Plett Hiking Kranshoek Coastal Walk

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Harkerville-Ocean3

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” Barry Finlay

Today we’re going to share one of our favourite Plett secrets – the Harkerville Coastal Hike. If you’re a walker, birder, photographer, nature-lover, hiker or trail runner, then you will want to make time to explore the coastal area around Kranshoek.

Picturesque Kranshoek is an exceptionally lovely suburb of Plettenberg Bay, located along the coastline between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. Kranshoek is home to one of the largest Griqua populations in South Africa and is home to both the Griqua National Heritage Monument and the Griqua National Conference, offering visitors a fascinating look into the rich Griqua culture.

Kranshoek-Coastal

With some of the most dramatic coastal views to be found on the Garden Route, you’ll stroll through indigenous Fynbos and forest, hike down the cliff and meander along untouched shorelines – the Kranshoek Coastal Walk is an amazing hiking adventure in Plettenberg Bay.

There are two walks – a 3km and 9km option (which should take about 2 hours or 5 hours respectively) with the 9km being significantly tougher than the 3km – so choose whichever suits your fitness level. There is also a two-day hike and a number of MTB routes to enjoy in the area.

The “wildside” coastline between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna is characterised by seaside cliffs overlooking rocky shores and coves. The clifftop meander takes hikers through coastal Fynbos, endemic to the Southern Cape region; this flora plays home to some beautiful local birds including Orange-breasted Sunbirds, Southern Double-collared Sunbirds and the  Knysna Loerie.

We recommend packing a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way or at the picnic spot that serves as the start and end of the hike.

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MAP:

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Find our more on the SanParks website

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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Plett

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“There is nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realise that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean.” Dave Barry

Plettenberg Bay is probably best known for kilometres of pristine beaches, whale and dolphin watching and sublime summery days. We are fortunate to host 4 International Blue Flag beaches, hold the title of International Hope Spot and border the magnificent Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area, the oldest MPA in Africa.

If you are a scuba diving enthusiast, then this stretch of coastline is not to be missed as it offers a unique look at the South African coastline and the vast differences between the Cape South Coast and the Northern, more tropical, coastline. While Cape Town has kelp forests and Durban has tropical fish – the Southern Cape coast is a dramatic mix of vibrant soft corals, anemones and sponges and offers divers, and in particular macro photographers, an endless canvas of colourful reef to explore.

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

While the fish generally aren’t tropical and the water temperatures may be on the colder side of 20°C, the positives far outweigh the negatives with common sightings of Ragged-Tooth sharks, endemic shysharks, large schools of fish and nudibranchs covering reefs with delightfully dramatic topography.

The shallower reefs off the Beacon Island can be reached by shore entry and they, especially in summer, act as a nursery to all sorts of juveniles including Red Roman, Blacktail and Butterfly fish. Rays are common sightings on the sandy patches between reefs and lucky divers may even encounter a school of passing dolphins.

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

Photo: Pro Dive Plett

The deeper reefs are accessed by boat and feature the more interesting topography of the area including walls, pinnacles and drop-offs. Sharks and pelagic fish are common and the reefs offer a fireworks display of colour in sponges, fans and anemones – a treasure trove of soft coral waiting to be discovered.

If you aren’t a scuba diver, you can still enjoy the underwater world of Plettenberg Bay including a snorkeling excursion off the Beacon Island to the shallower Red Bait Reef. For an unforgettable marine experience, hop on a seal swimming boat to the Robberg Peninsula where you can snorkel surrounded by hundreds of playful Cape Fur Seals in the shallows off the peninsula.

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Seals Plett

Photo: Offshore Adventures

TIPS:

  • While the water is generally warmer in the summer months, scuba divers will be delighted to know that the winter conditions are highly recommended with calm, clear conditions.
  • 5mm wetsuits and booties are recommended throughout the year
  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling visit: www.prodive.co.za
  • Swim with Seals visit: www.offshoreadventures.co.za

See the Fynbos in Plett

Plett-Proteas

“Earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plett-Proteas

A huge floral attraction of South Africa’s Southern Cape coast is our endemic Fynbos. Fynbos, from the Dutch fynbosch, directly translated as “fine bush” is actually a shrubland found only along a small coastal belt of the Southern Cape coast from the Cape to Port Elizabeth.

This puts Plettenberg Bay in the heart of Fynbos country. Known for its exceptional biodioversity – some 8500 species, nearly 6000 of which are endemic – the Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest and most diverse of the world’s six floral kingdoms.

Hikers, birdwatchers and walkers along the many trails around Plettenberg Bay will be amazed to find the majestic King Protea growing wild next to the trail. The King Protea might be the largest in the family, but it is by no means the only Protea on this coastline, blooming at different times of the year and adorning the Fynbos region with a beautiful and unusual flower.

