by Media Xpose

Stilbaai is situated on the estuary of the Goukou River that spills into the warm Indian Ocean and one of the most popular and lively holidays within the Hessequa Municipal area and greater Garden Route. The picturesque coastal town is affectionately known as the Bay of Sleeping Beauty, due to its close proximity to the landmark Sleeping Beauty Mountain. It is characterized by long stretches of sandy beaches, boasting with Blue Flag Status (in season), mild weather and a river that is navigable for about 15km – there is also a small fishing harbour and landing strip for small aircrafts. In the summer season, Stilbaai is a mecca for all watersport activities, ranging from kite-surfing, rubber duck boats and surfing to canoeing, snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding.

The natural surroundings of this town also feature a pristine floral kingdom with many unique species of Fynbos. The world renowned Fynbos is even used to create Gin at Inverroche Distillery!

Excavations hint at this area preserving some of the secrets of the origins of man and give an insight into the lives of the early Khoisan people and you can view some findings from the international renowned Blombos Caves at the Palinggat Homestead and Archaeology Museum. Their intricately hand-built Fish Traps give a fascinating view of their simple ingenuity and serves as proof that the Hessequa area plays an important part in the Cradle of Humankind. The Blombos Caves and Fish Traps form part of the greater Cradle of Human Culture Coastal Route.

The visitor facilities in Stilbaai suits all traveller profiles and for those looking for more authentic experiences, the town offers Kasselshoop Cheese (tasting and sales); Namo Health CentreKontrei WinkelMatchbox Coffee ShopStilbaai KeldersHessequa Art RouteStilbaai Golf Club and Allegaartjie Coffee Shop.

The Tuin-Op-Die-Brak Fynbos Park is a Fynbos garden which includes many rare and endangered Fynbos species, a nursery, sundial and mini labyrinth. The venue also offers business travellers a small conference venue which can accommodate approximately 15 delegates.

The Stilbaai Tourism Office is located within the historical Palinggat Homestead, which is also where visitors can experience the hand-feeding of tame Eels. The Palinggat Homestead is the only venue within South Africa, where visitors can get this experience. Stilbaai is also home to award-winning olive farms namely Oudewerfskloof Olive FarmKransfontein Olives and Kleinbergskloof Olive Farm and Wedding Venue. Olive tasting can be arranged at these venues. The community hosts the Stilbaai Brugmark, a weekly local market, which features local food, local drinks, local art, local craft and a uniquely local vibrancy, which invites many visitors to the town.

Travellers with a sense of adventure can explore the many Mountain Bike routes or hike the infamous Southern Right TrailPauline Bohnen Nature ReserveSkulpiesbaai Nature Reserve and Geelkrans Nature Reserve. The experienced traveller can also participate in the popular Alikreukel Trail (guided experience) which can be done in groups.

Stilbaai is surrounded by two smaller villages, namely Melkhoutfontein, about 7 kilometer from Stilbaai and Jongensfontein, a mere 15 kilometer away. These two villages also offers unique tourist experiences, which compliments the offerings of Stilbaai. The Bertie Barnard Primary School and Melkhoutfontein Primary School has been beacons of excellence throughout the years and is the pride of the local community.

Stilbaai is also the hosting town for unique and major tourism events, like the Stilbaai TouchiesStilbaai Book Festival / BoekefeesRocking StilbaaiHessequa Heritage Trail Run and Stilbaai Christmas In July. The Stilbaai Park Run (Beach Run), has been successfully initiated by a group of passionate residents and offers great fun on a weekly basis.

The addition of travellers services likeEllensrust and Preekstoel Municipal Caravan & Camping ResortsDuinekroon Holiday FarmInverroche Distillery, The Press Room, Dave’s Kitchen Restaurant, Drie Pikkewyne RestaurantOn The Rocks RestaurantSterrehemel Cafe and RestobarDie Blou Seekat Liquors, Lappiesbaai RestaurantStables Eatery & BarHessequa Voice From The Past (Paintings)Lihong’s Asian CuisineStilbaai Adventure HireJongensfontein ResortCoffee & Cream Coffee Shop, Stilbaai Fish Market and Stilbaai Adventure to the town, makes Stilbaai one of the most loved coastal destination within the Garden Route and Western Cape.

The Kwêla Dorp Van Die Jaar / Town of The Year semi-finalist status brings about a renewed focus on domestic tourism, authentic experiences and places great emphasis on smaller towns as tourist destinations. The residents are the heartbeat of the town, and the champions of many community initiatives. It is this local pride and passion, which maintains the ethos of a caring community offering diverse facilities and experiences.

The public is encouraged to vote for Stilbaai as Kwêla Town of The Year by SMSing the name STILBAAI to 33157. All SMS’s are charged at R1.50 per SMS, with a limit of 30 SMS’s per number. All SMS’s must be sent before Friday, 21 April 2023 at 12h00.

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