Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Umhlanga Rocks (0.9 km from Herrwood Park)
Walk on the wild side in Umhlanga, Zulu for "place of the reeds", and named for the abundance of reeds on the banks of the Ohlange River.
The Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail takes visitors on a fascinating discovery of the regions natural heritage and forests that is ages old. This delightful hour-and-a-half trail wanders through superb coastal forest on boardwalks that cross the Ohlange River on its course to the lagoon and beach.
Bookings: 031 561 4257.
Prestondale (1.1 km from Herrwood Park)
An integral part of protecting the vibrant tourism industry, the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has been protecting popular KZN beaches from shark incidents for over 40 years. KZNSB boats launch each morning to patrol the coast and clear the shark safety gear of any catches.
At least once a month each net is rotated ensuring that every net in the installation is removed and repaired before being placed back in the water. Marine growth as well as wear and tear can cause damage to the nets and it is only through the regular maintenance of equipment that an efficient and cost-effective service can be delivered to the local authorities.
The public are given a unique opportunity of being able to view firsthand the servicing of the nets off Durban’s Golden Mile from the KZNSB Tour Boat. These two hour trips leave Wilson’s Wharf at 06:30. After witnessing the meshing operations, there is the chance of opportunistic viewing of wildlife including seabirds. Trips are weather and sea conditions permitting. Bookings are essential – call 082 403 9206. Cost – R250 per person (as at August 2010).
The boat trip can be followed up by an excursion to the KZNSB Headquarters in Umhlanga at 1a Herrwood Drive. An audio-visual presentation is followed by a fascinating shark dissection on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 09:00 and 14:00. Sunday afternoon dissections take place at 14:00. Cost – adults R35, children or pensioners R20 (as at August 2010).
+27 (0) 31 566 0400
Tips for your safety at the beach from KZNSB:
Swim at protected beaches
Obey the lifeguards on duty
Avoid swimming in dirty water (river in flood)
Avoid swimming at night (between dusk and dawn)
Avoid swimming alone
Remember: Alcohol and seawater make a lethal cocktail – to be avoided at all times.
Umhlanga (1.3 km from Herrwood Park)
The facilities along Umhlanga’s beachfront are similar to what you may expect at other world famous beach destinations. The clean, white sandy beach and warm water of the Indian Ocean waters beckons. There are great seafood restaurants with seating almost on the beach.
Park on Lagoon Drive and walk down "Walkway to the Beach" (signposted). Some of South Africa's most famous hotels are along this coastline – the Cabanas, Breakers, Pearls, Oyster Box and the legendary Beverly Hills, Sol Kerzner's first hotel.
A beautiful paved walk meanders through a beach garden to your left, while a stroll to the right will bring you all the way up to Umhlanga Beach's landmark, Umhlanga Lighthouse.
Umhlanga Rocks (1.5 km from Herrwood Park)
The Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve borders the northern section of Umhlanga Rocks. It’s here that the beachfront O'Connor Promenade ends and where the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail begins. This is a must do trail for keen walkers and nature lovers.
A well-marked footpath meanders through pristine coastal forest to boardwalks that span the Ohlange River. Vervet monkeys, tiny antelope and a kaleidoscope of butterflies and birds can be seen. Look out for rare Coastal Red Milkwood trees and Blue Duiker antelope. A Stone Age midden can be found near the lagoon, a popular spot for parasailing and windsurfing. Benches and picnic spots are strategically positioned.
Umhlanga Rocks (2 km from Herrwood Park)
Ocean Blue Scuba is an authorized PADI Dive Centre based in Umhlanga Rocks. All levels of divers are catered for, whether it is on a reef, a wreck, and deep or shallow, boat or shore entry. Courses are available from Open Water Diver through to Dive Masters.
If you're short on time, join them for a Discover Scuba Diving experience in uShaka Marine World's Tropical Reef Tank. Certified divers or anyone looking to do a refresher can also do some diving in the aquarium tanks.
Umhlanga Rocks (2.1 km from Herrwood Park)
Situated at the edge of Umhlanga Rocks is The Ponds, a haven for many wetland and coastal forest birds and one of the best bird watching sites on the coast. Keen bird watchers come here mostly to utilize the two hides.
Umhlanga Rocks (2.1 km from Herrwood Park)
The Hawaan Forest is a stunning indigenous woodland that dates back to hundreds of years. This beautiful sanctuary is home to valuable tropical tree species and various birds and animals. Not far is Umhlanga Ponds, one of the best birding sites on the North Coast. Entry is restricted to guided walks held on Saturdays at 8am. Bookings are essential: +27 (0) 31 566 4018.
Umhlanga Ridge (2.2 km from Herrwood Park)
Hip, hot and always happening, Wave House is the coolest place for youngsters to hang out in Durban. Conveniently located at Gateway’s Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga, it’s also a fantastic spot for a family outing, offering an awesome fusion of boardsport cultures.Choose an experience from mild to wild. Get n-n-nervous on the mighty D-Rex, the first of its kind double-point break standing wave. The two beach-break Flow Riders are suitable for beginners and family fun. Skaterats will enjoy the 4 000 m² Skate Park designed by 10-time world skating champion, Tony Hawk.And if all that action makes you hungry and thirsty, there are fully-stocked bars and a restaurant featuring a wrap-around deck overlooking the extreme sport action. Regular entertainment ranges from live bands to amazing events. Durban’s ultimate attracts numerous visitors including international board sport stars.
Umhlanga Ridge (2.4 km from Herrwood Park)
One of the biggest malls in the southern hemisphere, Gateway Theatre of Shopping offers an incredible choice with 380 top-notch retailer stores, the most up-to-date entertainment and sophisticated fashion.Visitors are guaranteed an experience way beyond what one would normally expect from a major shopping mall.Grab your kids and let them lose on the soaring indoor climbing wall, the scary D-Rex or gentle wave machine. Wannabee Einstein’s can have fun while exploring the secrets of the universe at the ScienCentre. There’s so much on offer for families at Durban's entertainment hub – even a dinner theatre that will have you slapping your thighs and rolling in the aisles with tears streaming down your cheeks.
Galleries and Museums
Umhlanga Ridge (2.4 km from Herrwood Park)
Friendship, good food, wine and brilliant entertainment – the Barnyard Theatre at Gateway is where it all comes together.
The first Barnyard Theatre started as a homely, rustic farm theatre in Plettenberg Bay where friends and family could be entertained and eat, drink and talk into the small hours of the morning. It proved to be such a winner that more Barnyard Theatres started popping up all over the country.
There are currently 12 Barnyard Theatres in South Africa. While each theatre is a product of its individual setting, they all retain the quaint rustic charm of the original farm theatre’s humble beginning.
Umhlanga Rocks (3.6 km from Herrwood Park)
Visit a lighthouse on the Sugar Coast that once caused an un-nautical stir – draped in a condom!
The landlubber nonsense on Umhlanga's beach was all for a noble cause and brought a massive HIV-Aids awareness message on World Aids Day. The red and white 21-metre tall lighthouse was draped in fabric to resemble a giant condom and inscribed with the message 'Know your status'.
So what was the reason behind this controversial transformation? Iain Buchan from the Unlimited Child, an NGO working in the Valley of 1000 Hills, says they wanted to highlight the plight of Aids orphans.
“The feedback I've had so far from some of our people here has just been fantastic. We're getting people sending us SMSes, blogging, just saying it's incredible, the response and the awareness. And that's really what putting this condom on the lighthouse has done. It's kind of shaken people's awareness to say, 'ok this is different, and how can we get involved?'."
Now it’s business as usual for the Umhlanga Lighthouse, beaming out nightly signals visible to vessels as far as 24 nautical miles away. The fixed red light enables ships waiting to anchor in the outer anchorage to monitor their position. You will find this landmark near the end of Lighthouse Road in Umhlanga.