Another very popular export of the Fynbos region is Rooibos, also known as “bush tea”.  Brewed as a tea in South Africa for centuries, Rooibos is now available internationally, but efforts to grow Rooibos outside of our Cape coastal region have reportedly failed.

Photo: Plett Tourism

Photo: Plett Tourism

We’re most excited to tell you about a product, grown in Plett and closely related to Rooibos, that is gaining popularity – Honeybush Tea.  Plettenberg Bay has a Honeybush Tea industry that is just 15 years old (much the same as the Plett Winelands) and it is widely accepted that the area from Tsitsikamma to Riversdale is the ideal place to cultivate honeybush – again putting Plettenberg Bay right in the middle of this area. Honeybush is quite similar to Rooibos, although it is sweeter and the plant gets its name from the honey-scented flowers.

Would you like to try Honeybush and visit a Honeybush Tea farm in Plett? In 2000, local community owned, government sponsored Honeybush farm was opened at the Griqua settlement in Kranshoek. The farm is named Ericaville and 84 families from this community benefit from sale of the crops 95% of which are exported to Europe and Asia.

Ericaville farm tours include a brief history and plant classification including medicinal properties and harvesting. Visitors can harvest by hand, chop the tea by hand and drying and flavouring the tea.

As you can see – Fynbos including Proteas, Rooibos and Honeybush is an essential part of the Plett experience.

Adventurous Plett Easter

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” Barry Finlay

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Plettenberg Bay is located right in the middle of one of the most adventurous stretches of land in the world. Between Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth, visitors can bungy jump, sky dive, zipline, scuba dive, swim with seals and view Great White Sharks and this really is just naming a few. The Garden Route could certainly stand up to competition as the Adventure Capital of the World.

Easter is an excellent time to visit Plettenberg Bay as the weather is still extremely pleasant but without the frantic crowds that visit Plett in full summertime. In addition to the awesome weather, this Easter Plett will again play host to trail runners, mountain bikers and paddlers for the Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend and, for the first time, Plett will welcome the new Garden Route Walking Festival.

Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend:

The Pennypinchers Adventure Weekend is held over the Easter Weekend on the dates of 26-27 March 216. This year’s event is going to be bigger and better than ever before with the Pennypinchers Trail Run, the Pennypinchers Cairnbrogie Trail Park Fun Ride, the Pennypinchers Cairnbrogie MTB Nite Relay, the Pennypinchers Surf Ski Challenge and the newest addition of the Pennypinchers “Round the Bliners Dash for Cash.”

There will be something for everyone from serious athletes to family fun and everything in between. Runners, mountain bikers and paddlers will enjoy a fun weekend exploring the wonders of nature in and around Plett.

ENTER HERE

Promotional Video:

Garden Route Walking Festival:

At Cornerway House, we are huge fans of the hikes and walks in and around Plettenberg Bay and we literally jumping up and down in anticipation of the first Garden Route Walking Festival. This is South Africa’s first dedicated walk festival of its kind and will offer 52 walks over 5 days during the Easter Holidays.

This festival is going to be a unique event with walks conducted in areas from Sedgefield to Tsitsikamma – providing the opportunity for visitors and locals to explore the area, meet like-minded people and learn more about the conservation opportunities in this magical area that is the Garden Route. Plettenberg Bay will play host to many of these walks including the following to name a few:

  • Nature’s Valley and Salt River
  • Kranshoek View Site
  • WESSA Frog Walk
  • HArkerville Forest Walk
  • Robberg Peninsula
  • Birding Walks
  • Plett Heritage Walk
  • Nature’s Valley to Robberg Rocks
  • Peak Formosa

REGISTER HERE

Video from Garden Route Walking Festival founder, Galeo Saintz on why he simply loves walking:

New Year at Cornerway House

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Happy New Year to you from Plett! We have had such a wonderful Christmas time in Plett and the summer season looks to be continuing. This summer Plettenberg Bay has had absolutely lovely beach weather and our guests enjoyed many days of fun on Plett’s beaches. We had so many visitors and the town was full of South African and international holidaymakers.

The Plett Summer Festival, organised by Plett Tourism, was brilliant and you couldn’t have asked for a more colourful summer with the Color Run, Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge, Plett Polo tournament, ClemenGold Hobie Regatta, Good Luck’s Get Lucky Summer concerts and Castle Lite’s Republic of Extra Cold. There is no better place to be in summer than Plettenberg Bay!

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At Cornerway House we are ringing in the new year with some wonderful changes:

We have revamped our charming Cottage Room with a more contemporary feel.

Cottage 1

Our swimming pool has been re painted and with the new salt water filter it looks and feels like a brand new pool.

