Day Trip

Goukou River in Stilbaai

Goukou River in Stilbaai

The Goukou River has a beautiful estuary at Stilbaai. This unpolluted river is navigable for 15 km upstream from the river-mouth. A meandering road runs up-river along the western bank of the for 19 km. Along this winding road the traveler is indulged with breathtaking scenery and tranquility. Various olive farms, activities and outstanding accommodation are situated along the Goukou Meander.

PLACES TO VISIT and ACTIVITIES: (distances are from the Goukou bridge)

  • Kleinbergskloof olive and guest farm (2 km): Day-restaurant, deli, olive products sales (only during December-January holiday season). There is also accommodation and events venue.
    Tel 028 754 3181

  • Palmyra (2,6 km): Picnic site, fishing. There is also accommodation.
    Tel 081 827 5728.

  • Oudewerfskloof olive farm (4,5 km): A variety of olive products and farm tours (by appointment) and top class accommodation.
    Tel 082 549 9657.

  • Kransfontein olive farm (10 km) at “Muffets” turn-off: A deli with a variety of olive products, a stunning hiking route, picnic area, a rock pool braai area (by pre-arrangement only and at a fee) and up-market accommodation.
    Tel 083 973 5772.

  • Wild Olive Farm (12 km): Picnic on the riverbank & fresh organic produce.
    Tel 028 754 2719.

ACCOMMODATION: (distances from the Goukou bridge)

Stilbaai VermaaklikheidVERMAAKLIKHEID DAY TRIP

Vermaaklikheid is a picturesque little hamlet, situated close to the Duiwenhoks River, about 42 km to the west of Stilbaai. It is reached via the gravel road, running from Jongensfontein. The hamlet consist of a number of smallholdings, some with orchards, and a few dirt roads meandering into the surrounding knolls and dales and towards the river. Most of the original houses, simple in building style, dates back to the late 1800’s. Some of the smallholdings are on the banks of the Duiwenhoks River, which is navigable all the way to its’ mouth at Puntjie (some 10 km). There is a public slipway at Vermaaklikheid, giving access to the river.

The original owners of the 15 000ha farm gradually subdivided the land into smaller and smaller plots, as their offspring multiplied. Ample spring water and a rocky soil used to feed acres upon acres of hanepoot vineyards, and some fruit orchards and vegetable fields. It was from these sweet grapes that witblits was distilled – illegally.

During the depression years of the 1930’s the young people left Vermaaklikheid, finding work in the towns and cities, and the place lost its lustre. Eventually some city folk discovered this quaint place and started buying properties. The inhabitants reluctantly welcomed the “inkommers”. But with time, Vermaaklikheid became a special and sought-after place again.

Today, a number of cottages and old hartbeeshuisies, some of them renovated, others worn bare by many years of erosion, are sprinkled onto a landscape of pastures, newly planted olive groves, poplar woods and dune veld. Some new houses were also built, and there are a number of accommodation cottages available for rent. Visit to find details.

There is only one shop in Vermaaklikheid, Josie’s General Store, where nice coffee and croissants (in season), can also be enjoyed. The shop sells gifts, all sorts of thingies, preserves, various snacks and softdrinks. From the end of December 2023, the local Oasis Restaurant will be operational again. Contact Renier at 083 227 3631 (Whatsapp) for more information.

A day trip to Vermaaklikheid is surely worth the effort. The condition of the gravel road from Jongensfontein is usually not too bad. From Vermaaklikheid, there is also a gravel road of 33 km taking you to Riversdale, as well as a road leading further west and then south to Witsand.


Origins of Tastes is a bespoke foraging tour by Palaeo Ecologist & Archaeologist, dr Jan de Vynck. The tour includes a presentation at the Blombos Museum of Archaeology, a foraging round-trip hike (more than 20 species to be seen) and a feeding of the eels-session at Stilbaai Tourism.


WhatsApp 0826844461 for more information on availability.

A foraging trip with a palaeo ecologist is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Booking is essential and limited to a maximum of 12 and minimum of 4 visitors.

Please bring a hat, comfortable shoes, comfortable clothing and sunscreen. Bottled still water will be supplied for the hike.

Die-tuin-op-die-brak in Stilbaai is a unique fynbos park featuring the calcareous limestone fynbos specific to this particular region. These plants have probably played a crucial role in the survival of humans at a time of drastic climate change. The probability that humankind survived in this vicinity when the rest of the world had been rendered uninhabitable by extreme cold, is strongly supported by archeological finds. Viewed together with museum exhibits and other local heritage components, this park has the potential to become a tourism attraction without an equal anywhere in the world.

The project is driven by a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers on behalf of the Hessequa municipality. We cater for physically challenged visitors. The park has been designed to be wheelchair-accessible, with broad, level paths. A wheelchair-friendly toilet has already been installed in the existing kiosk. A section of the park is devoted to strongly scented plants to appeal to sight-impaired visitors, with labels in braille.

We have installed an analemmatic sundial, which is already a great attraction to visitors. This is a sundial constructed in such a way that a person standing on it forms the gnomon, indicating the time. Every such sundial on earth has to be individually designed. This component of the park is extremely popular with all our visitors, especially children. The park boasts specially designed garden seats. Made of concrete, cast in a simple, sturdy form, these seats are durable yet elegant.

For more information contact:
Naomi Van Schalkwyk: 028 754 2087
Alice Duddy: 028 754 2490

Osler Street