Arniston offers a wealth of natural assets and unspoilt beauty. The jagged coastline with its countless wrecks is a chilling tribute to the sea farers of yesteryear.
Arniston derives its name from one of these wrecks, namely the British 'Arniston' which sank here in 1815. The vessel was loaded with wounded soldiers to take them from
Ceylon via Cape Town back to England. Heavy winds had destroyed all the sails and it was eventually decided to cut away the three anchors and run the ship ashore. The
Arniston broke up on the needle-sharp rocks of the Arniston Reef. Of the 378 passengers only 6 survived, rendering this disaster one of the most serious in the history
of South Africa.
The area is also known as "Waenhuiskrans". Literally translated it means 'wagon house cliff' and takes its name from the famous low-tide cave which resembles the
structures used by settlers to house their oxen and wagons. It can only be accessed at low tide.
It includes the 200-year old Kassiesbaai fishing community with its whitewashed thatched fishermen houses, the oldest part of Arniston, now protected as a national heritage
site in its entirety. Its inhabitants are probably the most painted and photographed subjects in South Africa. Artists and photographers are welcomed. Visitors can also
enjoy a traditional Kassiesbaai dinner by candlelight in one of the fisher houses. The meals are prepared by the fishermen's wives.
Arniston is a favourite hideaway for holidaymakers with a variety of accommodation establishments to choose from like the 4 star hotel, self-catering seaside cottages,
guest houses and B&B's. Activities are swimming, hiking, whale watching and watching the loaded fishing boats come into Arniston Bay. It is known as a fisherman's
paradise for both rock and boat anglers and was voted by Time Magazine as one of the best ten hideaways in the world, at last discovered!