20 Best Things To Do In The Garden Route

Wondering what to do in the South African Garden Route?
Don’t worry, visitors here are spoiled for choice with the hundreds of activities on offer.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, want to immerse yourself in nature or visit vibrant towns, the Garden Route has it all.
To help you plan your trip, here are some of the absolute best things to do in the Garden Route for any kind of visitor.
Garden Route
Famous for wine, biltong and braai - South Africa will not disappoint your palate!

Lunch at Bramon Wine Estate, Plettenberg Bay

Did you know that the Garden Route offers some amazing wine-tasting opportunities? Bramon Wine Estate, just outside of Plettenberg Bay, is a must-visit if this is something you’re interested in.
This wine estate is renowned not only for its exquisite wines but also for its commitment to sustainable viticulture.
While you’re sampling the local wines, indulge in a leisurely lunch amid the vineyards. Each sip of wine will be complemented by panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes - making it a truly relaxing way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Hike in Robberg

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the captivating landscapes of Robberg Nature Reserve - one of the best things to do on the Garden Route for nature lovers.
This strip of coastal reserve offers some of the most amazing views of the Garden Route coastline. It’s a haven for birdwatchers and marine life enthusiasts, as you can spot many local bird species, dolphins, seals, and even great white sharks.
The three circular trails in the reserve cater to different fitness levels, ensuring everyone can enjoy this beautiful reserve in Plett. Best of all, the unique sandy beach at the end of the reserve is an incredibly rewarding destination after a hike along the rocks.

Walk the Suspension Bridge at Storms River Mouth

Storms River is one of the best places to visit on the Garden Route. If you do visit this stunning village, you have to include a walk along the suspension bridges over the impressive river mouth.
Suspended above the untamed waters, this bridge provides not only a thrilling experience but also a unique vantage point to witness where the river and sea meet. Camping spots are available here, as well as a couple of small beaches, braai (BBQ) spots, and a restaurant.
Garden Route
A scenic walk through Tsitsikamma National Park.

Segway Tour in Storms River

For a modern twist on exploring Storms River, embark on a Segway tour through the lush forest.
You’ll glide effortlessly through the forest, as your knowledgeable guide shares insights into the local flora and fauna. This eco-friendly adventure is a fun and immersive way to experience the beautiful natural surroundings.

Yoga in Nature's Valley

Nature’s Valley is known for its amazing stretch of beach. But, the small village is also an ideal escape for those seeking wellness and relaxation.
Find serenity in the heart of Nature's Valley with a yoga retreat. The tranquil surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for deep relaxation and self-discovery. Experienced instructors guide you through rejuvenating poses, allowing you to connect with nature and yourself on a deeper level.

Explore the Beaches

Of all the things to do in the Garden Route, South Africa, exploring the many beaches is always one of the best.
The Garden Route boasts a wide array of pristine beaches, each with its own charm. From the secluded tranquillity of Buffalo Bay to the surfing haven of Victoria Bay, there's a beach for every mood.
You could walk for hours along the endless beach at Wilderness, or discover secret coves in more secluded areas of this coastline. Wherever you stay along the Garden Route, there will always be a stunning beach nearby.
Garden Route
A beautiful cove in Tsitsikamma National Park.

Hike the Otter Trail

The Otter Trail, a multi-day hiking adventure, is one of the best hikes in South Africa. If you’re interested in a challenging and beautiful hiking experience, then be sure to add it to your Garden Route itinerary.
The trail allows you to experience diverse landscapes, from indigenous forests to rocky shorelines. Hiking the Otter Trail provides an intimate encounter with the Garden Route's natural wonders, with each day's hike revealing new views, landscapes, and experiences.

Map of Africa in Wilderness

At the very top of Wilderness lies the Map of Africa - a unique viewpoint of the rivers and hills below that form the shape of the African continent.
The viewpoint offers a unique photo opportunity of the African “map”. It’s also just a spectacular place to soak up the panoramic views of Wilderness - one of the most beautiful destinations along the Garden Route.
It’s a quick and relatively easy stop, making it one of the best things to do on the Garden Route for anyone passing by.
Garden Route
Famous African penguins of South Africa!

Visit the Knysna Heads

You can’t visit the Garden Route without stopping in Knysna. And of all the Garden Route attractions, the Knysna heads is one of the most impressive to witness.
The Knysna Heads are towering sandstone cliffs that tower above the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon. With vicious currents, big waves, and sheer cliff faces, this truly is an impressive sight to witness.
Take a leisurely walk along the cliff paths, absorbing the fresh sea breeze and panoramic vistas. This is an iconic landmark of the Garden Route, and one of the best things to do in the Garden Route on a budget, as the views won't cost you a cent.

Experience Treetop Canopy Ziplining

There are plenty of thrilling things to do on the Garden Route for those seeking adventure. Treetop ziplining is definitely one of the most fun things on this list.
Garden Route ziplining experiences are available at a couple of locations, (including Tsitsikamma, Hermanus and Cape Town) offering you a chance to soar through the treetops as you take in the lush surroundings. Each zipline offers a unique perspective, providing an adrenaline-pumping adventure while showcasing the region's natural beauty.

