Discover the seaside Mossel Bay and its surroundings (Part 2)
With a trip that’s about 384 kilometers, you simply can’t just eat your way through it. You need a bit of adventure and something out of the ordinary to make it the most memorable trip of all.
We worked our way through the many restaurants and accommodations in Mossel Bay. Now it’s time to get busy with the tons of interesting and some unheard of activities that definitely will spice up your holiday. Here’s an extensive list of what to expect when you visit this coastal town:
Groot Brak is one of the many smaller towns in Mossel Bay that’s living life slowly and it’s obviously, by choice. The name is derived by the brackish water of the Brak Rivers and has become a sought-after vacation spot for many tourists wanting to escape from it all.
Get cakes At Home Baking
Owned by Julia and Elsabe, At Home Baking is such a delight. It’s been said that they make one of the best milk tarts around so of course, we gravitated towards the store. Besides their infamous milk tarts, they have tons of homemade goodies from jams, rusks, biscuits and even miniature banana loafs!
Address: 20 Long Street, Bergsig, Groot Brakrivier | Hours: Monday to Saturday – 09:00 to 17:00.
Pop into Black Vanilla
Eat your heart out, I always say so make sure to pop into Black Vanilla. You can’t miss it with the pink fabric wrapped around the tree trunks. Photographer Pieter Els and his wife, Lize created a lovely space that incorporates coffee, food and desserts but added their love for art, photography and a little gift shop all in one space. If you have time to sit down, do order their carrot cake with cream. You’ll love it!
Address: 1 Kort Street, Bergsig, Groot Brakrivier | Hours: Monday to Friday – 08:00 to 16:00 and Saturday – 08:00 to 15:00.
Walk around on foot
Leave your car and walk on foot through the main street of Groot Brak. There’s tons of places to visit and, you might just come across the local roasters. Visit Groot Brak website here for more interesting places to explore.
Groot Brak and Friemersheim
These towns are quite close to one another and rather pristine in nature if you get off the N2 Highway. You’ll never guess what’s to discover if you simply get off the beaten road. Friemersheim is a small agricultural community founded by a German missionary in the early nineteenth century. The first sighting you see is the Friemersheim church built in 1870.
The Fragrance Route
Never heard of the Fragrance Route? Neither have I so imagine our excitement to experience it. This 36 km trip from Groot Brak along the road leading to Friemersheim can be customised based on your liking. Chat to Sharon Grundvig or Marianne Alberts, our amazing tour guides for more. Our route started like this:
Stop 1: Learn more at Herbal Hub
Cecile might be an old woman but she’s certainly wise when it comes to herbs. Her entire property is filled with as many as 25 planted herb species and calmly points out she’s not a herb fanatic. Showcasing a few bouquets of various herbs put together, my favourite has to be the Badbossi and the aroma fills the air. She then makes her own herbal tea infused with 7 different types of flavours and it’s served hot.
Stop 2: Understand our National flower at the Protea Farm
With Proteas being our National flower, it’s certainly an experience understanding the process it takes to grow, process and export these precious flowers. Andine and Dawid gives you a tour on the entire structure from cutting, being placed on the conveyor belt for sorting to packing for exporting. Did you know that each exported country has a different measurement of the stem being de-leafed?
They grow over 25 different Proteas on the farm; many of which grow according to season. What’s amazing about the farm is that they have a nursery where they regrow the stems for the next cycle. Take a walk around the farm and be absolutely amazed by these blossoms.
Stop 3: Visit Friemersheim Creche
Quite an unusual stop but an inspiring one, I might add. Because Friemersheim is such a small town, there was such a huge need to have a creche in the area. Christine, the headmistress started this facility from scratch with limited resources and with her staff, make sure that the kids get fed twice a day. They even started a little vegetable garden; teaching the kids to plant their own.
Stop 4: Admire Hester Gardens
You’re welcomed with an array of colourful water bottles and quirky objects added into Hesters garden of love. They grow everything from lavender to potatoes and can definitely teach us a thing or two about gardening.
Stop 5: Support the Shweshwe Shop
Cinty Joubert, the talented woman behind the Shweshwe Project allowed us to see her at work. Besides her love for curtain making, she now makes Shweshwe products all ranging from aprons, serviettes, oven gloves to her latest project called the Proe Bag which has become such a hit in the local communities.
