Gonubie is a pretty coastal town in the Eastern Cape, close to East London. It’s a popular destination for holiday makers, especially during December, and it’s easy to see why. Its overall laid-back vibes combined with beautiful scenery make this little town shine with character! While you won’t encounter touristy spots like those in a big city, Gonubie’s allure lies precisely in that. It’s all about leisurely beach days, beautiful sunrises, and simply unwinding. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my top 10 picks for things to do in Gonubie.
1. Stroll along Gonubie’s wooden boardwalk
The Gonubie Boardwalk is an approximate 400 meter wooden pathway that stretches from the parking lot at the Gonubie Hotel, all the way to the lifesavers shack on the main side of the beach. The benches along the boardwalk provide a place to sit and enjoy the incredible views of the Indian Ocean. On the side of the boardwalk closest to the Gonubie Hotel, there’s also a nice tidal pool. The tidal pool is safe for swimming and you will often see local residents enjoying a dip in the pool.
2. Soak up the sun at Gonubie Beach
Without doubt, Gonubie’s main attraction is its gorgeous beach and riverside. Gonubie’s Main Beach provides plenty room for sunbathing, swimming, beach games, water sports, and leisurely strolls. The consistent waves also make it a great spot for surfers and bodyboarders. Coupled with a convenient restroom and changing facilities , there’s also a small eatery known as the Mussel Cracker. Despite being more of a laid-back beach café, it serves excellent food, from light meals and drinks, to a reasonably priced and amazing breakfast.
3. Dip into the waters of the Gonubie River
The Gonubie river with its beautiful backdrop of steep cliff faces, is a little slice of paradise. Perfect for relaxing beach days, swimming, canoeing and fishing, the river is a cherished pastime for locals.
4. Go on a river cruise with the Gonubie Barge
The recent addition of the Gonubie Barge river cruise is gaining popularity. It’s a 2-hour ride up the river where you can see lots of birds and wildlife. The barge has two decks, fitting up to 28 people, so it’s great for big groups, too. What’s more, you can bring your own food and drinks on-board. Alternatively, the Barge does offer catering. All this starting at only R200 per person, so it’s a really good deal!
Reservations can be made via phone at +27 83 799 9128 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
After a day on the barge, consider winding down by enjoying a braai at one of the many braai spots along the river.
5. Walk along the Gonubie Point area
Gonubie Bay, known locally as Gonubie Point, is a favorite spot for residents to take a stroll and enjoy ocean views. The area features beautiful art sculptures, scattered benches for resting, and a newly paved section along the ocean for safe running and walking. It’s common to see whales and dolphins playing in the waters at the point. In the evenings and early mornings, people often park their cars to take in the sunrise or the glow of a sunset over the ocean. When the tide is low, rock pools appear along the shoreline, providing great opportunities for exploration and fishing.
6. Enjoy bird-watching
Gonubie is home to a variety of beautiful bird species. Among the notable residents are the Fish Eagles, known for their impressive calls, and the elegant Crowned Cranes with their unique plumage. Additionally, Gonubie’s close proximity to the ocean means its common to see plenty of seabirds, too. Whether in the skies, by the water’s edge, or around the town, Gonubie is a wonderful place for bird lovers.
7. Admire the beautiful Art Sculptures
The lovely art projects around Gonubie are the work of volunteers, attempting to make the town a little prettier and restore some pride. The eye-catching mosaic art and other sculptures certainly give Gonubie a unique charm. These sculptures are prevalent along the point, starting from the parking lot at the Gonubie hotel towards Black Rock beach.
8. Try your luck at fishing
Both the Gonubie river and the rocky area stretching along the point are excellent spots for fishing. In fact, the Gonubie River is known for its diverse fish population, including species like mullet, grunter and kob. Anglers can try their luck from the riverbanks or even opt for kayaking or canoeing to reach more remote fishing spots.
9. Get active with a running club or race in Gonubie
The Harriers Running Club is a great option for runners in Gonubie. Here, a team of volunteers diligently keeps tabs on your running times, so you can keep track of your progress. They also hold races throughout the year which you can read more about through their Facebook page.
In addition to more casual running, there are also significant and well-known races such as the Surfers Challenge that start or cross through Gonubie.
10. Be mesmerized by a sunrise
If you love a good sunset over an ocean, then Gonubie is the right place for you. The sunsets here are absolutely spactacular! In fact, if you drive by the Point or Gonubie hotel in the early hours of the morning, you will often see people around, admiring the views.
While not covering everything, this list gives you a taste of the activities you can enjoy in Gonubie, revealing the charm of this beautiful coastal town.