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.
- 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.