Hillhead (4.1 km from Herrwood Park)
Superbly situated on 48 hectares of coastal highland, with 360 degree ocean and hinterland views, Sibaya combines spectacular elements inspired by traditional Zulu architecture with state-of-the-art technology, distilled from extensive research across the globe into the latest concepts in casino-resort entertainment.This magnificent gaming and entertainment complex has brought a significant capital injection as well as employment opportunities to the province’s coastal belt north of Durban. It has also offered an unprecedented experience of the vibrant multi-cultural background of KwaZulu-Natal, infusing elements of fantasy to create a richly rewarding entertainment environment.Central components of this grand-scale fantasy environment are the outstanding casino facilities. These include the innovative use of smart cards for the convenience of all players, and 1001 slots and 37 tables available in three areas, a Main Casino floor, a Smoking Casino and the exclusive Royal Court Privé. The Privé is the most sophisticated in the country and houses smoking and non-smoking slots and tables, and also boasts views of the Indian Ocean.The Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom incorporates the Royal Sibaya Hotel, a luxury hotel with 12 suites and 24 rooms for exclusive use by top end gamers, as well as the Sibaya Lodge, a 118 room limited facility hotel catering for the leisure and conference market. Complementing these world-class hospitality facilities is an imaginative and comprehensive spectrum of restaurants and bars.These include A2A a deluxe buffet featuring food from African to Asia; Aqua a speciality seafood restaurant; the Royal Court Grill a fine dining steak house, Sondela Tavern serving African fusion food, an exclusive MVG (Most Valued Guest) Lounge; a number of elegant bars, Gabbiano & Co Coffee Shop offering beverages, coffee and a light menu; and a fast-food court featuring three different food options Steers, Debonairs and Nando’s.Other amenities include a sweet shop, as well as family amusement facilities, the Magic Company a children’s entertainment centre and a crèche.Krakatoa, Sibaya’s ‘volcanic eruption’ three-tier show bar is an experience in sensory dazzlement. This night life venue, named after one of the most famous volcanos in history, is one of the most happening nightspots in town. The spectacular venue is split into three hospitality levels and is used all year round for product launches events and parties as well as being a nightclub on Fridays and Saturdays.The 592 thatched iZulu Theatre which opened with the internationally acclaimed African Footprint and over four years has seen major productions grace its stage including Umoja, Bounce, Tap Dogs and Bollywood Crush.Experience true African pampering based on traditional African healing therapies and indulgent royalrituals for men and women at the award winning Mangwanani Private African Day Spa at Sibaya. The spa is set in a spectacular authentic Zulu village overlooking rolling green hills with breath-taking views of the warm Indian Ocean.Traditional and contemporary Zulu designs and themes recur throughout Sibaya. Exquisitely designed water features echo the tranquility of the nearby Ohlanga River in the complex’s lushly landscaped, scenic surrounds.
La Lucia (4.9 km from Herrwood Park)
La Lucia Mall offers an exclusive shopping experience in the heart of this holiday suburb.
With over 130 retailers you'll find everything you'll looking for and possibly more; from local favorites to top international brands.
Monday to Friday: 9:00 - 18:00;
Saturday: 8:30 - 17:00;
Sunday: 9:00 - 17:00.
Umdloti Beach (6.2 km from Herrwood Park)
Explore Umdloti's beaches and hills on horseback for a one-of-a-kind experience. This activity is suitable for beginners and advanced riders; tuition is also available.
Be sure to phone the equestrian center before arrival, as rides are only done on appointment. Pricing is available on request.
Umdloti Beach (6.9 km from Herrwood Park)
Sunshine, sand, rock pools and warm water typify the idyllic beach conditions at Umdloti. The beach is protected by shark nets and manned by professional lifeguards.
This part of the Dolphin Coast is a great place to watch the spectacle of dolphins surfing the waves or performing acrobatic leaps. The inshore reefs provide surf, rock and ski boat angling as well as diving and surfing. Other water sports include windsurfing, paddling and jet skiing.