Found along the Sunshine Coast, in what could easily be referred to as South Africa’s ‘Adventure Province’, the Eastern Cape, Port Alfred offers not only a lovely climate, stunning beaches, wonderful history and loads of outdoor adventures – but also a modern twist on life with its malls, 43 Air School and so much more for visitors to enjoy and explore.
Get out and explore the Kowie River
Located near Bathurst, the beautiful Kowie River stems from the Grahamstown Heights hills, flowing until it reaches the Indian Ocean via an estuary in Port Alfred.
On it, visitors to the region can enjoy fishing, boat cruises, houseboat rentals, canoeing, sundowners and so much more. The river offers wonderful views of both sides of the Port Alfred (also sometimes referred to as Port Kowie).
If you visit Kowie River, why not pack a picnic and enjoy it on one of the boats or at a nice spot along the river bank?
Head to the Beach
Port Alfred is blessed with an array of beautiful beaches for its visitors to enjoy. Kelly’s Beach, in particular, is a must.
This beach has enjoyed Blue Flag status and offers lifeguards, changing rooms and first aid facilities, clean sands and safe swimming. It is located at the Kowie River mouth.
Nearby, there are two viewing decks from which to admire the beach and the Indian Ocean. If you’re lucky and the season is right, you might even spot a whale or two as well. Surfing at Kelly’s Beach is another favourite activity.
(Please note: dogs are not allowed on Kelly’s Beach.)
Light things up with Great Fish Point Lighthouse
Located some 25 km away from Port Alfred, Great Fish Point Lighthouse was erected in 1898, based on the recommendation of the Lighthouse Commission.
Standing ‘small’ but proud at 9m, this octagonal masonry lighthouse features a five million candle beam, which flashes every ten seconds, with a range of some thirty-two sea miles.
For a small fee, you can visit the lighthouse – and additionally, for a separate fee, you can even book out one of two cottages and stay the night at one of only a handful of SA lighthouses to offer accommodation.
Of course, the views from Great Fish Point Lighthouse are really spectacular and encompass the sand dunes and glorious coast the area is famed for.
Point of interest: According to Harold Williams’ Southern Lights, Great Fish Point Lighthouse is a twin for Australia’s Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.
Take home some cool pilot gear with 43 Air School
This dedicated flight school is one of the coolest things about Port Alfred. It caters towards private, general, commercial, airline and military sectors – and since its establishment in 1942, it has made a name for itself and garnered a stellar reputation within the SA aviation industry too.
Here, aspiring pilots and aviation students can take to the skies and earn their wings. For the general public though, there’s a wonderful ‘Pilot Shop’ selling everything from badges, stationary and gifts to adult and kids clothing, and now you can even shop online!
Shopping fun at Port Alfred’s malls
Port Alfred has some lovely shops and malls to peruse. So if you need a few keepsakes or to get some holiday shopping done when you visit the town, look no further than these:
First off, there is the town’s main shopping centre and retail area, Heritage Mall.
Another great one is The Courtyard. Here, you will find a boutique mall offering fashion, décor and antique stores to name just a few. And when you need a bite of respite and something to eat, try one of the pizzas or sweet treats from the charming Zest Café.
Wharf Street is another excellent place for shopping, though of a different sort, as here you will find everything from fish shops to second-hand stores and even a local brewery, Coelacanth Brewery.
Then, finally, there’s Rosehill Mall, Port Alfred’s newest mall, which opened in 2008. The mall is full of popular brand stores, including several surf brands. It also has giant, full-grown palm trees set along the beach-style avenue and glorious views out across the sea. Rosehill Mall is very eco-friendly and is rated highly among SA’s green projects.
For more information on Port Alfred and its many attractions, please contact the Sunshine Coast Tourism’s Port Alfred office on (046) 624 1235 or visit: www.sunshinecoasttourism.co.za.
So whether it’s outdoor fun, memorable adventures, delightful sightseeing or a little retail therapy that you are after when you visit Port Alfred, you will definitely find all your needs taken care of, as you discover how best to enjoy the beauty and appeal of this Eastern Cape town.
This post has been sponsored. As always all opinions about the destination remain our own.