Eersterivier - the Tsitsikamma's hidden gem

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Wednesday, 22nd October 2014
Port Elizabeth travel blogger FireflyAfrica of The Firefly Photo Files spent a weekend around Eersteriver in the Tsitsikamma and this is what he thought of the area.
Hidden on the rugged eastern coastline of the Tsitsikamma is a little gem that not a lot of people know of.  Somewhere you can get away from it all and enjoy stunning scenic coastal landscapes bordered by cliffs and lush vegetation.  Somewhere you can take in a bit of beach life and lots of vitaminSea without being trampled underfoot by crowds.  This little hidden corner on the Garden Route is Eersterivier.
One can't really call Eersterivier a town or a village.  Its rather a collection of privately owned (mostly) holiday homes.  There aren't any hotels and I can't remember seeing any guesthouses, but  it is possible to rent on of the 19 houses that Tsitsikamma Seaside Accommodation manages on behalf of the owners.  A couple of weeks ago Penny of Tsitsikamma Seaside Accommodation invited us for a Sho't Left weekend and we got to stay at Shick Shack while we were there.  Shick Shack was anything but a shack as it sleeps eight people in four bedrooms and has the most stunning view of the coastline (bottom middle picture).
The area around Eersterivier is really beautiful but the main attraction is the beaches.  Its is a rugged and rocky coastline but there are lots of little coves and gullies along with the main beach on the western side of the village.  The centerpiece of the beach are fossil dunes with very interesting sand stone features.  It is here that you find one of the most inviting swimming spots around, the blue hole.
At low tide we took a walk around the sea side of the sand stone formations and found a couple of holes in the rock.  We came back at high tide and looked down onto it from above.  They turned out to be blow holes, shooting water up into the air from them every time a wave hits the rocks.  When you explore the rock pools and around the back of the sand stone formations, just be aware and keep an eye out for spiky sea urchins, specially if you have children with you.  The pools and gullies are actually excellent for snorkeling so bring your equipment with you if you would like to explore a bit under water as well.  Another warning though.  Keep within the safe zones when swimming and snorkeling as there are dangerous rip tides beyond the rocks and gullies.
In addition to beach walks there is also a couple of short hiking trails in the area where you walk through the surrounding fynbos, some that follow the top of the coastal cliffs and look down on the whole area from above.  Golfers would love the nearby 9 hole Fynbos Golf Estate with its views of the ocean and the Tsitsikamma Mountains as a background.  About 30 minutes away is Storms River Village with its forest walks and adrenalin filled adventure activities. 
Eersterivier isn't a proper village so there are no shops and atm's.  Luckily the Oudebosch Farm Stall and coffee shop is only about 10 minutes away with most visitors getting what they need from the supermarket there.  Its also ideal for breakfast and lunch or just a quick coffee and milkshake.
The Tsitsikamma is a true Garden of Eden and if Adam and Eve lived in this garden and had the opportunity to go to the beach, Eersterivier would have been that beach.
Disclosure: We enjoyed this visit as guests of Tsitsikamma Seaside Accommodation and transport was courtesy of the team at ECTOUR.  I received no further remuneration, wasn't asked to write a positive post and keep full editorial control.

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