Jeffreys Bay area and property guide

Private Property South Africa
Eleanor Douglas-Meyers

The vibrant and relatively small suburb, Jeffreys Bay, is the ultimate surfer’s haven on the Sunshine Coast. Find out more about this seaside paradise here.

About the area

It’s pretty difficult to think of the seaside town of Jeffreys Bay without conjuring up images of the sun and surf.

There are a few theories regarding the name Jeffreys Bay, the most common being that it’s named after the senior partner of the firm Jeffrey and Glendinnings that opened a store in the area in 1849. Jeffrey is believed to be the first person to have settled in the town.

The town started out as a fishing village and this is evident in the architecture of the shops lining the beachfront. However, the town has grown considerably over the years and continues to do so.

These days, it’s known the world over as a surfers’ paradise, and a quick walk on the beachfront will expose you to a global mix of visitors. Even in the dead of winter, this coastal jewel maintains its resort town feel.

Every July the town is abuzz with activity when it plays host to the Billabong Pro (aka J-Bay Open), a world championship surfing event. At this time of year, the waves can be up to 3m high, placing them among the top swells in the world.

Legend has it that John Whitmore – known as the father of South African surfing – “discovered” the waves at Jeffreys Bay in the late 1950s as he drove by on a business trip. The town’s waves were captured on film in 1961, when film-maker Bruce Brown included J’Bay in his movie The Endless Summer. The waves have since featured in movies such as South African surfing drama Die Pro and Hollywood hit Blue Crush 2.

This town isn’t solely about the surf, though, with game farms such as Lombardini, also a popular venue, just a short drive away.

Homes in Jeffreys Bay range from large family homes to modest cottages. The town seems to be moving at a pace of its own – everything is laid-back and relaxed, making it an ideal setting for those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The place and its people has so much character. I don’t know if it’s the sea breeze, but there is something about Jeffreys Bay that makes you feel like you are on holiday right through the year.

~ Ruth Abercrombie, resident.

Top schools nearby:

  • Jeffreys Bay Primary School

  • Victory Christian School

  • Global Leadership Academy

Medical facilities nearby:

  • Life Isivivana Private Hospital (Humansdorp)

  • Kouga Partnership Hospital/Humansdorp Provincial Hospital

  • PZ Meyer Hospital (Humansdorp)

Best in food:

  • Die Walskipper restaurant: seafood and South African delicacies served at the edge of the ocean

  • De Viswijf: award-winning restaurant that caters for a variety of budgets

  • Kitchen Windows Beach Restaurant: family-friendly beachfront eatery with an amazing view

  • Infood: foodie hot spot offering good coffee, artisan breads, deli items and more

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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Jeffreys Bay caters for a diverse range of people with a multi-functional lifestyle available in this unique environment. Famous for its world-class beaches, surf shops, and arts and crafts, J-Bay (as it's called by locals) is a quaint town, perfect for surfers. However, Tsitsikamma and the surrounding areas offer sight-seeing opportunities, as well as many activities for the outdoor enthusiasts.
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