Hermanus is a veritable feast for the senses and there is much to see as well as do. The optical banquet in this famous holiday town is probably one of the reason many artists have made it their home.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Local galleries are filled with local art and some artists display their work at local flea and craft markets. The area does not only abound with painters, but also with writers, ceramicists, architects, sculptors and glass blowers. Hermanus also has an active Art Society.
Fynbos is one of seven floral kingdoms in the world and is endemic to the Western Cape. These extraordinary flowers grow on the roadsides and in private gardens but you can see many of the hundreds of different species in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve and along the Hermanus Cliff Path.
Perlemoen, also known as Abalone, is a shellfish that not only provides a local delicacy that fetches high prices on the local and overseas markets, but is also used to make exquisite mother of pearl jewellery. Also know as “Walker Bay Gold” this shellfish has been an integral part of life in Hermanus for a number of years. Several Perlemoen Hatcheries have been established in an effort to ‘mine’ this valuable commodity without putting a strain on the marine environment. The Perlemoen Hatcheries offer guided tours which are very interesting and usually have a range of jewellery on sale.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Many of the buildings in Hermanus are over 100 years old. The Old Harbour in Hermanus, has on display, the fishing boats used between 1855 and 1961 lying on the slipway. They are in the process of being restored. There is a war memorial at the top of the Old Harbour that provides a perfect viewpoint over Walker Bay.
The Old Harbour Museum in Hermanus has several exhibitions that document the history of fishing and whaling in the area, it also houses a sonar buoy which can transmit whale sounds.
The De Wet’s Huis Photo Museum was originally a Sunday school house situated near the Dutch Reformed Church. The building was systematically dismantled and re-erected at its present site – stone by stone. The museum houses photographs that document the history of Hermanus.
The Whale House will soon house a full skeleton of a Southern Right Whale.
The Old Station (that has no railway) houses the Tourism Information Bureau and an ongoing exhibition of work produced by members of the Hermanus Art Society.
Hoys Koppie is in the centre of the village and not only provides a light walk to a great view of Walker Bay, but is the site of the cave used by the Khoi-San people hundreds of years ago and to the graves of Sir William Hoy and his wife.
The Southern Right Whales come to Walker Bay between June and December to mate and calve in the bay. A walk along the Cliff Path in whale season is sure to be rewarded with a glimpse and often a spectacle of these magnificent beasts romping in the bay.
THE WHALE CRIER
The Whale Crier walks about from 10am to 4pm every day in whale season and can be reached through the local tourism bureau.