Plettenberg Bay at a glance
Plettenberg Bay, known locally as the Jewell of the Garden Route, is one of the most beautiful stops on the Southern Coast of South Africa, and a popular holiday resort for locals and foreigners alike. It is renowned for its endless white beaches, beautiful lagoon and river mouth, whale watching, nature reserve, pansy shells and adventure activities.
Originally christened "Bahia Formosa" (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, it has developed over time into a beautiful, modern town that combines buzzing activity with a peaceful environment, lazy beach days, whale and dolphin watching, and action activities like diving, hiking and bungee jumping (if you absolutely must!). "Plett" is characterised by sweeping, unspoilt golden beaches, a dramatic rocky peninsula called Robberg Peninsula which is famous for its Cape Fur Seal population lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests, unpolluted rivers and the sea of the Indian Ocean.
There are also a few clubs and pubs for evening entertainment, but in summer parties often take place on or near the beach. Life in South Africa tends to be very outdoors orientated and fairly laid-back. There are shopping malls (even a Woolworths - the South African equivalent to Marks & Spencer), Internet Cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs. You will have everything you need. The temperature is influenced by the warm Agulhas current meeting the temperate Benguela current, resulting in a mild climate of 300 days of sunshine and mild water temperatures between 14 and 23 degrees Celsius.
Plettenberg bay is considered one of South Africa's premier holiday destinations and is the playground for the wealthy and adventurists. Polo has become synonymous with Plett and is played from December through to Easter. Some of the best Polo facilities in the world are found in the area. The annual Kurland Polo festival attracts thousand of spectators every year and is held just after new-year.
Beachy Head Drive is home to some of the most valuable Plettenberg Bay property. Real estate for sale on Beachy Head Drive is comparable to Clifton in the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town. With direct access to a pristine five kilometre stretch of coastline on your doorstep and over 300 days of sunshine per annum, it’s not hard to see why Plettenberg Bay property here is so highly sought after.
A Blue Flag status swimming beach can be found at Robberg 5. Beachy Head Drive runs from the Sanctuary and Robberg 5 to the Beacon Island Hotel and Central Beach. It is affectionately known as Millionaire’s Row. The beachfront on Beachy Head Drive is the most prestigious area and holds the highest status of all Plettenberg Bay property.
In 1630, an ailing Portuguese carrack, the São Gonçalo, with water already in her holds and a scurvy ridden crew, sought shelter in the calm waters of Bahia Formosa (Beautiful Bay), currently known as Plettenberg Bay. Only a small portion of the crew dared venture onto the feared shores of the “Dark Continent” to set up a base camp. Seven weeks later a howling gale struck, pounding the ship against the rocks of Robberg Peninsula. 400 people disastrously lost their lives that night. 100 survivors found themselves stranded in a paradise teeming with game, fish, shellfish, fowl, honey, forests, fertile soil, rivers and fresh-water springs.
Good relations were established with the local Khoisan nation and a bartering system emerged. Two small boats were constructed and the group split in two with one heading east planning to return to India and the other to Portugal via the Cape of Good Hope. A year after being stranded, the survivors stepped from the five kilometre stretch of pristine beach into their boats with their remaining treasure, risking life and limb to make their way home. Little did they realise, but they were leaving the greatest treasure of all behind. The sands of time covered the tragic wreck of the São Gonçalo, and over four centuries the area slowly turned into the popular tourist destination that is Plettenberg Bay today.
The rest of Robberg Beach and other beachfront Plettenberg Bay properties also attract higher values, namely Central Beach, Lookout Beach, The Sanctuary, Solar Beach, Robberg Beach End, Natures Valley and the Keurbooms Beach. Riverfront and lagoon-front properties also attract value, but not to the same extent as the Robberg Beachfront.
If you are looking for the best beachfront lifestyle imaginable, look no further; Plettenberg Bay property on Beachy Head Drive is for you. Come and watch whales and dolphins swim by from the comfort of you couch.
