The picturesque town of Hermanus lies between the Kleinrivierberge and the sea and stretches for six kilometres along the north shore of Walker Bay.
Celebrated for its coastal beauty, wild flowers, angling, fine beaches and whales, Hermanus is one of the premier holiday resorts of the country. The holiday season which used to range through spring and summer to autumn – September to May – has in modern times increased to make the resort popular all year round.
The scenic beauty of the coastline is unique with its majestic mountain backdrop falling sharply to the craggy cliffs and swirling sea, where whale watching; said to be the finest land based whale watching in the world, is a major preoccupation of the visitor during the calving season from June to November each year.
Rotary Way is a drive which runs along the top of the mountain behind the town. From Rotary way all of Hermanus can be seen with a sweeping view to Cape Point and the mountain peaks of the far distant Franschhoek and Swartberg ranges.
Some sixteen kilometres of walks have been constructed in Fernkloof Nature Reserve on the slopes of the mountain.
The reserve is notable for the waterfall and a display of protea and veld flowers.
Hermanus had its beginning in 1855 when the fishing village was named Hermanuspietersfontein after Hermanus Pieters, a local teacher-shepherd. The abbreviated form was adopted at the time when it became a municipality in 1894. On 5 December 2000 the town of Hermanus became a part of the enlarged municipality of Overstrand.
From the New Harbour boats are charted for the deep sea tunny and marlin catches. The highlight of the fishing season is the kabeljou run from November to March. During the same season, yellowtail are caught from the jetty by trolling. In its main function the New Harbour provides anchorage for the fleet of sole trawlers and diving craft and for the visitors there is an opportunity for the excitement of witnessing the ships returning from the Agulhas Banks to off-load tons of fish and perlemoen (abalone) the South African shellfish delicacy.
The atmospheric Old Harbour, for years the scene of tricky ship berthings, is the favourite subject of photographers and artists. It was here that the world record rod-and-line catch was made by Bill Selkirk in 1922. After a tremendous battle lasting more than five hours he landed a shark with a mass of 988 kilograms and a length of more than 4 metres. The Old Harbour is a national monument and a museum has been made on its slip way where there is a collection of the small fishing boats; some over a hundred years old, that reaped the rich harvest of Walker Bay.
This review courtesy of Dead Duck Graphix.
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