Mossel Bay Tourist Attractions

The port and holiday resort of Mossel Bay lies at the west end of the beautiful Garden Route along the coast of the Indian Ocean. It owes its name to the shells (mosseln) which the first Europeans found here in such quantity.

Bartolomeu Diaz Museum

The 500th anniversary of Bartolomeu Diaz's landing in Mossel Bay was marked by the establishment of a large modern museum complex. The reception and information center is housed in the Granary. The Granary, originally built in 1786, was pulled down in the mid 20th C and rebuilt in its original form in 1986. Facing it is the Maritime Museum, in a building which from 1901 onwards was a grain mill and sawmill. The museum's star exhibit is a replica of the caravel in which Diaz rounded the Cape in 1488. The vessel was built in Portugal and sailed into Mossel Bay in 1988. Adjoining this museum is the Shell Museum, with a collection of shells from all over the world on the upper floor and aquarium tanks showing living shellfish in their natural environment on the ground floor. The Munrohoek Cottages, built around 1830 and restored in the mid 1980s, are among the oldest buildings in Mossel Bay.
Address: Private Bag X1, Mossel Bay, Western Cape 6500, South Africa

Post Office Tree

Outside Mossel Bay's Shell Museum is the Post Office Tree, a large milkwood tree beside a spring (still existing) from which ships replenished their water supplies. Mariners sailing east used it as a ''letter-box'', letters deposited here being collected and delivered by ships on the homeward voyage.

Local History Museum

The Local History Museum is also part of the Bartolomeu Diaz museum complex. It is housed in a building of 1858 and a larger extension of 1879.

St Blaize Lighthouse

On the Point, a rocky promontory southeast of Mossel Bay's center, is the St Blaize lighthouse. This is a good place from which to watch whales and dolphins; there is a restaurant. The St Blaize Trail to Dana Bay (13km/8mi west) starts at the Bats' Cave, below the lighthouse.

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