Jubilee Creek has to be one of the country’s best picnic spots close to all of the most popular Knysna accommodation. If you’re vising the Garden Route and are wanting a family day spent outdoors surrounded by nothing but nature, then this is one of the perfect Knysna activities. It is a section of forest land named after Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, which was celebrated on the 20th June 1887 and it is also the site of the Millwood Gold Rush.
There is still evidence of this era dotted around, highlighted by a fascinating historical walk which runs along a short section of the Outeniqua Hiking Trail, along a path that the miners used over 120 years ago. The path follows the creek for about a kilometre and runs past a great collection of reminders of the time when the sight of a single gold nugget lured a rush of fortune seekers from near and far.
The atmosphere here is one of serenity, highlighted by the sounds of delighted children running around exploring the forest and the gentle stream that cuts through the trees. This is the perfect place for the little ones to splash around in the water, catching tadpoles and keeping cool, while adults chat or read their books nearby. The stream water is dark in colour from the tannin in the leaves, but it is perfectly drinkable. Picnic tables are provided where you can spread your food out and enjoy a long, lazy meal.
There are some other lovely walks to be taken along the river, and through the forest, where once a rare Knysna elephant was spotted. A really great way to start your day here is to do the easy 3km walk through the forest to a fantastic rock pool and waterfall, where you can swim and relax before heading back to spend the rest of the day braaing or picnicking under the trees.
Ask your Knysna hosts for more information on opening and closing times as well as entrance fees. The Jubilee Creek Picnic site is clearly signposted from the Bibby’s Hoek / Millwood Gold Fields turnoff, close to Rheedendal.