Wellington is the Cape Winelands’ hidden gem. If you are looking for a unique visiting experience head to Wellington, only an hour from Cape Town. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find more things to see, taste, smell and experience than you could actually fit into 24 hours, and best of all, Wellington still has that undiscovered, undisturbed charm forever gone from its commercially popular Winelands counterparts.
Perfect Place is the perfect place to meet and eat. This is where antiques and fine food share the same space! Start your day at the restaurant and coffee shop that does not lack atmosphere and authenticity.
Across the road you will find a glimpse of our history at the Wellington Museum on Church Street, which houses a small collection of local artefacts from bygone era. The museum is home to diverse cultural exhibits from the many ethnic groups and pioneering individuals who contributed toward establishing the Wamakersvallei (Valley of the Wagons) in the 1800′s. Here you can learn the importance of the town’s train station or browse the titles of books written by and about Andrew Murray, the man whose likeness is captured in a statue sitting at the front of the town’s big, centrepiece.
Considered to be the father of education in Wellington, this Scotsman is also recognised as a spiritual leader whose teachings attract disciples from as far as China. The museum also has surprising, unexpected exhibits, like one of the largest Egyptology collections in Southern Africa and relics from the ancient lives of Sotho and Tswana tribal folk.
For a taste of Wellington’s modern heritage, there’s the Breytenbach Centre. The building, which was the former home of writer and painter Breyten Breytenbach, was bought by the town for the princely sum of R10 so it could be turned into a haven for local and visiting arty types. Drop in on the right Saturday and you might happen on an exhibit opening in the upstairs gallery featuring work by a local painter, or pop into the gift shop for beautiful, quirky Wellington-made ceramics and glassware. The multi-purpose centre also has a little restaurant theatre in the back called Die Bordienghuis where jazz and blues musicians entertain and brave open-mikers serenade audiences on a regular basis. The Centre’s poetry garden is something to behold.
Wellington is wine country after all, so it would be practically indecent not to go for a tasting or two. Family friendly Dunstone Estate, sits pretty along Bovlei Road together with several more Wellington estates. The Shiraz, Merlot and special Rosé (it’s made with 100% Shiraz grapes) are tenderly crafted by hand, and behind the farm’s tasting room and its Stone Kitchen restaurant is a mini fairy tale world with a jungle gym, sandpits, giant pillows and blankets on the green grass and the scent of ripe guavas wafting gently in the air. It is the perfect for little ones, and a little exploration will reveal a hidden pond with white, orange-billed ducks preening themselves near the reeds.
While you’re on a serious tasting mission, be sure to call ahead and make an appointment for some sipping and sampling at Bosman Family Vineyards. The eighth-generation farming clan are known for their highly ethical, fair-trade productions, and that genuine goodness comes through in their signature vinos.
Head back to town to Pizza Vista at Val du Charron Wine and Leisure Estate. The food is delicious and the sunset over the beautiful mountains that “shows” the “W” of Wellington in it can be viewed from both their two on-site restaurants. Val du Charron is a working wine farm that also offer accommodation to visitors.
Explore the wild scenery that lies just outside Wellington at Bontebok Ridge Reserve. They are the perfect place for your first encounter with South Africa’s wildlife in their natural habitat including bontebok, zebra, eland, wildebeest, springbuck, duiker, grysbuck, grey rhebuck, and other indigenous species. Enjoy a two-hour early morning game drive through the reserve on an open Landrover, guided by someone with a good understanding of the area. The unspoiled natural surroundings and majestic mountains create an excellent example of the biodiversity of fauna and flora and a wide variety of bird species are present in the reserve making for amazing photographic opportunities. Follow your game drive with drinks and light refreshments at the lapa where you can relax at your leisure.
After a morning of wildlife. You can’t leave Wellington without enjoy its fruit of the vines. Conclude your visit by popping in at one of South Africa’s best-known Pinotage wine producers situated on the Wellington Wine Route, Diemersfontein Wine Estate. They were the first producers of Coffee Pinotage in the world and has a cult following in South Africa. Diemersfontein Wine Estate offers a complete winelands experience Enjoy a wine tasting experience at their tasting room.
Imagine a heritage farm style atmosphere in the beautiful slopes of the Groenberg Mountain just outside Wellington on the Langkloof Rose Farm. Then imagine spoiling your taste buds with a selection of imported teas with their special Tea Tasting experience.
End the day off with a spectacular drive through Bain’s Kloof Pass. It is one of the most scenic passes in South Africa. This historic pass, built by master-road builder Andrew Geddes Bain, with its unsurpassed vistas, indigenous flora and fauna and crystal-clear rock pools is the perfect spot for hikers, adventurers, and nature lovers.