Stop By the Many Animal Sanctuaries

As you drive through the Garden Route, you’ll notice many animal sanctuaries. If you want to get up close and learn about a range of different creatures, then these sanctuaries are great places to visit.
From big cat rehabilitation centres to reptile, wolf, and primate sanctuaries, there are plenty of interesting sanctuaries to experience.
These are great stops for kids and a good way to support local animal conservation.
garden route
Beautiful coastal towns are found all along the Garden Route.

Paragliding in Wilderness

We mentioned that there are plenty of Garden Route adventure activities for anyone seeking thrills. If you’ve always wanted to fly, then paragliding over Wilderness is a must-do.
Take flight over Wilderness with a paragliding adventure that offers awe-inspiring views of the coastline and mountains. Experienced pilots ensure a safe and exhilarating experience, allowing you to appreciate the Garden Route's beauty from a perspective reserved for the intrepid.
If you are visiting Cape Town during your stay, you can also paraglide off of the legendary Table Mountain! Adventurers travelling with Skyhook’s Garden Route Tour have the opportunity to do this on their final day.

Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield

The Garden Route has plenty of fantastic local food producers, artists, and crafts. One of the best places to experience all of this is at the Wild Oats Market, every Saturday morning in Sedgefield.
This market is a fantastic chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant community spirit of Sedgefield while browsing stalls brimming with local produce, handmade crafts, and delectable treats.
Live music and a fun atmosphere make this market a must-visit if you’re in the area.

Eat Oysters in Knysna

Knysna is synonymous with fresh oysters, and no visit is complete without indulging in this culinary delight.
Whether you prefer them au naturel or with a splash of lemon, the oysters in Knysna are a testament to the region's rich maritime heritage. If you’re lucky, you could also visit the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna - one of the town’s major highlights.
Hiking on the Garden Route
It's always a great time to hike in South Africa!

Visit Farm Stalls, Cafes, Restaurants, and Bars

As you drive through this awesome region, you’ll notice plenty of charming restaurants and farm stalls along the way. One of the best things to do on the Garden Route is stopping at as many of these as you can.
Explore charming farm stalls (like Thyme & Again), sip coffee in cosy cafes (like you’ll find at the Old Nick Village), dine in restaurants with amazing views (like the Lookout Deck), and unwind in lively bars across the Garden Route.
There are many hidden gems in the Garden Route to discover, so be sure to take some time to stop at the many little cafes and restaurants along the way.

Surf in Victoria Bay

The Garden Route can be a paradise for surfers, and Victoria Bay (locally called “Vic Bay”) is the best place to catch a wave.
Victoria Bay beckons surfers year-round with its consistent waves and idyllic setting. Whether you're a seasoned surfer hitting the rocky point, or a novice looking to catch your first wave on the beach break, the bay's inviting waters will be a highlight of any Garden Route trip.

Elephant Sanctuary, The Crags

Delve into the world of gentle giants at the Elephant Sanctuary in The Crags.
This ethical sanctuary provides a unique opportunity to interact with rescued elephants, fostering a connection between visitors and these magnificent creatures. Educational programs highlight the importance of elephant conservation. You’ll also learn about the interesting history of elephants in the area.
Pixabay cape town road
Beautiful mountain-side passes are one of the many things that make the Garden Route special.

Experience a Houseboat on the Knysna Lagoon

Immerse yourself in luxury and tranquillity with a houseboat experience on the Knysna Lagoon.
Drift along the calm waters, surrounded by lush landscapes and panoramic views. It's a unique accommodation choice that offers both relaxation and the freedom to explore the lagoon at your own pace.
This is one of the best ways to experience Kynsna and a truly unique thing to do on the Garden Route.

Drive and Enjoy the Views

You don’t even have to do specific activities to enjoy the Garden Route.
This is South Africa’s premier road trip destination, and simply driving along the coast is all you need.
The Garden Route is loaded with scenic drives. From winding roads through dense forests to cliffside routes with expansive ocean views; driving along the Garden Route is a fun activity in itself.
Be sure to stop at the many viewpoints along the way.

Hog Hollow Horse Trails

Experience the Garden Route's beauty on horseback with guided trails offered by Hog Hollow Horse Trails.
You’ll traverse meandering paths, winding through forests and meadows, as experienced guides share insights into the local flora and fauna. It's a fantastic adventure that provides a unique perspective on the region's landscapes.
Garden Route
Canoeing in South Africa.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many fantastic things to do in the Garden Route that appeal to all kinds of visitors. However, this is just a taste of the natural beauty and adventure that this region has to offer.
Whether you want to take it slow or experience fast-paced thrills, the Garden Route really does have it all.
If you’re planning a trip here, we’d recommend spending about a week exploring the different towns and activities of this fun and beautiful region.
When you book your Garden Route tour with Skyhook, you don't have to stress about planning, driving in a different country, or missing out on the best activities!

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