in the 1800s and 1900s charts, compasses, shorelines and the odd lighthouse was how navigation took place. On that stormy day in May 1900 there was poor visibility and a pounding north-west wind combined with devastatingly high seas. The story goes that the captain saw Chapman’s Peak believing it to be Cape Point and gave instructions to turn hard to port”, maintaining full speed. It wasn’t long however when the bridge caught sight of breaking waves directly ahead but there was nothing to be done. The ship ran aground an the pounding waves helped seal its fate. The boiler, rudders and ribs can still be seen sticking out of the sand.
To find the remains of the Kakapo simply park up at the Chapman’s Peak side of the Noordhoek beach, follow the boardwalk and take a stroll along the white sandy stretch known as ‘Long Beach’. The far side of this stretch brings you to Kommetjie Beach but before you get there you’ll find the shipwreck lying high and dry.
The lagoons on the left fills with seawater at high tide and are a favourite for kids to splash and run wild in. As you walk look out for oyster-catchers, whales, dolphins and, on the edge of the wetland, Cape clawless otters. This stretch is a favourite for horse riding, dog walking and long leisurely strolls on the beach. Few access points mean it is clean and unspoilt so a real treat to visit.