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LOCAL TIME: 08:02 pm | Sunday, 25 February
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Day Trip to Wilderness and 7 Passes

This day trip will especially appeal to those who enjoy bird watching, photography and a love of being in nature.

From the beaches of Buffalo Bay, Sedgefield and Wilderness to the birding and walks in the Wilderness National Park, you will be spoiled for choice.

The gravel road through the 7 passes back to Knysna is definitely a road less travelled and takes you through natural forest and pretty farming areas. Stopping at little bridges over rust colored streams lets nature infuse your soul and if you have kids, they can go and explore.

7 Passes Mountain Road, Knysna Area

The quiet road makes photography and bird watching easy

Driving to the Chrisjan Nek picnic spot in the Goudveld forest is almost surreal with the ferns and trees lining the road. There are so many spots you can stop at to enjoy a picnic in nature, so don’t forget to pack a picnic basket!

The whole trip including Noetzie Castles and the Goudveld Forest is 199 kms.

Pack your sunglasses, binoculars, bird book, walking shoes and cozzie and you’re good to go.


Directions: From Knysna Centre, it is about 12 kms to the Buffalo Bay/Goukamma turn off on your left. It is a small and pristine resort in the Goukamma Reserve which has a beautiful beach and river estuary as well as being local surfing spot. In whale season, whales and dolphins enjoy this unspoilt, serene stretch of the ocean.

Buffalo Bay Beaches and surfing

Continue on the N2 from Buffalo Bay and you will come to the little village of Sedgefield.

Sedgefield Garden Route

The small shopping centre along the N2 does not give one a true impression of Sedgefield. It is interesting to do a detour here and drive down to the sea front and along the lagoon.

On Saturdays, don’t miss the town’s Farmer’s Market, next to Engen on the N2. It has a warm, local atmosphere and there is plenty of organic fare to buy. In the same area, you will find the Scarab Village for interesting goodies and the Cheeseman for locally made cheeses.

Directions: Continue along the N2 to the Wilderness.

Wilderness Garden Route

Pull over at the Dolphins Point viewpoint on the left of the road – this will give you a great view of the beach and the Kaaimans River Estuary.  This area is very popular with paragliders and they often make for a great picture of the renowned beach.

Continue up Kaaimans Pass until you can turn around. Turn left at the Wilderness Village. You can stop here for a bite or cup of coffee or to browse the little shops.

The Map of Africa is the take off point for the most spectacular paragliding flight over the beaches. It is also a viewpoint of note.

To access the site, continue on the road you came in at for Wilderness Village to a T-junction. Turn left, and left again onto Remskoen St. It is well signposted. For info on paragliding, call +27(0)44 877 0045

Now, follow the signs from Wilderness Village to the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp of the Wilderness National Park.

Wilderness National Park by Patrick Canny

The Wilderness National Park protects a RAMSAR site. Here are many bird-viewing hides and walks, where you can see birds like the Osprey, Malachite Kingfisher and African Fish Eagle. The Rest Camp has cabins and a caravan park in well kept, beautiful surroundings, packed with birds. There are interesting walks around the park, some on boardwalks. Get the info at the Rest Camp on the four trails that are great for birding.

Birds of Greater Wilderness Checklist

The 7 Passes Route from Wilderness to Knysna is definitely an interesting (gravel) alternative for those who have done the N2 route before, or for those who like the out of the way country feel – green fields, cows and tractors. Get taken into the heart of our indigenous forest, and do a comfortable hike or an amazing mountain bike trail. Picnic at Chrisjans Nek or Jubilee Creek Picnic Spots in the Goudveld Forest or visit the mining museum at Milwood.

7 Passes Scenery between Knysna and Wilderness, Garden Route

Continue on the road from Ebb and Flow towards Hoekwil and the Big Tree in Woodville. Further along the road you can nip up to the birding spot at Beervlei on the left.

Pass through Karatara and on to the Bibby’s Hoek turnoff. Turn left here for the Goudveld Forest.

This road takes you to the Goudveld Forest for the well known Homtini Cycle Trail, the early goldrush history of Milwood, picnic spots and forest trails. A small museum and tearoom is at Milwood.

Dalene Mathee Grave

At the Chrisjan se Nek picnic spot is grave of the well known writer, Dalene Mathee. She used to come to this spot to soak up the forest spirit for inspiration, resulting in her wonderful books.

Return to the 7 Passes road, and go through Rheenendal and join the N2 just before Knysna.

Noetzie Castles

After leaving Knysna, driving towards Plett, you will go up a steep hill past a township. At the top of the hill is the R339. There will be a sign to your right to Noetzie.

No wonder brides choose this place as their wedding location!

Both magical and off the beaten track, Noetzie, has a half dozenstone castles dating from the 1930s, located next to the Noetzie River mouth. Situated on a beautiful unspoilt beach, the steep walk down is well worth the effort.

If you have not seen the beach and castles, it is really worthwhile doing the 5km detour.

Directions: Return to the N2 and Plettenberg Bay

We hope you enjoyed this Day Trip.  Register with ShowMe and send us your comments and pics!


More info on the town of Plettenberg Bay More info on the Garden Route area

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