By chance I spotted the other day what appears to be a new walkway being setup along Faure Marine Drive, stretching pretty much from the Faure Street/Drive intersection and going all the way up to the Suikerbossie Whale Viewing Site.
A brilliant idea, because a) Gordon’s Bay can always use more attractions seeing as we’re meant to be a bit of a tourist town, and b) now you have a much safer route for walking up to the whale viewing site.
If you are going to walk up to the whale viewing site, the easiest is probably to park down in Beach Road at Bikini Beach and then make use of the relatively hidden shortcut, which is essentially a bunch of steep, narrow steps lodged between two rather big properties.
(Of course, if you don’t like steps, you could just walk around and up Faure Street itself.)
The shortcut will deposit you near the top of Faure Street, and you simply continue upwards until you reach the stop sign indicating that you are about to turn into Faure Marine Drive and head out along the R44.
Turn right and continue walking.
Needless to say, at this elevated position you’ve already got some fantastic views of False Bay in front of you, Gordon’s Bay below and behind, and of course, the beautiful Helderberg Mountains behind in the distance.
(You should also see the red bricks that signal the start of the walkway in front of you.)
Before long, you’ll be on a pretty neat walkway with a wooden fence barrier to your right and a stone/concrete wall barrier to your left.
(Expect interesting lizards, and sometimes the odd dassie or two, to get a fright and scamper away as you approach.)
Part of the pathway sees the red bricks give way for a beautiful wooded plank section, the highlight of the relatively short route in my opinion.
During whale season you should be able to spot whales in the bay from here, though of course, we often get dolphins and sometimes the odd seal swimming about as well – so worth keeping your eyes open at this point already.
What has been a short 15 to 20 minute walk should now see you arrive at the popular Suikerbossie Whale Viewing Site, which affords fantastic 360 degree views of False Bay, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Helderberg Mountains, Strand, and of course, the beautiful Gordon’s Bay.
Oh, and whales if they’re out and about of course.
So yeah, definitely a nice addition to Gordon’s Bay, and well worth a stroll if the weather plays along! :)
UPDATE: On the 2 February 2016, the City of Cape Town posted their own bit on the official opening of what they are calling the Bikini Beach Boardwalk. I’ve copied and pasted the text to preserve it:
“Transport for Cape Town, the City of Cape Town’s transport authority, recently completed the long-awaited boardwalk between the popular whale lookout point and Bikini Beach along Faure Marine Drive in Gordon’s Bay.
A local resident from Gordon’s Bay, the late Ms Monica Miles, approached the City some time ago with a request for a safe walkway between Bikini Beach and the parking area at the whale lookout point next to Faure Marine Drive.
Simple as the request may have seemed at the time, officials from Transport for Cape Town had to come up with an appropriate design and an affordable solution to the challenges posed by the scenic nature of the area and the elevated roadway on this part of the False Bay coastline. Work started in July 2015 and was completed over a period of 20 weeks by the end of November, just in time for the summer holidays.
The boardwalk’s hand railing and a section of the walkway itself have been constructed from locally sourced sugar gum wood which is renowned for its longevity and low maintenance requirements. Up to 14 000 screws were used in the building process. Other sections of the boardwalk along Faure Marine Drive are paved and gabions (large wire baskets filled with rocks) are used to support the boardwalk on the shoreline’s side.
‘The boardwalk is approximately two metres wide and meanders over a distance of about 620 metres. Those strolling between the whale lookout point near Suikerbossie Drive and Bikini Beach can now safely enjoy the scenery, with False Bay on the one side and the majestic Hottentots-Holland Mountain range on the other. All in all, we have spent approximately R2,3 million on the boardwalk. We will soon embark on a public participation process to propose naming the boardwalk after the late Ms Miles who campaigned so enthusiastically for this safe walkway,’ says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.”
And now we know. Still, R2.3million seems a little… excessive for what was built.