Hibberdene, Port Shepstone, Shelly Beach, Margate, Southbroom and Port Edward form the core of this South Coast 'beach holiday mecca' of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Coast of Many Colours
Quite simply, the very last word in gracious and relaxed subtropical seaside living, plus thrilling, adrenalin-fuelled adventures to boot! Living up to its name, our southernmost Hibiscus Coast dazzles with iridescent blooms against a lush green backdrop, meeting a perennially-warm, saltwater playground along 70 kilometres of picture perfect hideaway coves and seemingly endless golden sands.
And while our inviting stretch of Indian Ocean presents the year-round delights of frolicking dolphins and majestic, cruising whales, this enchantment peaks each June or July with 'The Greatest Shoal on Earth' - when we offer the best possible 'ringside' seats for one of nature's truly grand spectaculars. Where else to marvel at 20-thousand dolphins plus thousands of sharks, hundreds of fur seals, uncountable game fish and the occasional whale - all herding and feeding from a millions-strong sardine shoal, while massed squadrons of sea birds rain down from above? This may sound like a fisherman's tale after a long night in the pub, but our Zulu Kingdom's annual winter Sardine Run is a wonder of the world, attracting ever more attention from around the globe.
Speaking of winter, it's readily noticeable that several Hibiscus Coast resorts and hamlets were founded during our Colonial era and named after famous holiday destinations in the 'Olde Country'. Equally quaint and charming, the comparison stops there, however. To begin with, we have good reason to lick a giant ice cream cone while strolling along a seafront promenade in the middle of winter, eyeing the bronzed beach bunnies and graceful, athletic surfers at play! Anglers can stand knee-deep in the shore-break for hours on end, casting lines after some of the most varied and abundant scaled trophies to be hooked anywhere. For scuba divers, a world-class site presents a series of reefs to test the mettle and endurance of even the most experienced underwater fanatic.
Other challenges lie in wait ashore - some with panoramic sea views, others a short distance inland. The latter include white-water rafting, rock-climbing, mountain biking and one of the world's highest abseil and cable-slide locations. Returning ocean-side, two of South Africa's top ten golf courses appear among the Hibiscus Coast's choice of seven - all presenting varied levels of difficulty, but similar in terms of beautiful locations and breathtaking outlooks.
Potential 'golf widows' take heart - we abound in rewarding opportunities to discover the mysteries of Zulu and Indian cultures, shop for authentic handicrafts, browse museums and galleries, visit artists and other creative folk in their inspirational studio retreats, pursue the gentle pastimes of bird watching and shell collecting, or to just watch the passing parade from a sophisticated sidewalk caf . On the other hand, pit your luck and holiday money against the casino's one-armed bandits and gaming tables - excitement is guaranteed, but not the rewards!
Ever wonder about UFOs and extra-terrestrials? The unique Space Centre with its museum and observatory boasts our continent's largest private collection of astronomical and optical equipment, plus guided tours with audio-visual displays and the rare chance to write messages in the night sky with a laser beam.
ET phone home? Lured by the Hibiscus Coast's clean sea breezes, pristine natural surroundings, friendly climate, welcoming locals, ultra-modern facilities and star attractions, it's more likely he'd be choosing a beach cottage with stunning sea views for an idyllic getaway! We look forward to the pleasure of your company, and sharing with you all the myriad delights of our slice of subtropical paradise.
The Coast of Many Colours hopes to see you soon! Please use the following menu for information regarding KwaZulu-Natal registered tourism services and attractions on the Hibiscus Coast.
Detailed Overview of the Hibiscus Coast of KwaZulu-Natal: Delights Down South
The first train travellers to witness the iridescent blooms of Hibiscus country pulled into Hibberdene in 1901, but the embryonic village was without its present name until a decade later and the arrival of retired Postmaster-General Maxwell-Hibberd.
Margate & Surrounds
Margate is 'the holiday capital' of the South Coast. Margate together with Ramsgate is a vibrant and colourful area, famous for its nightlife and beaches.
Port Edward & Munster
The broad Port Edward and Munster area of the Hibiscus Coast includes Palm Beach, Glenmore and Leisure Bay. This is a pristine coastal area, which has natural attraction of the like of the Mpenjati Nature Reserve.
Port Shepstone & Surrounds
The Port Shepstone ‘boom’ inspired plans for further development, beginning with assembly of a present-day National Monument – the lighthouse cast in Britain and shipped out in component form.
This and a second lighthouse halfway to Durban could not, however, prevent vessels from running aground with alarming regularity along the entire South Coast, and by the railway’s arrival in Port Shepstone on 26th July 1901, the shipping service was already doomed. Plans to extend the rail service further south were scrapped, but for the visitor with a fondness for steam locomotives, another treat nonetheless lies in store.
The urge to ‘shop-till-you-drop’ will be fully satisfied in Shelly Beach – it boasts the province’s largest single-level shopping complex outside of Durban, with 114 shops plus six cinemas, 11 restaurants and five banks – with a Tourist Info Centre to point you towards other indulgences close by! Shelly beach is also an important launch site for a range of sea excursions.
South beyond Ramsgate the coast changes character as the highly distinctive, jagged-leaf iLala Palm and more secluded ‘hide-away’ destinations take prominence. Southbroom is the first of these, an up-market, predominantly residential-and-retirement village in beautiful, leafy surrounds right up to the lagoon and sweeping, golden bathing beach.
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KwaZulu-Natal or the Zulu Kingdom has eight destinations guaranteed to provide you with memorable and unique experiences!