Pool

 

We are so fortunate to have wonderful staff who have been with Cornerway House for some time and made our busy season run smoothly! Thank you!

Happy Staff

Cornerway House wishes you a wonderful New Year and hope that this year brings you many exciting new adventures, laughter and good memories.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

Ralph Waldo Emerson”

Top Tips for Plett Rage students

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Plettenberg Bay is gearing up for the longest running student festival in the Southern Hemisphere – Plett Rage! With around  15 000 students expected to arrive in Plett in just over a week – the Destination Freedom festival is set to be a fun, frantic time for Matrics to celebrate their graduation and the start of the Plett Summer season.

While the town and Plett Rage organisers have been working hard to ensure that not only do Plett Ragers have the party of their lives, but that they can celebrate in a safe and positive environment in our beautiful Plettenberg Bay.  Here are some of our top tips for Plett Rage students to have the best time in Plett – and keep coming back year after year!

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Plett Rage Tip 1: Accommodation – whether you are staying at a bed and breakfast, private home or camping – know the address and contact information for where you are staying. Be sure to give this information to your loved ones back home, in case of an emergency.

Plett Rage Tip 2: This is your time – don’t waste a second of it!  Make sure that you know the full schedule on the Plett Rage calendar so that you don’t miss your favourite acts or activations from Main Beach to the nightclub. The Plett Rage schedule and lineup can be found here: www.plettrage.co.za or follow them on Twitter for the latest news #plettrage2015

Plett Rage Tip 3: Remember to eat! There is so much to see and do during Plett Rage that you may be tempted to try and do everything. Plett restaurants have a number of special offers for Plett Rage students including “All Day Breakfast“, Pizza Specials and more. Check out the booklet in your Plett Rage Student Pass for more information.

Plett Rage Tip 4: Look out for the Red Frogs if you’re feeling a bit lost or overwhelmed. The Red Frogs are an internationally recognised student holiday support network aimed at providing a positive presence during festivals such as Plett Rage. You’ll be in good hands if you visit their Chill Tent – they even visit the guesthouses in Plett to make pancakes for ragers.

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Plett Rage Tip 5: Plett is an incredible place to visit – make time to get out and explore. A hike on Robberg Nature Reserve is a must do as it is a National Monument and Nature Reserve with some of the best views in the country!  If you would like to get active – why not try a surf or scuba lesson, the world famous Bloukrans Bungy or the new AfriAbseil adventure?  There is so much to do and see in Plett, you won’t regret taking some time out to explore.

Plett Rage Tip 6: Be prepared. Keep emergency contact information on your phone and somewhere else safe (in case you lose your phone). Don’t put yourself into dangerous or solitary situations and make sure you know how you are getting home each night (see Tip 1 🙂 )For important numbers and more info go to http://www.plettrage.co.za

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and unforgettable Plett Rage from Cornerway House in Plett!

Photos: Plett Tourism

Sasfin Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival Package

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Welcome to a weekend of wine, bubbles and the finer things in life! Plettenberg Bay is doing it again, we are so excited for the second Sasfin Plett Wine & Bubbly.

Last year we experienced the first Plett Wine & Bubbly, which was a great success and everybody who was there had a wonderful time. So this year’s festival is sure to be a great fine affair.

There will be plenty to sip and taste with more than ten local wine producers from the surrounding area and all our local food gurus showcasing their artisan cheeses, breads and canapé platters.

We are so very much looking forward to the festival, that we have put together a special Wine & Bubbly Package offer for those wishing to travel to Plett for the festival!

Getaway to Plettenberg Bay for the Sasfin Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival with our Cornerway House Package deal.

Cornerway House Wine & Bubbly Weekend

Package includes:

2 Nights Stay at Cornerway House Bed & Breakfast

Delicious English breakfast.

A weekend pass to the Sasfin Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival with 10 tasting vouchers per day, R20 off your first bottle of wine and a commemorative Wine & Bubbly flute valued at R350pp

ONLY: R1300 pp 

Saafin-Plett-Wine

Just to add a bit more class and a bit more bubbly we will be able to taste bubbles from one of France’s oldest champagne houses, Piper-Heidsieck, the official champagne of the award-winning Oscars.

The week before the festival will be filled with activities, presentations and tastings on most of the wine farms.

An event not to be missed… taking place right here in Plett on our beautiful Central Beach.

Bubbly & Oysters     Sun & Sea   Ocean & Mountains   they all go together rather well!

Date: 09 and 10 October 2015 Venue: Central Beach Plett Times: 09 Oct 13h00 to 20h00 | 10 Oct 12h00 to 20h00 No persons under the age of 18

Email us now to redeem this exciting package deal: cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za

 

Spring is Special in Plett

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Cistus

Cistus

Come and enjoy Plett in spring with the sun rising earlier and setting later, the promise of warmer weather. Relax and enjoy our special discounted rates, it’s a good time to visit Plettenberg Bay. Our garden is waking up and beginning to show us some lovely new blossoms. After a long winter it is always nice to see the beginnings of spring.

