley and then sends it along for a run on the existing Garden Route Transnet rail network, between the seaside resorts of Great Brak River and Mossel Bay.

During peak holiday season, the Diaz Express runs the shorter hop from Mossel Bay to Hartenbos, and this then was the one that the girls and I caught a ride on.

The day that we headed out was unfortunately a bit of an overcast, drizzly affair, though that said, the slightly gloomy weather was nowhere near strong enough to dampen the excitement of the girls when they first laid eyes on the cute little blue ‘train’ sitting next to its station deck outside the venerable Santos Express train lodge above Santos Beach.

The short ride was a blast (the girls LOVED it), and once deposited at the Hartenbos train station, the girls and I then strolled down to the main entertainment hub of this iconic Afrikaaner seaside holiday escape, where we mingled with the crowd, taking in the sights and sounds of a LOT of people who, despite the weather, were clearly enjoying their December break!

Unfortunately for us, the weather was just a little too gloomy to allow for some play time down on the beach, so instead we found ourselves wandering around a bit more, snacking on treats here and there, and of course, watching everyone else, seeming impervious to the weather, having a holiday ball.

(Seriously, there was parasailing of all things on the go!)

Finally, we stumbled across a funfair ride that the girls simply wouldn’t let me pass (I tried), and most importantly, one that I would let both of them ride. In other words, the highlight of the day’s outing then.

Watching the clock, we made our way back to the Hartenbos platform, just in time to catch our ride back aboard the Diaz Express. (This time around, the journey was slightly wetter but a little more noisy – thanks to our friendly conductor having a great time entertaining all the kids by pressing the hooter every time someone’s nose got touched!)

All in all, a fun outing that I’ll definitely be doing again with the girls (and probably grandparents) I imagine.

Bonus: While grabbing some links for this post, I came across this nice little video detailing the longer and much nicer Mossel Bay to Great Brak excursion, courtesy of local South African travel writer “Travelbug” Rose Bilbrough.

Looks fantastic!

Related Link: Diaz Express | Hartenbos | Mossel Bay

Putt Putt at FantaSea at The Point in Mossel Bay (2017-03-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 MAY 2017

In March Jessica and I joined my Mom and Dad for a long weekend away at their place in Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay. As it turned out, Mossel Bay was quite the hub of noise and chrome for this particular weekend, seeing as it was time for the annual Buffalo Rally to descend upon this popular seaside resort town.

In other words, the roads were more than a little bit busy – I don’t think that I’ve ever seen quite as many bikes and bikers assembled in one place!

The Saturday of our little breakaway saw us head down to Mossel Bay, first for a stop at the rather impressive Toucan material shop in the industrial part of town (Mom was to knit Jessica a jersey), before heading back towards The Point in the hopes of finding somewhere not completely overrun with bikers so that we could enjoy some lunch.

This was of course completely hopeless, and thus we found ourselves pulling off for a round of putt putt at  Fanta Sea @ The Point instead. (This was of particular excitement to Jessica seeing as this would officially be her first ever go at the game of putt putt!)

True, Fanta Sea looks more than a little tired in a slightly rundown kind of way, but that doesn’t seem to bother the kids one bit – no wonder what with putt putt, ice cream, splash pools, jungle gyms, takeaways, and even a skate park all on offer!

Despite not having  a kid sized putter for Jessica to tackle the course with, she had loads of fun trying, and to be fair, so did Mom, Dad and myself – I genuinely can’t remember the last time that I played a round of putt putt!

With our tight game of mini golf over and done with, we finished up by rewarding Jessica with some colourful ice cream as a treat.

Sadly, the ice cream wasn’t quite as good as the putt putt.

So in summary: It’s maybe a little tired looking, but in all honesty the kids don’t really care – putt putt is always fun!

Related Link: Fanta Sea @ The Point