Thesen Island

Knysna Treasure Trail Tour

A fun family treasure hunt, or solo exploration

You don’t need a compass to find Knysna’s treasures when you’re armed with the Knysna Treasure Trail Tour map. A fun family activity for explorers young and old, the map will lead you to some of Knysna’s most beautiful and historically important sites. X marks the spot where you’ll find your treasure at the end of this epic adventure and great self-drive tour of Knysna.

Start at Thesen Island Harbour Town

You start the treasure hunt on Thesen Harbour Town. Here you’ll meet one of Emzini Tours’ friendly guides and collect your very affordable map. The guide will walk you to the SANParks offices where you’ll meet the extremely rare Knysna seahorse – the only known true estuarine seahorse in the world.

Walking from here to the exquisite Turbine Hotel & Spa, your guide will tell you about the timber processing history of Thesen Harbour Town, and how the wood waste from the timber mill was eventually used to fuel the power station that supplied electricity to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay until the mid-1970’s. You will also have access to the hotel, which was built around the original wood boiler and generators that now form part of the beautiful décor.

Turbine Hotel Treasure Map

The Knysna Heads

This is where your self-drive adventure in Knysna begins. Follow your map down George Rex Drive to the viewpoint on the Eastern Head of Knysna. The views form here are truly magnificent and you get a brand new, almost birdlike perspective of the town of Knysna and the incredible Indian Ocean beyond.

Knysna Heads viewpoint

An island to dream of

Visit Leisure Isle on your way back to town and read the romantic story of how one man developed the uninhabited island in the 1920s from your map. Travel back through Knysna’s central business district – and maybe stop for a spot of retail therapy – then follow the map to the Timber Village, a modern-day extension of Knysna’s history in the timber industry.

A trip around the lagoon to the sea

Drive towards Brenton-On-Sea, on your way stop at Margaret’s Viewpoint and take in the stunning view of the lagoon, town and iconic train bridge. Who was Margaret? What train ran across the bridge? Your map has all the answers. Now visit the beautiful mosaic benches and tables at Brenton-On-Sea, where you can also stop for a fun and relaxing walk on the beach. Drive back down the hill and follow the map to the Holy Trinity Church in Belvidere, a pretty example of the Norman architecture of the 11th and 12th centuries.

Belvidere Church

Your final stop

The next stop is your final destination – but you’ll have to follow your map to find out where that is…