Sunshine Coast: A complete guide to Port Alfred

2016-10-08 16:30 - Ra-ees Moerat
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Cape Town - A surprisingly small coastal town, comprising of ideal holiday climate, warm ocean waters and a rich history, Port Alfred is the Sunshine Coast’s well-kept secret, not only amongst the international visitors, but amongst the locals too.

Port Alfred is lovingly known as the ‘heart of the sunshine coast’ and lies on Route 72 between Port Elizabeth and East London.

Ironically it seems the beaches in this tiny town never ends. Port Aflred is located on the banks of the Kowie River and managed to maintain that English fishing village feel, since the English settlers first set foot there in the 1800s.

Many South African's and international tourists might have heard of Port Alfred, but rarely do they know what this town holds.

Here is a complete guide to navigate your way around Port Alfred, holiday style: 

Where to sleep?

Royal St Andrews Hotel

If you’re looking for practicality, a homely feel and close to perfect location… then the Royal St Andrews Hotel would be your best pick!

The hotel consists of a wellness spa, located within walking distance from a blue flag beach, is home to the ONLY fine dining restaurant in Port Alfred and of course, the ultimate necessity... high-speed Wi-Fi! For more information on the costs and room ranges, click here.


The Lookout Guest House 

The Guest House is rested high on a hill that overlooks the scenic seaside village of Port Alfred. It is the perfect location to enjoy stunning views over the Kowie River, The Royal Alfred Marina and the Indian Ocean.

Many guests would describe their stay as ‘unique’. The Lookout Guest House offers luxury accommodation.The environment is friendly, relaxed and cosy. For more information on the costs and room ranges, click here.


Kowie River Chalets

Kowie River Chalets is probably located in in the best spot as it overlooks the ocean and is in close proximity of the attractions of this coastal town. The chalets are equipped with all the requirements for a self-catering family holiday. Click here for detailed accommodation.

Watch the video to get an overall feel of the accommodation option:

Where to eat? The Thistle 

This fine-dining restaurant in this small town, featured in the annual Diners Club Winelist Award… so remind us again why you wouldn’t dine here?

The atmosphere of the Thistle restaurant really takes you back in time… to the era where people were still fond of dressing up for dinner.

The atmosphere is powerful that the guests feel like they’ve done a bad deed by not dressing up. It is the only restaurant in Port Alfred with a smart dress code… no need to go overboard with your ball gowns and tail suits!

The restaurant is located inside the Royal St Andrews Hotel, so you get to kill two birds with one stone. Click here for more details. 

Highlander Pub

The Highlander Pub is probably one of the most popular restaurants in Port Alfred. It is a traditional Scottish pub and offers friendly services paired with an ambiance rich in character. The food is absolutely exceptional and you can enjoy local brewed beer on tap and of course, fine wine.

The selection of food consists of local as well an international flair and flavours, prepared by a professional Head Chef. Click here for full details on the Highlander Pub.

The Paper Nautilus Deli

The Paper Nautilis Deli serves your traditional full-house English breakfast everyday, which is the deli’s most popular course. The deli also makes the exception to serving lunch and dinner whenever there’s bookings made for groups. 

This deli is located in the same vicinity of the Kowie River, which means that you can go on some blissful adventures straight after breakfast! Click here for the full menu.


Things to do

SEE:25+ lesser known rivers of South Africa, and why they’re awesome

The Kowie Museum

The Kowie Museum is a very small museum in a tiny old building… this is a usual beautiful attribute to most small towns. The museum, originally was a school, then it changed to a magistrate court house and thereafter… well, Telkom owned it.

The museum showcases news of the British settlers in the year 1820 . There’s also an authentic collection of butterflies and moths, all native to the region. To entertain the kids in this small town… you simply HAVE TO bring them here!  

Fishing on the Kowie River

Cast your line for some recreational fun at the Kowie River in Port Alfred. The Kowie River is said to be one of the primary spots for fishing in the dorpie. 

The Kowie River is home to a large number of Grunter Steenbras and Kob. There are a lot of other species in the river too so you should get a few bites… if not many!

A photo posted by @rexempire on

Boat cruising 

Port Alfred offers a variety of boat cruises. This include cruises on the 22km navigavble Kowie River, sea and adrenaline cruises as well as fishing charters. Boating is like a staple activity on the Sunshine Coast and Port Alfred, as small as it may be, does not fall short thereof! Click here for details on various cruises.



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