Nine craft beers, small-batch Thursdays + a guide for beginners
The Hermanus Whale Festival
The NEW Whale Beerfest adds a great reason celebrating region’s craft
Latest Update: 27 September 2022
The southern right whales are returning and Hermanus is pulling out the stops: It’s the 31st annual Hermanus Whale Festival this weekend. This popular, fun fest kicks off whale-watching season and this year there’s a wonderful, new attraction.
The Whale Beerfest, organised by the restaurants Ficks and Wild in Hermanus, is a celebration of the region’s growing offering of craft beers, and the event will offer loads of tastings and back-to-back entertainment featuring local musicians. So why not make a weekend of it? The Hermanus Whale Festival is on from the 30 September to 2 October, and entrance is R50.
The Whale Beerfest, situated in the Eco-Marine Tent, has become the festival’s biggest attraction, located in a prime spot at Gearings Point. Image: Whale Festival
TASTE THE REGION'S RANGE
The main tent of the festival will be at Gearings Point. A centrally located historic site, (on the western side of the Old Harbour), it provides one of the city's best views for whale watching and spotting, making it the perfect spot for celebrating their return.
Whale Season peaks between end September and beginning of October. Image: Hermanus Tourism
WHAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO AT THE BEERFEST
Folk & Goode have five beers and ales, from the American IPA to the Belgian Witbier; The Brewery has six beers, including a pilsner, weiss and stout; while Hermanus Brewery has the popular Old Harbour Beer. So there’s more than enough local brew to sample and enjoy.
This is the first year the Whale Beerfest celebrates the region's best craft beers. Image: Whale Festival
While you’re enjoying a local craft, don’t miss Battle of the DJ’s on Friday at the Coke Stage from 3pm - 8pm. On Saturday local musicians take the stage from 9.30am to 5pm for back-to-back entertainment. Local bands like Replay, Deep Southern Band, Old Hat Stanford and G&D – Des Bosch will be performing. There will also be an oompah band and the Whale Coast Line dancers will take the stage.
Dance the evening away at the Coke Tent with a local beer or glass of wine. Image: Whale Festival
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE FESTIVAL
The whole weekend is jam-packed with activities happening all over Hermanus. Saturday's festivities include a 10km fun run to the New Harbour at 7am, as well as the popular Street Parade. There will also be a treasure hunt in the Eco-Marine Tent for kids on Saturday and Sunday, from 12pm to 2pm. Or get your muscles pumped for the Strongman Competition on Sunday.
The festival is geared towards everyone, from solo tourists, kids and families. Image: Whale Festival
WHEN IS WHAT: SEE THE ACTIVITIES SCHEDULE
Throughout the weekend you can listen to marine and other nature talks at “The heartbeat of the whale festival”, the Eco-Marine Tent. Let the kids have fun at the Kiddies Entertainment and Arts & Craft Stalls on Market Square and Eco-Marine Village. Or take part in Rugby and Netball games at the Mount Pleasant Rugby Field. And car lovers will love the Whales and Wheels Classic Car Show at Sandbaai Hall. You can view the full schedule on the website.
HERE ARE 5 MORE PLACES TO WHALE WATCH:
64 Marine Drive
8 Marine Dr, Westcliff
Below 19 Westcliff Road
Parking lot across from Harbour House Hotel
22 Harbour Road
The walkway in front of Marine Hotel
Main Road, Hermanus
You’ll find great views, and plenty of restaurants around Old Harbour. Image: Hermanus Tourism
5 MUST-VISIT RESTAURANTS
In between all the festivities it’s worth exploring more of what Hermanus has to offer.
- Not far from Gearing Point, carved into the cliffs and set over a crystal clear tidal pool is Ficks Restaurant, a delightful cocktail mecca that you should not miss.
- It’s sister restaurant Dutchies, is a charming, family-friendly beachfront eatery surrounded by nature.
- If you’re looking for a healthy meal, then try the innovative and playful Pear Tree Restaurant, a cozy bistro on Hermanus’ Village Square.
- Or maybe a bucket-list steakhouse experience is what you’re after. For its edgy steampunk veneer, Char’d Grill & Wine Bar menu is a surprisingly refined steakhouse.
- Another gem in the Village Square on the waterfront is the new Wild Restaurant, giving patrons an indigenous culinary experience.
- Plus, within walking distance to the main Eco-Marine tent, there’s the new Perlemoen, set in the historic Old Harbour,
Ficks is set above a tidal pool that is safe for kids and a great spot to relax after a day of festivities. Image: Ficks Pinchos & Wine
WHALE FESTIVAL: WHEN + WHERE TO GO
Hermanus Whale Festival is open: Friday to Sunday, 30 September to 2 October; 7am - 5pm
Find it: Gearings Point | 71 Marine Drive | Hermanus
Contact the festival at: 066 478 0081 | email@example.com | Instagram: @whalefestival
EXPLORE MORE IN HERMANUS
Find some stunning day trips to take in the Western Cape
Swim in a magical tidal pool or have lunch at Ficks Pinchos & Wine
Feast on local, fresh abalone with a sea view.
While you’re in Hermanus, visit Fick’s sister restaurant Dutchies.
Discover +7 things to do this weekend.