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EEpithets like the ‘Sunshine Coast', the ‘water sports capital of South Africa' and the ‘Friendly City', give clues to the kind of beach experience that awaits visitors to Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth. The Sunshine Coast is so-called because it has the most sunny days in South Africa so holiday makers looking to soak up some rays can sun-bake on its beaches all year round.
Like its Blue Flag beach cousins, Humewood and King's Beaches, Hobie is blessed with warm temperate summers; mild, pleasant winters and average sea temperatures of 16 to 22 degrees Celsius.
Situated off Marine Drive in the seaside hub of Summerstrand, Hobie Beach has ablution facilities, attractive picnic spots, a large children's playgrounds, ample parking areas and trained professional lifeguards during the summer season. A favourite spot for swimming and sunbathing, sheltered rock pools brim with inter-tidal sea life, and anglers fish from Shark Rock Pier, whilst swapping tales about ‘the one that got away'.
Hobie Beach's combination of calm waters and fair breezes provide some of the best boardsailing conditions in the world, and both long and short-boarders love its excellent waves and big shore break. Windsurfing, kite surfing, rubber ducking, jet skiing, power boating, wave jumping, sailing and yachting are all practiced here. Scuba diving enthusiasts can explore ship wrecks and coral reefs amidst sub-tropical fish in its warm waters.
This Port Elizabeth beach also hosts the annual 'Splash Festival' in March/April and Beach Volleyball and World Boardsailing Championships. Southern right whales pass by between July and October and humpback whales are seen in June, July and December.
Travel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)41 582 2575
Best time to visit
Sunny almost all year long, summer is definitely when you’ll get maximum rays and sun on Port Elizabeth’s beaches, but attractions galore mean you can explore here anytime.
Things to do
Shamwari Private Game Reserve is home to the Big 5, and Addo Elephant Park conserves Eastern Cape elephants and Cape buffalo. At Humewood Beach, Bayworld comprises an oceanarium, snake park and museum. Hike the 8km Sacramento trail from Sardinia Bay Marine Reserve, and play 5 excellent golf courses. Try sundowner cruises or walk the Donkin heritage trail.
What to pack
Even though temperatures along the Eastern Cape Coast are milder, sun protection is recommended. Bring your usual beach goodies or buy them here, then hire the equipment you’ll need at the beach front.
Where to stay
Camping, caravanning, backpacker’s hostels, eco-friendly lodges, township B&Bs, value-for-money seaside apartments or luxury hotels and five-star game lodges, Port Elizabeth has got them all.
What to eat
Great seafood restaurants abound in the Humewood area near the beachfront.