With its Blue Flag Beaches, nature reserves, golf courses, sports’ venues, top-class accommodation, dining and retail options, visitors to the #KZNSouthCoast are spoilt for choice. That’s why Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) has introduced the #InTheSpotlight feature to highlight the different region’s offerings, with this month’s focus on the KZN Mid-South Coast.
“With our many eco-tourism adventures, family-friendly and cost-effective tourism offerings, we’re anticipating a really great Easter holiday season this year,” said CEO of USCT, Phelisa Mangcu. “Our tourism establishments receive constant input on the latest Covid-19 protocols to ensure visitor safety, and we’re fortunate to be able to offer so many open-air activities for a safe and unique experience. Here’s a look at what visitors can expect along the KZN Mid-South Coast.”
1. Port Shepstone the business hub
Located just 120km south of Durban, Port Shepstone has grown to become the administrative, educational, distribution and commercial centre for the KZN South Coast. This seaside town boasts world-class tourism facilities for both the recreational and business tourist, including top accommodation, conferencing and banqueting venues, as well as quality dining options.
2. Affordable accommodation
There is a wide variety of accommodation available along the KZN Mid-South Coast, ranging from high-end resorts and hotels, through to family-friendly bed n breakfasts as well as cost-effective camp sites near the ocean. Whatever your budget or taste, the KZN Mid-South Coast has a space for you.
3. Port Shepstone Country Club
The KZN South Coast is home to 11 quality golf courses, many of which can be found within the Mid-South Coast. A leading example is Port Shepstone Country Club which started as a nine-hole course in 1912 and has grown into an award-winning 18-hole course. The family-friendly club has great food and activities on offer.
4. Port Shepstone Maritime Museum
The KZN South Coast has a rich and interesting maritime history dating back to the early seafarers of the 1500s. Discover the challenges and adventures of these intrepid travellers, as well as the tales of shipwrecks along these shores, by visiting the Port Shepstone Maritime Museum on the Port Shepstone beachfront.
5. Spiller’s Wharf in Port Shepstone
Visitors seeking fun and relaxation along the water’s edge should head to Spiller’s Wharf. This site boasts a range of retail and dining options in the form of bars and restaurants, with the Spiller’s Micro Brewery serving delicious craft beer options. There’s also a selection of art, antiques, jewellery, collectibles, books – and a day spa – at Spiller’s Wharf.
6. Local radio stations
Tune into the KZN mid-South Coast’s best tunes and latest events with Ugu Youth Radio (based in Port Shepstone), and Radio Sunny South (based in Oslo). Relax and enjoy some local flavour with these top-quality broadcasters.
7. Umzimkulu River activities in Port Shepstone
The majestic Umzimkulu River flows through Port Shepstone, and from Spiller’s Wharf, visitors can hire any number of aquatic-based sporting equipment, such as kayaks, to explore the river. There are also wonderful sunset cruises throughout the holiday season.
8. ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest
This beautiful Resort near Harding is located alongside KZN’s second largest indigenous coastal forest which is renowned for its incredible birding. The forest also consists of some the country’s best hiking and mountain biking trails. The seven scenic routes range in length, including 3km, 3.5km, 7.5km, 10km, 15km and loop-out routes. The hotel rents out bikes, and there are many lovely picnic spots along the way.
9. Harding Country Club
Set against the Ingeli Mountain range within a number of dairy and timber farms is the quaint, countryside town of Harding. Here visitors can enjoy a round at the nine-hole golf course (with double tee boxes) which is flanked by trees in this much cooler climate.
10. Dezzi South Coast Raceway in Oslo Beach
Dezzi Raceway is the only Motorsport South Africa (MSA)-approved race track in KZN and stages nationally-televised motorsport events, including drifting and drag racing. Visitors to the KZN mid-South Coast can catch a motorsport race where some of the country’s best drivers try out their skills.
11. Protea Banks in Shelly Beach
Found just 7.5km off Shelly Beach is the Marine Protected Area – Protea Banks. A world-class dive site, Protea Banks consists of a range of caves, ridges and amphitheatres where visitors can ‘Dive the Big 5’ sharks – tigers, Zambezi’s sharks, raggies, hammerheads and blacktips – and a kaleidoscope of sub-tropical fish.
12. Deep sea fishing, diving and surfing in Shelly Beach
This beautiful Marine Protected Area welcomes scuba divers and shark cage divers to its waters annually, with the waters rich with multiple game species such as dorado, marlin and king mackerel. Shelly Beach has a skiboat launch site where tourists can charter boats for deep sea fishing and diving. The cresting waves also make for great surfing in these parts.
13. Shopping centres
In the unlikely event of rainy days – or a simple desire for retail therapy takes hold – the KZN Mid-South Coast has great shopping opportunities. There are numerous stores and dining options at both Shelly Centre and the South Coast Mall, located in Shelly Beach.
When hunger strikes, there are lots of great eateries on the KZN mid-South Coast menu. From 5-star dining and award-winning eateries (such as the Cellar in Port Shepstone) to cultural specialties (including Green Chilli Fine Dining restaurant in Shelly Beach and Munchner Haus German restaurant in St Michael’s) through to great takeaway options.
15. Ugu Sports & Leisure Centre in Gamalakhe
Constructed for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the Ugu Sports & Leisure Centre has provided the perfect space for a number of professional and amateur sports contests. With Level 1 allowing for more sports’ events on the agenda, visitors can get back to enjoying spectator sports such as the recent boxing tournament – ‘KO COVID’.
For more information about USCT, as well as events and activities on the #KZNSouthCoast, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. USCT is also on social media – follow the ‘South Coast Tourism’ Facebook page, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter.