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Picture credit: Fish Hoek Valley Museum

History of Fish Hoek

The story of Fish Hoek began thousands of years ago, when the site of the present flourishing town lay beneath the level of a sea, extending across the isthmus that now separates False Bay from the Atlantic Ocean at Kommetjie. In the grey dawn of the human race, high above the tidal waters, prehistoric hunters and fishermen, skilled in the manufacture of stone implements, took refuge in caves from their foes, human and animal.

Even if history in the more ordinary sense of the word began in Fish Hoek far later, it is still one which, by South African standards, goes back a long way. No less a person than Jan van Riebeeck, founder of the first permanent white settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, already referred to it.

(From: A History of Fish Hoek 1818—1968 by Eric Rosenthal, Published by The Fish Hoek Chamber Of Commerce Jubilee Festival 1968)

It was however only on December 7, 1917, that The Cape published the following:

“Fish Hoek is at last to be laid out as a seaside residential resort. We hope that the Divisional Council will give full attention to the representations of the deputation from the Publicity Association, who urged that, before passing the plans for the sub-division of the Fish Hoek Estate, a definite scheme of laying out roads and erecting buildings should be followed.”

On 16 March 1918 the first sale of plots was advertised.

“Colonial Orphan Chamber and Trust Company.
The Famous Estate, Fish Hoek near Kalk Bay
South Africa’s Premier Watering Place.
Preliminary Notice of Sale of Portion of this most charming and delightful Seaside
First Sale by Public Auction of exceptionally valuable,
most attractive and desirably situated.
Residential Building sites
In the Estate of the late Mrs. H. S. de Villiers
On Wednesday, April 24th
At 11 o’clock on the spot.”

(From: FISH HOEK – Looking Back, by Joy Cobern, First Published 2003)

Today Fish Hoek is a thriving village situated along the False Bay coast with one of the safest sandy beaches in the Cape for bathing and body boarding. When the wind picks up, hobie-cats and windsurfers take to the waves. From July to October whales come into Fish Hoek bay and loll around just 50 metres from the shore in preparation for mating and giving birth.

Fish Hoek is central to most of Cape Town’s attractions. Within a radius of 50 km is Cape Town International Airport (33km), the Cape Point Nature Reserve (25km), Table Mountain (35km), Cape Town Waterfront (35km), Constantia Wine Route (20km), Stellenbosch Wine Route (40km), Simon’s Town – home of the South African Navy (10 km) and Kalk Bay – a delightful fishing village on the False Bay coast (3km).