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. 

Situated about 7km 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 Southern Cape’s hotspots for unstaged, intra-cultural tourism experiences. Supported by Dutch NGO, the Dreamcatcher Foundation, Melhoutfontein offers a number of cultural activities, including a walkabout through the village, mouth-watering traditional cook-ups hosted by local women in their very own kitchens and homestays, giving visitors a peek into the everyday life of this warm-hearted community.

Quick facts

  • Name derived from all the trees (Melkhout bome) and fountains (fontyne) that used to be found in the area.
  • Population: 2 533
  • Congregation of St. Augustine’s Church established here in 1876.

Melkhoutfontein Info

  • Stilbaai Tourism
  • Telephone: +27 (0)28 754 2602


Police: 10111
Anglican Church: +27 (0)28 754 1680
Ambulance: 10177
Hospital: +27 (0)28 754 1978

Not to miss

  • Jongensfontein Museum – Fonteinhuisie
  • Fishing
  • Meal and drinks at Drie Pikkewyne
  • Surfing
  • Blombos Road drive
  • Hike to Stilbaai
  • The Blue Flag beach!
  • Gin Tasting 
  • Botterkloof Holiday Resort and Farm 
  • Feeding of Tame Eels
  • Kasselshoop Cheese Tasting & Pairing