Noordhoek is sandwiched between the sea, the mountains and a prized wetlands area. You can take a number of routes to get there: via Chapman’s Peak Drive, over Ou Kaapse Weg or past Cape Point Nature Reserve. This walk, which leads along a beautiful stretch of white sand to the SS Kakapo shipwreck, will take you about 40 minutes each way.
From the parking lot on the Chapman’s Peak side of the beach, simply follow the boardwalk down to the sand and turn left before your feet get wet. This stretch, also known as ‘Long Beach’, links the toes of Chapman’s Peak to Kommetjie in the distance. The lagoons on the left fill with seawater at high tide so are ideal for kids to splash and run wild in. As you walk look out for oystercatchers, whales, dolphins and, on the edge of the wetland, Cape clawless otters. In the early morning you’re also see many dog walkers and horse riders.Towards the Kommetjie side of the beach you’ll find the shipwreck lying high and dry. This colossal steamship was on her way to Sydney when she ran ashore on 25 May 1900. A north-westerly gale had picked up and, with visibility impaired by driving rain, the captain mistook Chapman’s Peak for Cape Point and ordered ‘hard to port, full steam ahead’. Instead of sailing into False Bay the boat smacked straight into the beach. The boiler, rudders and ribs can still be seen sticking out of the sand.