21+ Family-fun things to do on a budget in the Garden Route

2019-10-11 07:30 -
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The Garden Route is filled with plenty activities and beautiful scenery and the perfect place to catch up with family after the long year - and the good news is that it won't cost you your entire life savings.

We've sourced some of the very best family experiences to do in and around the area for under R250. 

Whether you're into outdoor adventure, good food, science, literature, art or just going to the movies - we've got fun-filled activities to suit you and your family's budget.

1. Redberry Farm 

Ditch the beach for some country fun at the Redberry Farm. There are plenty of activities, like strawberry picking, maize running and paddle boating to choose from.

Cost: Strawberry picking is R25 - R40.

2. Paintball

The year is filled with many ups and downs - here is an opportunity to get rid of your frustrations with a paintball war so you can welcome the new year with a bang.

Cost: R180 for 200 paintballs at Garden Route Paintball. 

3. Plett Puzzle Park

Get lost in the first life-size 3D maze or the fun forest puzzle walk. Puzzle Park is an interactive environment for people of all ages offering a combination of exercise and entertainment at an affordable price - what more can you ask for this summer?

Cost: 3D maze - Adults: R120 / Children under 12 - R100 / Children under 2 is free and children under 7 pay reduced prices for the walk.

4. Cango Caves 

The town of Oudtshoorn has an underground wonder and you get to trek through it. The facility has two tours - a heritage tour and the adventure tour led by experienced cave guides.

Cost: The Heritage tours (60 minutes) cost R150 for adults and R100 for children. The Adventure tours (90 minutes) cost R220 for adults and R150 for children. 

READ:  What to do in your city for R100 or less 

5. Stormsriver Mouth Hike  over the suspension bridge 

Face your fears and head over to one of the most popular attractions of the Eastern Cape region - the hike over the suspension bridge will expose you to the beauty of the Tsitsikamma forest, an experience you can only get in the Garden Route.

Cost: This hike is only 2km long, conservation fees are R59 per adult, per day and R30 per child, per day (South African citizens). If you own a Wild Card, you go in for free!

6. Robberg Nature Reserve

Discover rocks that date back to 120 million years. We love an experience that has hidden gems and this nature reserve is one of them - if you're lucky you can spot the rare blue duiker, the Western Cape’s smallest antelope or just enjoy nature at its best.

Cost: Entrance R50 for adults, R30 for kids.

7. Adventure Land

Nothing beats being in the water during the holidays, and this park is created for adults right down to the little ones. Activities and rides vary in size to accommodate the whole family. You can even have a braai or a picnic on the lawn - doesn't that sound like a perfect day?

Cost: Water Park entry: R155 per person and children under three pay R50.

8. Knysna Heads 

Some of the best things in life are free. The stunning view of Knysna Heads can be seen from restaurants in the area and is also accessible by car. Take in the view of the sandstone cliffs that overlook the sea and inhale some fresh air.

Cost: Free

WATCH: 4 Spots to discover on the Garden Route that won't stretch your budget

9. Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary

Ever wanted to learn more about reptiles and how to behave around them? Visit the snake sanctuary for an interactive experience with snakes indigenous to the Garden Route. The guides will help bust some myths about the animals, and besides the variety of slippery reptiles, there are also farm animals that children can play with.

Cost: Tickets cost R180 for adults, R140 for teenagers (aged 13-17), and R100 for children (from 2-12).

10. Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary

Interact with the furry animals in their natural habitat on guided tours where you can expect to see a variety of the primates - ranging from the gibbons of Asia to the lemurs of Madagascar. The sanctuary has a separate home for the special animals - some have poor sight or they are just old, so take the detour and show them some love.

Cost: R260 per adult and R130 per child aged 3 to 12. There is also a special COMBO rate for R410 per adult and R205 per child and enables you to visit two of the three sanctuaries on the premises.

11. Radical Raptors

Birds of prey often frighten people but Radical Raptors shows you another side of them. You are bound to have a soft spot for the animals by the time you leave, as well as learn about the dangers they face. 

Cost: R120 for adults, R100 pensioners and students, R90 for kids 3-12 years (2 years and under are free).

12. Walk to the Big Tree

This spectacular 4.2km walk takes you through the wet forest up to the big tree that is more than 800 years old. If you look up it looks like the tree goes straight into the heavens.

Cost: Free

13. Swartberg Pass 

Enjoy incredible scenery as you drive to through these mountains and - if you have time - make a stop and discover the treasures along this iconic pass. It is also an ideal location for some mountain biking, so bring your bicycle along and ride up and down the steep slopes.

Cost: Free

14. Go surfing 

Get you up close and personal with the mild Indian Ocean that stretches along this coast, considering the hot summer that lies ahead you will want to jump into its refreshing waters.

Cost: This won't cost you a thing, unless you need to rent a surfboard.

15. See the Map of Africa

This is not an actual map of Africa, but take in the splendour of the scenery and shape of the river, nestled perfectly between the two Garden Route towns - Knysna and George. Don't forget to look up - the Map of Africa point is also a popular paragliding launch spot. The array of colour in the sky and the blue of the water make for a breathtaking image.

Cost: Take a free hike to this iconic viewpoint. 

16. Bartholomeus Dias Museum Complex 

Do the full experience, including going on the full-size replica of Dias's ship and exploring the botanical garden where the early inhabitants of the area got their food.

Cost: R40 for entry. 

17. Let’s Go Bowling

MountView Resort and Lifestyle Village is a beautiful self-catering resort, and the best part about it is their bowling facilities where you can enjoy a game with your family during your stay.

Cost: Visitors pay R20.

18. Outeniqua Power Van 

The Outeniqua Mountains can be spotted from afar, but the unique rail pass gives you an even better view. Sit comfortably in the bus and give your eyes a treat as you drive through the forest and four passes, waterfalls and six tunnels, fynbos and proteas, bird and animal life and the panoramic picnic area.

Cost: Adults: R150 per person / children: R130 (3 to 15 years).

READ: This unique SA bridge was awarded 2019's National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark of the Year

19. Old Gaol Museum

Now a national monument, the Old Gaol Museum is a former jail. Walking through the premises will truly take you back in time as you view artefacts and portraits of former mayors of the town. The museum houses plenty of other attractions, so dedicate a day to exploring the area.

Cost: Free entry for all.


20. Wild Oats Community market

Enjoy freshly-made produce and simple country fun with the family at the community market. The Garden Route encourages everyone to buy local and you know what they say about local...

Cost: Entrance to the market is free. But take R200 to buy nibbles or handmade goods. 

21. Ill de Pain 

Grab a coffee and freshly baked pastries in this cute but classy Knysna establishment - it is perfect for those Insta-worthy shots. The restaurant also serves a variety of innovative foods that will satiate everyone's appetite. 

Cost: Under 50 bucks. 

BONUS - For the over 18 crowd:

Jakkalsvlei Private Cellars

Enjoy a tasting experience from a selection of award-winning wines. The drinking activities are held at the beautiful venue that is surrounded by vineyards and majestic mountains - all at an affordable price.

Cost: Tasting is only R50.

Robertson Brewery, George 

With live music playing every Friday evening while enjoying a glass of craft beer, this could easily be where you spend your free time right throughout summer.

Cost: The price range for the beers is approximately R120 for two people.


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