ABOUT ARNISTON

Located near Cape Agulhas, the southern most tip of Africa, the village of Arniston offers a wealth of natural assets and unspoilt beauty. At Arniston, mother nature has ensured that you can ‘get away from it all’. Arniston has something to offer everyone.

 

ARNISTON

The jagged coastline with its countless wrecks is a chilling tribute to the sea seafarers of yesteryear. Arniston derives its name from one of these wrecks, namely the British ‘Arniston’ which sank here in 1815. The vessel was loaded with wounded soldiers to take them from Ceylon via Cape Town back to England.

Heavy winds had destroyed all the sails and it was eventually decided to cut away the three anchors and run the ship ashore. The Arniston broke up on the needle-sharp rocks of the Arniston Reef. Of the 378 passengers only 6 survived, rendering this disaster one of the most serious in the history of South Africa.

WAENHUISKRANS

The area is also known as “Waenhuiskrans”. Literally translated it means ‘oxwagon cave’ and takes its name from the famous low-tide cave which resembles the structures used by settlers to house their oxen and wagons.

KASSIESBAAI

Kassiesbaai is a unique working fishing village. The pretty thatched fishermen houses of Kassiesbaai, the oldest part of Arniston, were declared a South African National Monument. Its inhabitants are probably the most painted and photographed subjects in South Africa. Artists and photographers are welcomed.

The local community created the Kassiesbaai Craft Centre, with the objective to encourage and develop home industries, and assist in social upliftment. The purpose of the craft centre was to enable the women of the community to learn skills which would enable them to earn money to support their families as the seasonal fishing industry is erratic.

THE OVERBERG

Arniston lies at the coast of the Overberg region.

Historically, as the Cape became more densely populated, cattle farmers sought land in the Overberg and by the middle of the eighteenth century there were many well established farms in the region. When Sir Lowry’s Pass was opened in 1830, horse-drawn vehicles had easy access to the Overberg.

Grain and wool are the two sturdy main pillars of the Overberg’s economy.
Also contributing to the region’s prosperity is fishing, protea and onion and fruit farming, vineyards and dairy farming. Most of South Africa’s malting barley for beer is grown here.