A jewel among Plettenberg Bay property, the Brackenridge Private Residential Estate is a 128 hectare nature reserve housing only 280 large residential stands. It is located in Plettenberg Bay and is only a five minute drive from town and the beaches.
Brackenridge is next door to the Plettenberg Bay Country Club, which is home to Plett’s oldest golf course, which happens to be one of the finest in the country. Residents of this beautiful estate can revel in panoramic views over the whole bay, Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Robberg Nature Reserve on one side of the development and views of the valley and golf course on the other side.
Brackenridge is characterised by large open spaces filled with indigenous fynbos, with a plethora of meandering hiking trails for nature enthusiasts. This exclusive estateoffers houses on large stands with limited, but generous footprints, which minimises the impact on the eco-estate; the average size of an erf is +/- 1,500m².
A huge attraction is that Brackenridge boasts its own water supply with a state-of-the-art water filtration and processing system, offering residents natural, pure water on tap.
The estate has great security: 24-hour access control, a 6km electric boundary fence which is regularly patrolled and has computerised monitoring, additional patrols throughout the estate both day and night, armed response and an on-site rapid response vehicle.
In the property market in Brackenridge there are a number of very good value vacant sites available, with the occasional bargain surfacing, and the upmarket homes have held their value very well in relation to other areas even during the downturn. Plettenberg Bay properties on the ridge with good sea views attract the highest values. The quality of the houses is fairly uniform due to the architectural guideline, resulting in an estate with only modern upmarket homes. The finishes range from good to excellent.
All of the properties are freehold erven. There is a unique architectural style, which allows for variation, but keeps the theme of the estate throughout: e.g. natural colours, roofs that are broken up so as not to appear monolithic, etc. There are a number of excellent value vacant sites available for purchase, due to the large supply of vacant land in Plett.
Goose Valley Golf Estateis a premier residential estate located on the banks of the Keurbooms River Lagoon a few minutes’ drive away from Plettenberg Bay. This premier Garden Route property is home to an internationally acclaimed, year-round, 72 par 18-hole, Gary Player signature golf course.
The course is in excellent condition and boasts a number of amenities including a club house, restaurant and bar, pro shop, driving range, putting and chipping facilities, swimming pool, tennis courts, squash courts, children’s playground, access to the lagoon, and indigenous gardens with sea and lagoon views. The golf course has sandy soil which facilitates drainage, allowing you to play golf after heavy rains.
The estate hosts a few full title residential homes and many sectional title apartments ranging from two to five bedrooms. There are relatively good rental returns, and access to the golf course and lagoon ensures that Goose Valley real estate retains its value. Many of the units have great views of the Keurbooms Lagoon, Tsitsikamma Mountains, golf course, and Indian Ocean. The security on the estate is also outstanding with perimeter fencing and other state-of-the-art safety measures in place.
Revel in a rich variety of fauna and flora, including indigenous fynbos, a variety of birds (including the Fish Eagle and Spotted Eagle Owl, along with numerous water-fowl and smaller birds), Cape Grysbok and tortoises.
It is a short drive to the Market Square Shopping Centre and Old Nick’s Craft Market is even closer, providing numerous quirky and attractive stores to explore.
Come and relax in your apartment at Goose Valley Golf Estate and play a few rounds of golf on an excellent course in a tranquil, alluring, sunny Mediterranean setting.
Keurboomstrand, known as Keurbooms, is a small coastal town that is named after the indigenous Keurboom tree (genus: virgilia) with its distinct pretty pink pea-shaped flowers. It is a ten minute drive to the North East from Plettenberg Bay.
The main attractions of Keurbooms are its long, unspoiled white-sand beaches, and its unique small coastal town atmosphere. The picturesque Matjies River mouth and the Arch Rock formation is a short walk away along stunning, quiet beaches. On the ridge overlooking the mouth is an 11,000 year old San Cave complete with one of the world’s largest shell middens. It is a national monument.
To the south is the Keurbooms River, which is one of the most scenic estuaries in South Africa. Here, you can find a large lagoon, a bird sanctuary along the coastal dune and a river with sandy beaches that goes all the way up through coastal forest to Whisky Creek. Stay the night in a charming, secluded wooden bungalow, which can be booked for overnight accommodation and canoe rentals, through Nature Conservation (+27 44 533 2125).
The property market in Keurbooms has a higher average than that of Plettenberg Bay property, which is already much higher than the national average. The closer to the beach and the better the sea view, the higher the value, with a big premium placed on beachfront and riverfront property.The values are high due to the limited supply and high demand. Properties in the town are freehold houses, though there are a few sectional title developments closer to the Keurbooms River. There is a range in quality from older beach style cottages to very upmarket modern homes.
Keurbooms offers many tourist attractions, and adventure sport activities are available in the surrounding areas: Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Lawnwood Snake Park, Elephant Park, Tenikwa Animal Rehabilitation, Black Water Tubing, abseiling, sky diving, Tree Top Canopy Tours, fishing charters, whale watching, and of course there is golf.
You can indulge all of your water sport desires in and around Keurbooms: fishing, surfing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating, skiing, kite-boarding, cliff diving/jumping, ferry cruises, etc.
Off the main public parking area and right on the coastline is Ristorante Enrico, which is a great, festive Italian restaurant that specialises in seafood, pizza and pasta. Alternatively, the Barnyard Theatre will quench your thirst for music and theatre.
The word “Keurboomstrand” is Afrikaans and directly translated means “Choice tree beach”. Keurbooms should be your place of choice.
Natures Valley is a unique peaceful coastal town that is surrounded by the Tsitsikamma National Park, and nestled in the forested mountains, where the Groot River meets the Indian Ocean. There is a pretty lagoon and a long white-sand beach. This is where you come when you want to get away from it all and to immerse yourself in natural beauty. There are no malls, no banks and no shops, other than the one and only Natures Valley Restaurant and Shop where you can get yummy food and basic groceries and a few other items. The local community is committed to minimizing its environmental impact the town has on its surroundings. It is a 30 minute drive to the North East of Plettenberg Bay, which will take you through a winding pass overlooking dense old-growth indigenous forest.
The main attraction of Natures Valley is the very environment it finds itself in: coastal forest and fynbos, a rugged coastline with an attractive beach, walking trails, and a safe lagoon. There is no further room for expansion, so the town will never grow and lose its laid back atmosphere.
All of the properties in Natures Valley are freehold homes. Most are unfenced, and many are hidden away in the forest and indigenous gardens, which gives Natures Valley its unique holiday atmosphere. It is similar in many ways to some of the more attractive lake-side communities in North America. Prices are substantially above the national average for South Africa and are comparable to those in Plettenberg Bay.
Accommodation includes a national parks campsite, B&Bs, and holiday home rentals.
The lagoon is perfect for the quieter water sports: swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, skiing, kite-boarding, etc. The sea is great for fishing. The forest is great for walking and is home to a wide diversity of plants, animals and birds. You will see many Knysna Loerie's running along the branches of the trees, or catch flashes of the red under their wings when they fly from tree to tree, all whilst making their unique call.
There are also two world famous hiking trails: the Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail and Otter Trail. Many tourist attractions and adventure sport activities are available in the surrounding areas. The world's highest bungee jump is close by at the Bloukrans River Bridge. You can walk to Keurbooms along the rugged coastline if you are feeling adventurous or if you want something a bit shorter, you can walk to the beautiful Salt River Mouth. There are a few spots for Big Wave surfers, but you'll have to befriend a local surfer to find out where they are. Not for novices.
The Barnyard Theatre is not too far away in The Crags if you have a desire to watch live music or theatre.
The Ratepayers Association and The Natures Valley Trust have a catchphrase that sums up Natures Valley: "Inhabited but unharmed."
The River Club in Plettenberg bay is a residential development on the riverfront of the Piesang River ("Banana" River) with its green roofs and unique take on Victorian style architecture the homes are set in lush green gardens. It is a short walking distance from central beach, Beacon Island shopping centre and the Shul. It is popular amongst locals and visitors alike as it offer a relaxing holiday resort feeling. The boardwalks through the reeds in the river add a special touch to this exceptional development.
River club was one of the first secure estates in Plettenberg bay and offers a wonderful save and quiet environment to relax in while on holiday or live permanently. Property is in high demand in this area and there are usually only a few properties for sale at any point in time. Rental returns are good in comparison to the rest of Plett. Depending on what you are looking for, there are three sectional title complexes to choose from: River Club Villas, River Club Mews and River Club Mystique. If you prefer freehold property, there are close to 150 houses in the club.
Most houses comprise of 3 or 4 bedrooms with open plan lounge, dining room and kitchen onto covered patio. The apartments comprise of 2 and 3 bedrooms with open plan living areas which make for great entertainment with the whole family.
Sports facilities include a swimming pool, squash court and tennis courts. You can also paddle on the river of course, and take a stroll along the boardwalks on the banks of the river through the reeds. You will see a plethora of birds that will put an ear-to-ear grin on any ornithologist's face.
There is 24 hour security: perimeter palisade fencing, access control and regular patrols. It is one of the few suburbs in Plett where you still see children riding around on their bicycles.
The Plettenberg Bay Country Club and Golf Course is just up the road if you feel the need for 18 holes on an international quality golf course. Wild Waters, Plett Gym, Olympic size pool, and River Café Restaurant are even closer next door to the community centre. Global Village around the corner offers a unique shopping experience, with curios, arts, restaurant, play facilities, and a chilled, laid-back atmosphere.
All in all, the River Club is a great place for families.
Whale Rock is the southern-most suburb of Plettenberg Bay. It borders on Robberg Beach and is very close to Robberg Nature Reserve. It covers a large, diverse area that is covered in indigenous fynbos. There are boardwalks through the vlei (wetland) for the lower lying properties. Those that are higher up enjoy spectacular sea and mountain views.
Other than the open residential areas, Whale Rock has the following individual gated areas:
Whale Rock Ridge - Secure Estate part of Whale Rock. Houses on the front of the ridge attract the highest prices due to their unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean, Tsitsikamma Mountain Range, Robberg Beach, and the whole bay. Most of the properties are north facing (a big plus in the Southern Hemisphere). The large homes in Whale Rock Ridge Estate are built on eco-friendly principles. Design guidelines ensure the correct use and blend of materials, colours and textures that merge with the natural environment. There is good 24 hour security.
Whale Rock Beach - a small, exclusive, upmarket estate with 24 hour security located on Robberg Beach, close to the Wreck (a ship wreck) in the corner of the bay between Robberg Beach and Robberg Nature Reserve.
Whale Rock Ridge and Whale Rock Beach are home to some of the most valuable properties in Plettenberg Bay and, therefore, the Garden Route, Western Cape and South Africa.
Robberg Estate - luxury homes on the ridge in a gated estate very close to Robberg Nature Reserve, with good sea and mountain views. Close to the beach.
Whale Rock Heights - good views of the sea and mountains are available in this gated estate. The sites are generally large, and many are North facing. The architectural theme is Mediterranean.
Whale Rock Hill - excellent sea and mountain views from the freehold houses in this small gated eco-friendly estate. Architectural guidelines ensure upmarket modern materials and elements blend in with the natural beauty of the area.
Whale Rock Resort - next to the wetland situated behind the dunes of Robberg Beach, you will find this private residential lifestyle resort with 24 hour security. The design style here is Tuscan, and you can find sectional title apartments and freehold homes on smaller full title plots. Sports facilities include: heated pool, gym, bowling green and putting green.
Whale Rock Sun - freehold houses in a small gated estate with sea views.
Summer Place - freehold houses on relatively small plots in a gated estate with 24 hour security and sea and mountain views.
Robberg Ridge - good sea and mountain views from freehold properties in a gated estate at the top of Whale Rock.
Prices range from affordable to the "if you have to ask, it's not for you" range. Whale Rock has something for everyone.