Maybe it has something to do with the name, but many heading out to Wellington (70km from Cape Town) for the first time expect something along the lines of a tiny Victorian village spilling old Cape goodness. Some find the urban reality a little disappointing – a larger than expected spread of old and new, residential and commercial, flowing in, out, and around the Wagenmakersvallei. The town has a number of interesting buildings, the Dutch Reformed Church being the most obvious and doubling up as a landmark for the confused traveller. It’s not the town but the surrounding area that justifies a trip to Wellington: lush rolling farmland bordered by the majestic Hawequa Mountains, sheltering tight little valleys, spluttering streams and mildewed homesteads.
Things To Do
- Bainskloof Pass is a gorgeous kaleidoscopic stretch of nature linking Wellington to Ceres. Drive it, hike it, but do it. Hiking permits can be organised through CapeNature (tel 021-659 3500). Bainskloof conquered, celebrate your achievement at Vercelli, a pleasant outdoor spot with peacocks, ducks and a pond. Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
- Wellington is a good place to mount a bike. Blouvlei Road (“the Horseshoe”) is a favourite route through soft green countryside dotted by old Huguenot farmsteads. For something a lot more challenging, the Wellington Mountain Bike Trail meanders for 25km in and out of the surrounding foothills; permits are available from the tourism office.
- Apart from the 1840 Dutch Reformed Church, Wellington has a number of attractive Cape Dutch and Victorian buildings, each with a little tale to tell.
- The Wellington Wine Route has nine or so members. Besides Bo-Vlei, which is a co-op, none of them is particularly famous, which could mean paying less for your plonk.
Nothing like a spot of impulsive folly to get them life-affirming endorphins flowing. And here's your catalyst - three romantic cottages on an olive and wine farm below the Hawequas mountains 3km outs...
Where You'll Also Find Us
Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Cape St Francis & St Francis Bay • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Colesberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Jozi and Surrounds • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Port Elizabeth • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein