What it's like to live in this peaceful beach town.
It has become synonymous with Plett Rage – the annual trek of thousands of matriculants from around the country to Plettenberg Bay – but to those who live here all year, it’s just their rustige town by the sea.
From the N2, this Garden Route town – the first in the Western Cape coming from the Eastern Cape – appears to be nothing more than a few hundred houses on the hill along the road. But there’s more to Plett than those houses, two garages, school and industrial spots visible from the national road.
Plett has, for instance, its own shopping centre – The Market Square. The main road into town snakes up towards the CBD where there’s a holiday vibe even when it’s mid-week and out-of-season – the smell of wood oven pizza filling the air. It quietens down in the evening, with just a few restaurants open.
Houses range from older homes to more modern ones along the cliffs of Central Beach, many with facades that allow residents to take in the view across the bay. Further away, housing estates, each with its own look, have also taken off.
With more than 300 days of sunshine a year and a temperate climate, the Plett tourism authority compares it to Monaco, calling it “an exquisite emerald on shores of the azure-blue Indian Ocean”.
And for those wanting to play their role in nature conservation, Plett has shown its commitment and made it easier for residents to do their bit by putting up recycling bins – brightly coloured and marked for different recyclable items – all over town.
It does have a more laid-back vibe. We have one traffic light in town and there’s more time. We are not rushing, we are not sitting in traffic, so naturally, there’s less stress
Patty Butterworth, resident
- Greenwood Independent School
- Plettenberg Bay Christian School
- Raphaeli Waldorf School
- Bay College
Best in food:
The Fat Fish: An upmarket restaurant overlooking Central Beach, The Fat Fish includes tapas-style starters and a limited offering of beef and chicken, focussing rather on fish.
Moby Dick’s Seafood Grill and Deck: Another Central Beach favourite, this joint is almost in the ocean and promises “seafood – the local way”.
Whale watching: A whaling station to harvest the placid southern right whales was first established in 1910 and while this operation stopped in 1916, whale watching remains a popular activity.
Monkeyland: The nearby The Crags area offers a host of activities, including Monkeyland – one of three sanctuaries that make up the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA). One of Monkeyland’s aims is to create awareness about the plight of primates.
Adventure Land: A popular picnic and braai spot, this venue situated on a 24ha estate in a natural setting, allows families to either relax on the lawns or enjoy the fun activities including a 12m freefall slide, kiddies’ pools and Kamikaze slide.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
Take a trip through the Garden Route in this spectacular video: