If you are looking for top things to do in Hartenbos, we have got you covered. Hartenbos is a small seaside town in the Western Cape, situated km south of Mossel Bay. The town is really a hidden gem, with all the luxuries of having a seaside experience but without being too busy. A nice getaway whether you are going for some peace by yourself or as a nice little family getaway.
Hartenbos Becoming A Holiday Destination
What started out as a farm, grew into a quaint seaside resort town thanks to The Transnet, the South African Railway and Harbour Operator. This influence of railways can still be seen in some of the attractions of the town and neat decommissioned railways that visitors use for photo locations. Straddled by the bigger town of Mossel Bay to the West, and the small town of Klein Brak River to the East, Hartenbos is rich in natural scenery and is a feast for the sense for visitors.
List of Things To Do In Hartenbos
Here are some nice activities that you can get up to while you are on your Hartenbos holiday.
Hartenbos Water Park
Also known as Diaz Water Park, this is a nice location to visit when the weather allows for it. There are a lot of fun activities for the kids to get soaked up in and the grown-ups can just kick back on the lounge chairs and breath in the fresh seaside air. You can relax by the pool and listen to the crashing waves of the sea while still keeping your eyes on the children It has a multitude of super tubes for you to slide around in.
Mini-gold and trampolines are part of the fun to be had, as well as braai facilities so bring your meat with you if you think you will get hungry. The water park is open Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 16:00, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 to 17:00, and on Sundays from 10:00 to 16:00.
Janine Iron and Washing Museum
Janine Iron and washing museum is a museum dedicated to the history of laundry. As far as unique experiences go, this one ranks with the best of them. It is quite an interesting location where you can see washing and ironing in a different light. The museum has over 640 pieces of irons and washing machinery. It is a collection, the likes of which you probably have not seen before and the arrangement of all the pieces is spectacularly thoughtful. Fancy a wooden, hand operated washing machine? This museum will take you through a journey of how laundry has evolved over time.
Upon entering, you can watch a 20-minute video on the history of laundry, be taken through the ages, from as far back as the 8th century. Some of the pieces in this collection are the only ones remaining so they are quite a treat to see. The pieces also make for excellent photos and an artist can have a field day here making an artistic gallery. The museum is free to visit and should definitely be on your itinerary as one of the most interesting places you can visit in Hartenbos. The operating hours are: Monday – Friday from 07:00 to 17:00, Saturday from 08:00 – 17:00, Sunday from 08:00 to 14:00
Hartenbos beach is an obvious choice and a must visit when you are in this seaside town. The beach has achieved a Blue Flag status, which means that it’s clean and safe for visitors. A unique aspect of the beach is that it provides wheelchair access, with a series of ramps that make for easy accessibility. The white sands make for excellent views against the blue sea and there are public facilities which are kept in excellent condition.
Parking is also plentiful and there is a shopping centre a short walk away from the beach where you can get a snack in when you take a break from the waves. There are also tour operators in the area during the busy season and you can partake in water sports like surfing for one or the whole family.
Diaz Express Train Ride
The Diaz Express Train Ride is a fun railway ride for the whole family. It runs on a Transnet railway network between the town of George and the seaside resort town of Mossel Bay./ The excursion includes a lovely view of the Indian Ocean and the stunning plant life of the Cape Fynbos. The train has two departure points, one in Mossel Bay, and the other in Hartenbos. The departure times for Hartenbos are 09:00, 10:30,12:00, 13:30, and 15:00.
There are 4 different excursions that take passengers through the locally popular locations of Santos Beach, Great Brak River, Glentana and Maalgate. Availability of each excursion varies according to Rail Safety Regulations. Details on when you can go can be found by contacting Diaz Express through their website
Horse Riding At The Lagoon
One of the more fun experiences that can be had near Hartenbos is horse riding while taking in the white sands of the beach. Horse Riding is a nice leisurely way to take in the landscape sights that Hartenbos has to offer. Adventure Horse Safaris operates a great service where you can take trail rides and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Outeniqua mountains.
Inexperienced riders are welcome and the service caters for kids as well. The also give riding lessons which come in at R180 for a single lesson or R600 for 4 riding lessons which are taken for a month. Pleasure rides are R300 per person for a 1-hour ride and R450 for a two-hour ride. For more information, you can visit Adventure Horse Riding’s website.
When you have had enough of the busy activities in Hartenbos, you can kick back and enjoy a spa treatment at the Beauty Lounge. The team at this spa specialize in massages, facial care, and reflexology. Get yourself a hot stone massage or a zone therapy to leave you feeling refreshed. You will come out feeling like a new person and ready to take on the rest of your visit to this beautiful town. The spa is open from 9:00 to 18: from Monday to Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the closing time is 17:00 and 13:00 respectively. For more information, visit the Beauty Lounge website.
ATKV Hartenbos Museum
The ATKV Hartenbos Museum is a museum dedicated to the Great Trek of the early settlers and the history of South Africa. ATKV stands for Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging, which means Afrikaans Language and Culture Association. The Great Trek was the migration of the early settles from the Cape Colony, to the interior of the country.
The museum shows how the Voortrekkers lived during their voyage through what was then, the wilderness in rural and luxury free circumstances. On display are photos and literature from those early days. You can see the tools that were used by these travelers and the wagons that carried them through the country’s landscape. There are also life-sized mannequins dressed in the attire of that day. Entry into the museum is minimal, at R5 per person. Operating hours are from 9:00 to 16:00 from Monday to Friday, and 9:00 to 12:30 on Saturday.