I write a lot of touristy things for even more touristy clients. As a result, I often get to write about holiday hotspots like Plett, which offers a different appeal to the big cities of SA. This is rewarding because there are worlds of things to do in Plettenberg Bay and the Garden Route around it. But, I also find that it can get a bit repetitive (there are only so many times that I can get excited about surfing. And that’s about three times). So, I set myself the challenge of thinking out of the box to discover new or different gems in Plett, especially for families with children. Ok, I actually asked a local friend to help. And help she did! I owe her chocolate cake for her input. You might think that’s not adequate payment, but you haven’t seen my friend with chocolate cake…
So, here is my list of…
Family-Friendly Things To Do In Plettenberg Bay
Old Nick Village (including the midweek market on Wednesdays, from 10h00 to 14h00)
This midweek market is mainly about awesome food – lots of organic, fresh, homemade and ethically-farmed stuff. It is accessible to those with prams (or wheelchairs) and is a vibrant, fun place to spend a Wednesday. What the kids will really enjoy is visiting the Mungo Mill (where old-school weaving meets modern textile design) and the Red Shed Nursery, which are at Old Nick’s Village and are open all week.
Nature’s Way Farm Stall (The Crags)
Situated in The Crags (minutes outside Plett), this stall is on a dairy farm, where awesome cheeses are made and can be sampled and bought. The little ones love the cows, cats and rabbits that amble around; and the parents will almost definitely love the freshly baked produce that is just beyond tempting. Watching the cows being milked is always a hit, and you can even request a formal tour of the dairy farm.
My daughter is nine, so we can manage the absolutely stunning shorter Robberg trail. But, families with smaller kids or anyone that isn’t sure on their feet, should opt for the much flatter, easier walk from the Beacon Isle Hotel all the way to Robberg. It’s almost 6.5km long (plenty of space for little ones to burn their energy), and is all about breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean. Look out for dolphins and whales along the way. The Robberg trails are a must for those with older kids that can tackle some rocky areas and the odd steep descent. From here, you may even spot some of the resident great white sharks down below. This is humbling and very special. And a little eerie.
Horseback Safaris (Plett Game Reserve)
This two-hour adventure is ideal for beginners or experienced horse riders, and takes you through the actual game reserve in Plett. And, because the wilder residents are used to the horses, they allow you to get quite close without bolting. You can look forward to seeing hippos, crocodiles, zebras, giraffes, lots of antelope species, and more. Let’s hope these horsies are as scared of lions as I am. Because they’re there. And so am I. Kids over 12 years of age are welcome.
Keurbooms River Ferry Cruises (Keurbooms)
There’s something about a ferry that gets me all kinds of excited. I got married on a ferry. Maybe that’s it. Or maybe I got married on a ferry BECAUSE it gets me all kinds of excited. Ok, now that half my readers have been lulled into a boredom-coma, let’s talk the Keurbooms Ferry. This river is so peaceful and scenic. Just spectacular. The cruise takes 2.5 hours and is suitable for anyone, even those using wheelchairs. Look out for gorgeous bird species in the forests on the banks.
The Puzzle Park (The Crags)
This is one of the more common attractions along the Garden Route, but still one I haven’t visited. Why? Because it’s tiring and I’m nervous of mazes. All that…closeness. Not being able to escape without cracking the clues. BUT, my little Plett informant tells me that it is not panic-inducing at all and is loads of fun for the littlies. And I do want my littly to have fun. In addition to the timber 3D maze, there is a maze through the forest and fynbos, as well as lots of other little games to keep them busy while you regroup at the coffee shop.
Frendz Restaurant & Bakery (in Market Square, Plett)
Kids can make their own pizzas and there is a massive play area, which means moms and dads can relax, enjoy good food, and know that everyone is happy.
So, there they are. Some I’ve done, some I haven’t tried yet. If you have ones to add to the list, include them in your comments below.