Why we love Newlands Forest

Why we love Newlands Forest Andrew Thompson

A walk in the woods...

Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Newlands Forest is a favourite among (dog) walkers, trail runners, leisurely strollers, serious hikers, nature lovers, picnickers and locals wanting to let off steam after a gruelling day at the office. Here’s why we love it:


Avid hikers use the forest as an entry to the four unique trails that wind up the mountain. These trails range from easy to moderate, and boast several vantage points along the way that offer exquisite views stretching from the city centre to Blouberg.

Leisurely strollers entering the forest from the parking area will come across a sign with information detailing the various routes. The easier routes are made up of interlinking paths, with a few streams in between, and stunning views of the surrounding suburbs. Dogs are welcome as long as owners are carrying an activity permit otherwise they will be fined.


The City Parks Nursery in Newlands is well worth a visit. It includes four large greenhouses and a large area of growing land.


Bring your own wood, charcoal and grid and prepare lunch among the trees in the designated braai and picnic areas (featured in our Best Braai Spots in Cape Town). Most of the stream-side picnic spots are protected by a canopy of trees, providing shade in summer and protection from (light) rain in winter.

Insider tips

  • From 1 October to 30 April (summer), the braai area is open between 8am and 6pm on weekends and public holidays.
  • No furry companions are permitted in the braai and picnic areas, but they are more than welcome to accompany you on the hiking routes if you have an activity permit.
  • Entry to the forest is free; while entry to the braai area costs R25 (adults), free except for for vehicle fee (Wild Card holders) and R15 (children).
  • If you purchase a My Green Card for R135, you can enter up to 12 times for free.
  • Secure parking within the fenced-in braai area costs R25 per car.

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The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 08 October 2016

36 Responses to “Why we love Newlands Forest”

  1. Avatar


    Good day I want to host a baby shower for my sister this Sat is that possible?

  2. Avatar


    Is it possible if one can host a drive thru wedding ceremony?

  3. Avatar

    Mandisa Dulaze

    Will the forest only be operational under level one lockdown for hiking?

    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Mandisa,

      Newlands Forest is actually open now, during level 3 lockdown.
      Enjoy the hiking!

  4. Avatar

    Liesl de Villiers

    How much does an activity permit cost for bringing our 2 dogs to the forest

    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Liesl,

      For walking 2 dogs, the My Activity Permit Level 1 will cost you R305 (rates are subject to the annual tariff increase on 1 November).
      Please note the following from Table Mountain National Park’s website: the main member may add (up to three) additional members only on application or renewal. (Each applicant has to complete and sign the application form and provide 2 x ID photos of themselves when the main member applies).
      Each applicant will receive their own My Activity Permit which they are obligated to carry with them when out walking the dog(s).

      Happy walking!

  5. Avatar

    Shanelle Doonan

    How do you get to the picnic area and is there a fee to enter the picnic area?

    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Shanelle,

      For the braai/ picnic area, you can find it off the M3 in Newlands (ERF47825, Union Ave) just after the main entrance to Newlands Forest.
      These are the following fees:
      R32 (adults)
      R16 (children under 12)
      R64 (SADC Nationals, adults)
      R32 (SADC Nationals, children)
      R128 (international visitors, adults)
      R64 (international visitors, children)
      R28 (vehicles)

      (Please note the picnic site is closed from the 1 June to 30 September every year).

      You can also contact them directly if you have any more questions: 021 689 7438, chamell.pluim@sanparks.org

      Kind regards,
      The Inside Guide

  6. Avatar

    Claudine Hill

    We are having a team building on the 23/11/19 is alcohol allowed

    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Claudine,

      Unfortunately, Newlands Forest and the other Table Mountain parks/ forests do not allow alcohol.
      Have a great team building event!

      Kind regards,
      The Inside Guide

  7. Avatar

    Jaqueline Keller

    I would like to know if you have space for 30 November 2019, we are a group of not more than 30

  8. Avatar

    Phindiswa Peredayisi

    Good Day

    I would like to know availability of braai & picnic area at Newlands forest on 16November 2019?

    Kind regards
    Phindiswa Peredayisi

  9. Avatar


    Hi I would like to know if we are allowed to play music in the braai area?

  10. Avatar


    Hi , if i wanted my wedding venue @ Newlands forest for roughly 70-80 people , how much would it cost me ? Thank you in advance . Farzaanah .

  11. Avatar

    Marilize R

    Where do I purchase an activity permit to take my dog along on a hike?

  12. Avatar

    Ismail Harris

    Good day

    What time does New lands Forest open during the winter months, wanting to go on 8 June.

    Thank you

    • Avatar

      Francesca Gransden

      Hi Ismail

      The forest is open 24 hours a day, and the braai areas are open from 8am to 6pm. You can contact SANParks directly on 021 4222 1601 for more info. Enjoy your visit!

  13. Avatar

    gayron clark

    Hi,i just want to know if you are allowed to play music?

  14. Avatar



    just wanted to know if i can bring alcohol to the braai area. having a team building.


  15. Avatar


    And if i want to come for a photoshoot in the hiking routes, is it allowed

  16. Avatar


    Is drinking Allowed at the forest?

    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Marvin, we’ve been informed by Table Mountain National Park that alcohol is not allowed in Newlands Forest.

  17. Avatar

    Christine Plaatjies

    This is our 1st time as a family coming to Newlands picnic forest just to braai as everywhere else was windy. We were 3 cars and 12 adults. It’s R25 a adult and R27 a car. There is about 200 cars here today and about R400 people minimum. We as a family don’t care about the money but I have some concerns. Firstly they don’t give you a receipt and most importantly the toilets are filthy. No toilet paper, floors are wet. We went to the people at the gate and they promise to come and clean but no one came. I think the least they can do is hire someone to clean this toilets for the fee they charging at the gate. It’s appaling.

    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Christine. That does not sound good at all! We have sent your comment to Newlands Forest, and await their response.

  18. Avatar


    Is the braai area available during the week as well?

  19. Avatar


    Is music allowed and how long can a person stay ?

  20. Avatar


    Are there braai stands available?

    Can you bring beer?

    • Avatar


      Yes – bricked braai stands

      Yes – remember not to drink and drive.

  21. Avatar


    Would like 2 No if newlands is open 5 August 2017

  22. Avatar

    Debrah Grootboom Tshabane

    Are there any indoor spaces incase of rain that one can use?

  23. Avatar

    Pearl Barends

    Good day, do I have to book or get a special permission? Thanks so much!

  24. Avatar


    Can u have alcohol at newlands forest braai area?