Lagoon Cruise and Water Activities

The Turbine Water Club is our very own Adventure Centre and can arrange a cruise on the Knysna Lagoon to admire the Knysna Heads. These giant rocks guard the lagoon where it joins the Atlantic, and despite the deceptively calm appearance, the narrow channel, the tidal pull and those unmovable rocks makes this the second most dangerous shipping channel in the world, second only to Christchurch in New Zealand.

You might have a hard time believing that, as you peacefully glide across the lagoon watching a beautiful sunset over the sheltered waters. The hotel has two motorised pontoon barges for guests to use, each seating up to 10 people. The placid lagoon is safe for swimming, boating and kayaking. You can also kayak around the canals of Thesen Islands and see if you can spot endangered Knysna Seahorses, pretty little things that love to hook their tails into the meshing of the canal walls.

If the seahorses prove elusive, try an encounter with the mightiest of mammals on a whale watching tour. Every year from July to November, Southern Right and Humpback whales leave icy Antarctica and migrate to mate and calve in the warmer waters off Southern Africa. Knysna is renowned as one of the best whale watching points in the country.

Knysna is also excellent for rock and surf fishing. Excursions can be organised through the hotel, as well as yacht hire and guided canoe trips. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches a short drive away, where you can try your hand at kite surfing or just enjoy the stunning sands.

Speak to our activities experts and your watery wishes will be their command!

Knysna Forest Hiking and Walking Trails

We’ll be honest, the chance of bumping into the almost legendary Knysna Elephant is pretty slim when you walk through Knysna Forest. But that’s a good thing, because they’re notoriously ill-tempered beasts!

This ancient forest is the largest in the country, and you can explore a small part of it on a guided 3km or 9km hike. Walk under a canopy of magnificent 900-year-old Yellowwood trees and hear the history of the forest and stories of the woodcutters who made their living from the timber trade. You can see the disused gold mines too, where gold prospectors spent frustrating times many years ago.

Our more adventurous guests can try an overnight hike, mountain biking, horse riding or kloofing – following a mountain stream down into the kloofs or canyons.

Our activities desk can arrange these forest adventures with reputable guides.

Mountain Biking

If mountain biking is your thing, head into Knysna Forest on a guided trail, or hire a bike and set off in whichever direction you fancy.

For a more sedate cycle, our partners at Knysna Hike & Bike run guided rides like a trip to a microbrewery, along to Knysna Heads, or a wine tasting option. Don’t worry about drinking and biking, because they’ll organise a car to bring you home!

With so much beautiful scenery to enjoy along the Garden Route, why not pick up a picnic and spend the day exploring? With a little advanced notice our chefs will be delighted to pack up a lovely lunch and our activities staff can advise you on the best sites to aim for.


The vast open spaces of the southern coast are ideal for golf fanatics, and we have some championship challenges almost within putting distance.

Pezula Championship Course is a breathtaking, award-winning course designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA. It’s one of the most scenic courses in the world and the Compleat Golfer rates it a five star experience.

Knysna Golf Club has you pitching over tidal pools and around magnificent trees, and while it’s flat and easy to walk, it still provides a good challenge to players of all levels.

For a virtually wind-free Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course experience, head for Simola Hotel Country Club just a short drive from the Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa.

things to do in knysna

Day Trips

Day Trips

Exciting day trips will take you through some of South Africa’s most stunning scenery.

Not to be missed is a trip to the quaint farming town Oudtshoorn with 400 ostrich farms, some of them offering guided tours. The famous Cango Caves nearby are a spectacular subterranean wonderland where you can descend on a guided tour.

The pretty little harbour town of Mossel Bay has long been a favourite holiday destination, with a plethora of water sports, good shopping and the Bartolomeu Dias museum complex, named after the first explorer to set foot in South African on 3 February, 1488. The complex includes a Maritime Museum, a fascinating Shell Museum and the ancient Post Office Tree.

The scenic drive to Storms River takes you on a lovely road past forest, rivers, sea and fynbos and along to the Bloukrans Bridge, where you can tackle the world’s highest commercial bungee jump.