Melkhoutfontein was established as a fisherman’s settlement during the 1850’s and is one of the most undiscovered gems of The Explorer’s Garden Route. The town is highly rated when speaking about architecture – with the beautiful St. Augustine’s Church a prime example. Melkhoutfontein allows many international exchange students the opportunity to live their passion, through the Dreamcatcher Foundation.
The gravel roads connecting Melkhoutfontein with Gouritsmond, Jongenfontein and Vermaaklikheid makes for the ideal mountain biking experience.
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Don't Miss Out
- Cook-up Kammama’s
- Beautifully painted houses
- Gravel roads for off-road driving
- The paintings at the E-Centre
- Gravel roads for mountain biking
Situated about 7-kilometers inland from the popular seaside holiday town of Stilbaai, Melkhoutfontein is certainly one of Hessequa’s most underrated gems. It was established as a fisherman’s settlement in the 1850s with its cute, white-washed and thatch-roofed houses quickly becoming its defining feature. The hamlet’s history took a controversial and unfortunate turn during Apartheid when it was set apart as a coloured residential area and segregated from Stilbaai, cutting it off from many economic opportunities.
Despite this setback, the community has managed to cling to its proud heritage and is now reaping the benefits of being one of the Garden Route’s most unstaged destinations for intra-cultural tourism experiences.
The Dreamcatcher Foundation, is an active stakeholder in ensuring that the village of Melhoutfontein develops and that the community benefits from every opportunity that comes its way. The Dreamcatcher Foundation has assisted in the set-up of traveller experiences like Cook-up Kammamas and Kammama Home-stays. The foundation is also ensuring that community and social upliftment takes place by facilitating exchange students from abroad to work with/on community projects facilitated by the Dreamcatcher Foundation.
Melkhoutfontein – with its rich history – is home to the architecturally beautiful Anglican Church, which is a prominent feature for photographers. If you are looking for excellent photography opportunities, it is advisable to take a walkabout through town – you are expected to see interesting architecture and friendly locals. Many of the residential houses in Melkhoutfontein is colorfully painted with some having beautiful artwork reflecting the way of life in Melkhoutfontein. The youth artist Jaydin Deutchen has recently created a replica of the iconic Titanic using only recyclable material.
The Hessequa Art Route has recently beautified the Melkhoutfontein Sporting Grounds walls with art and local artist Christo Gelant assisted Sonja Margerison, Wilma Steytler and Marietjie Kleinhans in completing a mural of the Blitsbok, Darren Adonis.
In April 2022, the town also successfully hosted the Melkhoutfontein Snoek en Patas Fees, which included performances from Riel dancers and delicious food.
A new addition to the tourism offerings of the town is the series of paintings at the Melkhoutfontein E-Centre, which tells the story of the life of a member of the indigenous Hessequa (Hessekwa) tribe. The paintings were completed by Kassie van Noordwyk and has a QR-code function, which enables visitors to listen to the recordings per painting. The recordings are voices from locals and a testament to the authenticity of the Hessequa region. The paintings is named Hessequa Voices From The Past.
Melkhoutfontein’s rich history got elevated when the University of Cape Town and The Rainbow Exchange collaborated with theatre production As Die See Byt. The production is based on the scenario stories developed with fishers from the area.
The town of Melkhoutfontein now also serves as gateway to the coastal town of Gouritsmond by means of a gravel road network, which is ideal for the off-the-beaten-track traveller. This route is the ideal playground for bikers in search of remote locations and spectacular scenery.