Noordhoek is a suburb of Cape Town, set in the midst of mountains and Nature Reserves, overlooking one of the most magnificently beautiful beaches on earth. It is tucked away in the south-western corner of Cape Town’s peninsula, at the foot of Chapman’s Peak . A long white beach stretching for kilometres, smallholdings filled with crops & farm animals, horse riding schools and properties interspersed amongst thicket, gives this suburb a true rustic village feel.
Access to Noordhoek from Cape Town is via either of two spectacular scenic passes; Chapman’s Peak Drive or via the Old Cape Road past Silvermine.
The prized wetland behind the Noordhoek beach contains rare lowland fynbos and is of such significance that the area has been incorporated into the Table Mountain Nature Park to prevent development.
Things to do
Enjoy a relaxing shopping experience at the Noordhoek Village Centre. Huge oaks shade the quaint varied shops. The centre has four restaurants and boutique hotel on the premises. Children’s entertainment is plentiful.
You can spoil yourself with a full beauty treatment at Caroline’s Health and Beauty.
Surfing is a major pastime in Noordhoek. The Hoek, Dunes and Rocky's are the popular surfing spots in Noordhoek. A fourth surfing area is Sunset, used by big wave surfers to prepare for Red Bull’s Big Wave Africa annual event.
Chapman’s Peak Drive must surely rank as one of the world’s top scenic drives. With over 114 bends along the 9kms route, the spectacular sea and mountain views eventually end at Hout Bay. Here you can take a boat ride to view the seal colony on Cormorant Island.
Aside from their sought-after wines, Cape Point Vineyards is popular for stunning sunsets viewed from the deck or in the sprawling gardens overlooking the lake. Purchase a picnic basket to extend your stay. The venue plays host to the Noordhoek Community Market, a weekday food & craft market.
There are several hiking trails at the Silvermine Reserve, a short drive inland from Noordhoek. Routes include a visit to a waterfall or to the Elephant’s Eye cave, with striking views over Cape Town’s winelands and the Cape Flats. You are quite likely to encounter a baboon troop along the way.
Fancy a horse ride on the beach? For novice riders, Sleepy Hollow Stables is your best choice and for the more advanced rider, contact The Dunes Riding and Racing Stables to enjoy a ride on their ex-racehorses.
Imhoff Farm in the adjoining suburb of Kommetjie offers wholesome farm fare at their restaurants, unique African jewellery and clothing, camel rides for all ages, an action paintball course and a snake park.
Experience a township tour on the streets of nearby Masiphumelele Township.
If gardening is your thing, visit the Noordhoek Garden Emporium that includes the oldest nursery in Cape Town, a tea garden, children’s play area, beauty and hair salons and a yoga school.
You can walk along Noordhoek’s beach to reach The Kakapo, a steamship that wrecked here in 1900. The ship’s Captain mistook Chapman’s Peak for Cape Point, and the ship ran aground. All occupants were able to disembark without getting wet! After World War II, parts of the hull were used to keep sand off the railway lines and road.
Noordhoek is en route to Cape Point, the most south-west point of Africa.
Where to Eat
Casual dining out on the deck or in the garden is what attracts patrons to the Red Herring restaurant. This restaurant is a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner. Skebanga’s Pub shares a kitchen with the Red Herring Restaurant below it. Fine views on the deck, enjoyable pub grub and extensive cocktail menu.
With a beautiful outdoor location under oak trees, the Café Roux has standard dishes with an interesting South African flair. The food is fresh, even the condiments are made from scratch. A children’s playground is alongside.
The fine-dining restaurant The Food Barn is both a restaurant and deli. In the evenings the deli is converted into a Tapas Bar with exciting dishes on offer. A unique concept at this venue is a wine and food pairing event known as The Chef’s Table. Winemakers are invited to bring along their favourite vintage and the chef skilfully prepares a meal to suit the varietal. Seats are limited.
Well-known presenter and ex-Springbok rugby player Bobby Skinstad is the owner of The Toad in the Village Restaurant & Pub. With a good selection of pizzas, burgers and steak dishes, The Toad is a great venue to unwind.
Village Sushi has fresh and wide-ranging sushi dishes available to sit down or take away.
If you are looking for an evening of folk music, visit the Cottage Club in Kommetjie hosted by muso Bill Knight. The club is open only twice a month and being in the centre of a suburb, electric instruments and drums are prohibited. A small admission fee covers the cost of a hearty bowl of soup.You can take a taxi into Cape Town city to try the numerous nightlife options along Loop, Bree or Long streets.
Where to Stay
Accommodation options along Noordhoek valley’s unspoiled coastline include guest houses, self-contained apartments, lodges, villas, bed & breakfast establishments and modern hotel for an ideal base to a perfect getaway.
Air: The nearest airport is Cape Town International, 41kms from Noordhoek centre.
Car Rental : Cape Town has many car rental agencies; however, car rental bookings can be organised online.
Taxis : Noordhoek Taxis offer metered taxi and shuttle services between Cape Town, Cape Point and the airport. Noordhoek is a 40 minute drive from the centre of Cape Town.
Did you know?
Noordhoek was once part of a farm called Slangkop (Snake Head) granted by the Dutch East India Company to a widow in 1743. The Dutch referred to the northern part of the farm as Noordhoek (Northern Corner) and the name has remained.
Noordhoek’s tidal lagoon is filled partly through wave action during high tide and it acts as a floodplain during winter rains. The lagoon waters attract various wading bird species.
A milkwood forest still thrives in Noordhoek, one of the few places where this tree grows in abundance.