About Hout Bay Beach

Hout Bay Beach is a slightly crescent shaped beach of approximately 1.2Km in width, nestled between Chapman’s Peak and the Sentinel (Hangberg) on the Western side. It’s a relatively safe beach for swimming and popular with families.

View over Hout Bay Beach and Harbour
Image Source: Unknown

On the eastern-side by Champmans Peak Drive, there is a small public parking lot, which can accommodate approximately 150 cars. The lot is surrounded by small shops and overlooked by the Chapmans Peak Hotel.

While Hout Bay beach is popular for swimming, it does sometimes get affected by affluent from the nearby township which is carried downstream by the Disa River that runs past Mainstream Mall and intersects the beach a little off-centre nearer the Eastern side.

Surrounding the beach are many restaurants and bars and interesting little shops and shopping centres. The ever popular Dune’s Beach Restaurant & Bar being found on the corner of Beach Crescent just around the corner from the public parking area.

While surfing isn’t popular on the beach, which is frequented more by SurfSki and Sea Kayak enthusiasts, just around the corner, and a little out to seas is a place know as Dungeons, which is a renowned location for Big Wave Surfing enthusiasts and home to the annual Red Bull Big Wave Surfing Event.

On the Sentinel side of the beach there is Hout Bay Harbour (or Fishermans Warf) which is an active fishing port and also home to a yacht marina from which both private and tour operated yachting excursions take place. Tourists can book Sea Kayak Tours, Deep Sea Diving Trips, Harbour and Open Sea Boat Rides or trips to nearby Duiker Island. Sunset Cruises around the Sentinel and some going as far as Clifton Beach are also popular.

Fishermans Warf is also home to many Restaurants and Take Away venues. For those that don’t have sea legs, the Harbour Area is home to the SA Sea Fisheries Museum, a wide range of Restaurants and Take Away venues and Saturday/Sunday Markets.

A very popular activity for families with young kids, is to walk around the docks, viewing the fishing boats and the many seals frolicking in the water. Some of the locals have tamed the odd Seal so your kids can touch/feed these Seals, but the authorities are trying to put a stop to this behaviour.

Beach Features

  • Parking
  • Lifeguards
  • Boat launch and slipway
  • Toilets
  • Dogs off leads allowed *
  • Horses allowed *

Beach Activities

  • Lifeguards and lifesaving
  • Water sports
  • Dog walking
  • Safe swimming
  • Fishing *
  • Horse Riding

* Dogs may run free in the middle section of the beach. They are not permitted near the harbour side (Mariner’s Warf), or the boundary nearing Chapmans Peak. Horse riding, while permitted, can only be done East of the Disa River Mouth and before sunrise. Fishing is only allowed with the necessary permit(s).

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Additional Information

Hout Bay was originally called Chapman’s Chaunce, named after John Chapman, a British Master Mate in 1607. It was later renamed to Hout Bay (meaning Wood Bay), by Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 due to the valley’s dense forests which ‘van Riebeeck’ saw as an important source of fire wood and timber.

John Chapman’s name continues to live on in the form of Chapmans Peak Drive, which makes it’s way along the rocky cliffs to Noordhoek. The construction of Chapman’s Peak road was an amazing accomplishment back in the day, built mainly by convict labour and was finally completed in 1922.

Today, Chapmans Peak drive is a Toll-Road, the money for which is used for constant renovations and upgrades to prevent rockfalls that were making travel on this road unsafe.

The drive between Hout Bay and Noordhoek has become a popular Tourist Activity due the fact that this is one of the most scenic drives in the World offering spectacular views and many vantage point to enjoy the view and see Dolphins and/or Whales (seasonal).

Source: https://www.capetown.gov.za/

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