Wisteria

Wisteria

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Echinacea

Spring is the ideal time to escape for a little rest and relaxation. Our spring garden at Cornerway House is just magnificent and we are just a 7 minute walk away from Robberg Beach and close to all Plett’s favourite restaurants.  So spoil yourself and come and stay, take advantage of our Spring Special.

Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan

 

 

 

 

 

Food and Wine is Poetry at Plett Food Film Festival

Reza & Karen Dudley

 

 

We have just experienced the second  annual Plett Food Film Festival which ran from 9th -11th July.

Cheese & Wine

Cheese & Wine

Wow what a lot of fun and superb entertainment.  The organisers Plett Tourism, and iKasi Media did an exceptional job in presenting this festival. It showcased Plett at its best.  Our little town became a bustle of live entertainment excellent food and classic movies . You would have been forgiven if you thought you were elsewhere.

The second night we were treated to a Cheese & Wine, an amazing spread of local cheeses made by our fine artisans like Alje from Fynboshoek in the Tsitsikamma and my Italian neighbour Marco from Ice Dream Land with his delicious Gorgonzola. All accompanied by artisanal breads from  LeFournil. The table was bending under the spread! Plett Winelands showcased their wine and sparkling bubbly accompanied by canapes  from local chefs. The White House screened “ A Year in Burgundy” . We do hope our Plett Winelands make history like Burgundy.

The final  evening  was an evening of hot spicy delight, with my favourite Chef Reza Mahammad doing a cooking demonstration of “Sweet Potato Cakes” while reciting one of William Makepeace Thackerays poems.   The movie ”The Lunchbox”  an Eastern delight set in Mumbai was full of rediscovering ones hopes and dreams.

Reza reciting Thackerays poem

Reza reciting Thackerays poem

We were treated to an array of Indian dishes created by Reza and his team of local cooking  girls.

My highlights were meeting Reza and the delicious dessert – ice cream …Cardamom infused Pistachio & Almond made by our very own Ice Palazzo.  A wonderful way to end an evening and a fantastic festival.

Cardamom,Pistachio & Almond infused Ice Cream

Cardamom,Pistachio & Almond infused Ice Cream

So if you missed this year you best make a plan to be here in 2016. Promised to be even bigger and better.

Poem to Curry

– William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 -1863)

Three pounds of veal my darling girl prepares,
And chops it nicely into little squares;
Five onions next procures the little minx
(The biggest are the best, her Samiwel thinks),
And Epping butter nearly half a pound,
And stews them in a pan until they’re brown’d.

What’s next my dexterous little girl will do?
She pops the meat into the savoury stew,
With curry-powder table-spoonfuls three,
And milk a pint (the richest that may be),
And, when the dish has stewed for half an hour,
A lemon’s ready juice she’ll o’er it pour.

Then, bless her! Then she gives the luscious pot
A very gentle boil – and serves quite hot.
PS – Beef, mutton, rabbit, if you wish,
Lobsters, or prawns, or any kind fish,
Are fit to make a CURRY. ‘Tis, when done,
A dish for Emperors to feed upon.

An Indian Feast

An Indian Feast

 

Plett Food and Film festival

Reza

It is that time of the year again when Plett goes a little MAD. Plett Tourism and Ikasi Media will be hosting the Plett Food Film Festival from the 9th – 11th July.

This festival takes place during our annual Mad Festival. This year we will see celebs like Reza Mahammad, the “Spice Prince“, who will be our host along with SA’s hot new upcoming actress Lika Berning, the festivals ambassador. Reza the spice prince will be cooking all things spicy for us. Reza will delight us on the final night with an Indian dinner and the movie “The Lunch Box” And of course my very favourite lady, Karen Dudley, from The Kitchen in Cape Town will be back this year. Karen who is so passionate about food and life will entertain us in a BIG Italian way on the opening night with delicious food accompanied by the screening of “Big Night.” Expect a lot more than the “Love Sandwich.”

Meeting Karen Dudley

Meeting Karen Dudley last year

So prepare for a 3 day extravaganza of food and wine prepared by world class chefs. There will be local artisanal cheeses accompanied by award winning wine from Plett Winelands All of this will be accompanied by fine music and awesome drama. All of this takes place during The Plett MAD – the Music, Arts and Drama Festival, which runs from the 25th June to the 18th July and is an event not to be missed. Here we see music, arts and drama – all things MAD!

Come and stay with us at Cornerway House and enjoy the festival and all the other activities that Plett has to offer.

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