Stop 6: Green fingers at Friemersheim Nursery
Petra who is passionate about gardening as well as her love for the community showed us around the Friemersheim Nursery where they grow different varieties of herbs and predominately lavender. She even made something called a Lavender Koeksister which differently took a twist in our infamous koeksister recipe.
Stop 7: Get a caffeine fix at Brothers Coffee Roastery
Ben, the roaster who spent years in Uganda returned to South Africa to fulfil his dream of becoming an unique roaster and his certainly making a huge impression in Mossel Bay alone. Situated in Friemersheim, the roaster is more roaster than a coffee shop. However, they do a cupping session with three different coffees; one more complex than the next.
Address: 8 Rheeboksfontein, Groot Brakrivier | Hours: Monday to Friday – 09:00 to 17:00 and Saturday – 09:00 to 13:00
Stop 8: Visit The Youth Cafe
What is a Youth Cafe, you might ask yourself. It’s a cafe that provides the youth with access to skills, personal development training and is a space for young adults to be creative. With over 9 cafes in the Western Cape, Aa’ishah Alexander runs the one in Groot-Brak and is clearly passionate about helping her community.
Address: Hibiscus Avenue, Green Haven, Great Brak River | Hours: Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00.
Stop 9: Chocolate tasting at La Chocolaterie Rococo
You can’t buy happiness but you can buy chocolate and the best kind at La Chocolaterie Rococo in Groot Brak, Mossel Bay. Chocolatier, Charmaine makes everything from scratch with only the finest ingredients and if you try it, you’ll understand why. Not only is it paired with Brothers Coffee, they also do a wine and whisky pairing which is indeed, a treat!
Address: 77 Long Street, Bergsig, Groot Brakrivier | Hours: Monday to Friday – 09:00 to 16:00 and Saturday – 10:00 to 14:00.
This coastal town is home to around 130 000 people and has a magnitude of activities available that will keep you entertained for days. Not only is Mossel Bay the oldest human beachfront destination, you bound to extend your stay a little longer.
Walk along The Point Beach
The Point Beach is a stunning beach where you can enjoy a morning stroll with magnificent views. Take things slow and sit alongside the railings or swim in one of the two tidal pools available.
Address: The Point, Mossel Bay
Get competitive with a game of Putt-putt
If you’re looking for a family activity, putt-putt is the name of the game. Situated at FantaSea, the course might look a bit rundown but the game in itself is certainly entertaining. At R25.00 per player, you can definitely become competitive really quickly.
Address: 8 Point Road, The Point
Be in character at De Ja Vu Vintage House
Get lost in an incredible collection of vintage items ranging from vintage clothing, shoes, hats, handbags, books, you name it! Say hello to Joan and De Waal while they give you a tour of their impressive collection over the years and don’t be shy to be in character too. Dress up and have fun while you enjoy a cup of tea with them. They also host vintage movie nights and is also available for functions.
Address: 7 Marsh Street, Mossel Bay | Contact: 082 415 9588
Have your hair trimmed at The Kartel Exchange
We wanted to have Courtney’s beard trimmed but the barber hasn’t clocked in yet. The Kartel Exchange is one fascinating consortium of a variety of things that funny enough, work well. Not only is it a bicycle repair and spares shop, you can have your hair cut while you order a mean cup of coffee. It’s a pretty cool shop!
Address: 19 Marsh Street, Mossel Bay | Hours: Monday to Sunday – 09:00 to 17:00.
Do the Indula Elephant Experience
Something more adventurous? Why not do an Elephant tour with Indalu Game Reserve. You can enjoy a walk with these magnificent creatures and get the opportunity to feed them while the guide gives you educational information about these giants. Visitors can also do a safari game drive; allowing you to view at least 4 of the Big 5.
They have luxury chalets to make your vacation that more memorable and is surrounded by nothing other than the roaming wildlife.
Address: N2 turn off Herbertsdale / Cooper / Buisplaas, Mossel Bay | Contact: 082 990 3831
Immense yourself with a full-loaded holiday in the Garden Route town of Mossel Bay. Just like us, you surely do not want to leave! Here’s a little video showing you the Hidden Treasures of Mossel Bay in a nutshell. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: The post is sponsored by Mossel Bay Tourism. The information and images are my own. It’s written in good faith and will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of the websites.