Newlands Forest, Cape Town
Did you know?
Newlands Forest is home to several endangered plant species.
Newlands Forest, less than 20 minutes' drive from Cape Town's city centre, is a peaceful setting in the Mother City's southern suburbs and an excellent place to commune with nature while getting some exercise.
When you leave the parking area to enter the forest, a sign with detailed information about the various hiking trails allows you to choose the most appropriate route, depending on how much time you have, your fitness level and what you wish to see and experience during your hike.
You are also likely to meet friendly locals getting their daily exercise who will provide further information about the various hiking trails, most of which are dirt tracks. There are however several trail options for more advanced hikers to explore steep rocky trails.
The 50-year-old Newlands reservoir in the Newlands Forest supplies a large amount of the area's water. Explorers will also discover various rivers and streams along the trails, with the constant, gentle gushing of the waters adding to the serene vibe of the forest.
Botanists, amateur and professional, will simply adore the adjacent City Parks Nursery, which is involved in maintaining and rehabilitating certain indigenous tree and plant species within Newlands Forest.
There are vantage points from which hikers can look out across the Cape peninsula, with spectacular views across the Cape Town city centre to Blouberg and beyond.
While walking through Newlands Forest, hikers will also see all of Cape Town's major sports stadiums, including Cape Town Stadium in Green Point, Athlone Stadium in Athlone, as well as the Newlands rugby and cricket stadia.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Cape Town Tourism
Phone: +27 (0) 21 487 6800
Tel: +27 (0) 21 761 1792
How to get here
Newlands Forest is located along the M3, just past the University of Cape Town. The turn-off is on the right hand side if you are driving from the city centre.
Around the area
Attractions within a few minutes' drive of Newlands Forest include the gorgeous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and the impressive Rhodes Memorial.
If not hiking, take a mountain bike ride instead.
What will it cost
Entrance to Newlands Forest is free.
What to pack
Good walking shoes or boots, plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. In winter, the rainy season, it is advisable to take a raincoat in case of any sudden downpours.
Where to stay
For luxury accommodation in the southern suburbs, close to the Newlands Forest, you can't go wrong with the five-star Greenways Hotel in Claremont.