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Knysna Bucket List

Posted on October 19, 2023

On your way to Knysna and want to know the best things to do while you’re here? Well you’ve landed in the right place!

Tucked away along the Garden Route along the N2 is the quaint town of Knysna – known for oysters, beautiful beaches and being a buzzing holiday destination. But no matter when you visit, there are a few things not to be missed during your stay.

Here are 5 unmissable things to do in Knysna:

1. Cruise the Knysna Lagoon

One of the best ways to experience Knysna and its surrounding nature reserves is by boat! Particularly on a leisurely cruise with your favourite tipple in hand.

The John Benn is a double-decker floating restaurant and one of the oldest and most famous cruise liners in Knysna. Tours aboard the John Benn are 90 minutes and take you across the Knysna Lagoon to the Knysna Heads.

For something a little more special, opt for a sunset cruise on a luxury yacht. While a little more expensive than other lagoon tours in Knysna, it won’t disappoint – especially if you’re celebrating a special occasion. Relax as you watch the changing colours of the sunset sky with a glass of bubbly in hand.

There are several departure points, but The Waterfront is the main base for some of Knysna’s best lagoon tours. You can chat to reception at Knysna Hollow for assistance in booking tours.

2. Explore Knysna Heads

No experience of Knysna would be complete without visiting the famous Heads! The Heads describe two headlands which protect the entrance of the Knysna Lagoon. Separated by around 300m of water, the pair of sandstone cliffs offer spectacular views of the whole area from above and the Eastern Head leads to hidden Coney Glen Beach with its soft sands and secret rock pools.

At the end of George Rex Drive you can also see where the famous wreck of the Paquita lies in front of the White Beacon (a large, conical navigation light). You can walk along a pathway at the foot of the cliffs, and then return to enjoy a meal or coffee overlooking the water.

The Knysna Heads are probably the best-known, most recognised river mouth in South Africa; and certainly (at least amongst those of us who live here) the most loved! So be sure not to miss it.

4. See the castles at Noetzie Beach

The Garden Route might not be the place you expect to castles – at least not any not made out of sand! But just outside of Knysna central, you’ll find Noetzie – a charming beach cove dotted with stone built castles on the fynbos covered hillside above.

The setting is absolutely breathtaking – with the backdrop of Sinclair Nature Reserve and the castles behind you and the golden beaches and Indian Ocean in front of you. Unfortunately, the castles are actual places to stay in so you won’t be able to visit them – nonetheless, its a wonderful setting to enjoy a beach picnic and enjoy the sunshine.

Top tip: Getting to Noetzie requires a drive on a gravel road through a township. It’s a good idea to lock your doors and roll up the windows while passing through. Noetzie is a very isolated place with no security, lifeguards, or cafes and once you reach the parking area, be prepared for a steep climb down to the beach!

3. Watch the sunset at Brenton-on-Sea

The sun-drenched shores of Brenton are often missed by first-time visitors to Knysna. Located just 15-minutes from the town centre, Brenton is known for its laid-back vibe, spectacular scenery and epic sunsets.

Brenton is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring quirky cafes, but the 7km long beach is undoubtedly the reason you might want to stay. Golden sandy beaches and azure blue waters make it an idyllic family beach spot to catch a tan or swim in the waves.

If you’re up for it you can even walk all the way to Buffels Baai!


4. Swim at Buffels Baai

The Garden Route is littered with so many gorgeous beaches, sometimes it’s hard to choose your favourite. At the top of your list should undoubtedly be Buffels Baai (Buffalo Bay) for its stretches of white sand and rolling hills covered in fynbos.

Buffels is located about 20km from Knysna in the Goukamma Nature Reserve. It’s a fantastic spot to relax, soak up the sun and even grab a bite to eat. The Buffalo Bay Waterfront Restaurant makes delicious burgers and you can sit outside on the wooden deck and enjoy a fantastic view over the entire bay.

Keen hikers can take to the Buffalo Bay Trail for an easy hike. The trail is about 4km long and ends near the Goukamna river mouth.

Top tip: Buffels is one of the most popular spots in Knysna, so if you’re planning on heading out that way be sure to get there early to get a good spot!

Stay with us

Whether you’re coming to soak up the seaside scenery, explore the natural beauty of the Garden Route, a visit to Knysna will surely be an unforgettable one! Be sure to book your stay at the tranquil Knysna Hollow Country Estate for contemporary accommodation, and on-site eatery and more!



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