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Smitswinkel Road (M65/M4)

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Smitswinkel Bay near Cape Point Smitswinkel Bay near Cape Point - Photo: Panoramio

Translated from the Afrikaans to mean 'Blacksmith's Shop', this route delivers the best views when driven from south to north. The pass begins at the crest of the hill just past the turn-off to the Cape Point Reserve at an altitude of 146m ASL, then drops immediately down a 1km fairly straight section (with a gradient of around 1:11) towards a sharp left-hand bend of 90 degrees, where parking is available. The road forms part of a wonderful circular route around the Cape Peninsula and carries a lot of tourist traffic including tour buses 7 days per week.

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Note: Google Earth software reads the actual topography and ignores roads, cuttings, tunnels, bridges and excavations. The Google Earth vertical-profile animation generates a number of parallax errors, so the profile is only a general guide of what to expect in terms of gradients, distance and elevation. The graph may present some impossible and improbably sharp spikes, which should be ignored.



Digging into the details:

Stop and take a look at the beautiful little settlement of holiday homes far below with its white beach and clear waters, called Smitswinkel Bay. This is only accessible on foot and follows a steep footpath with several switchbacks down to the beach far below. The settlement consists of just 29 privately owned cottages and must rank as one of the most beautiful and secluded spots on the planet. There is no electricity, no refuse removal and no public road access. This remoteness has vastly escalated the value of the land, with a 2006 auction of a single plot fetching a staggering R7 million. The entire section of the peninsula south of the road forms part of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. The main entrance to the reserve is at the start of Smitswinkel Road's southern terminus and is well signposted. 

Smitswinkel viewed from Cape Point ReserveSmitswinkel viewed from Cape Point Reserve / Photo: GrobbsContinue in a northerly direction as the gradient eases as the road curves gently all along the False Bay coast towards Boulders, where this section ends (Altitude 24m ASL).

Watch out for walkers, cyclists and motor cyclists. Be especially careful of baboons! They are plentiful in this area and can become aggressive if hungry. Under no circumstances should you feed them.

Once in Simonstown there are many attractions for visitors amongst which are the statue of the legendary dog "Just Nuisance" and the world famous penguin colony at Boulders. False Bay is home to one of the biggest populations of Great White sharks and fishing is a popular pastime in the bay. Roman Rock lighthouse stands sentinel over the entrance to the naval port of Simonstown set in a crook behind a mountain, escaping the main force of the fury of the summer south easterly winds which frequently blow at gale force strength.


Try these other scenic suburban passes in and around Cape Town:

01. Kloof Nek Road
02. Tafelberg Road 
03. Kloof Road (Camps Bay)
04. Victoria Road and 12 Apostles
05. Suikerbossie
06. Chapmans Peak Drive
07. Red Hill Road
08. Smitswinkel Road (the page you're on)
09. Tyger Valley Road
10. Signal Hill Road
11. Camps Bay Drive
12. Constantia Nek
13. Rhodes Drive 
14. Ou Kaapse Weg
15. Blackhill Road (M6)
16. Boyes Drive (M75)
17. Slangkop Pass (M65)
18. Misty Cliffs Road (M65)


Fact File:

GPS START  S34.257553 E18.456093
GPS SUMMIT S34.257553 E18.456093
GPS END  S34.235834 E18.474663
AVE GRADIENT 1:36
MAX GRADIENT 1:10
ELEVATION START 146m
ELEVATION SUMMIT 146m
ELEVATION END 24m
HEIGHT GAIN/LOSS 122m
DISTANCE 4,5 km
DIRECTION - TRAVEL East & North
TIME REQUIRED 10 minutes
SPEED LIMIT 60 - 80 kph
SURFACE Tar (M65)
DATE FILMED 15.09.2013
TEMPERATURE 34C
NEAREST TOWN Simonstown (8 km)

Route Map:

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From Address:


Route files:

||Click to download: Smitswinkel Road Pass (Note - this is a .kmz file which can be viewed in Google Earth and most GPS software systems)

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