Simons Town scenic hikes and walks

My hiking buddy and I wanted to get out of the house for a bit , but weren’t sure were to go until I saw a photo of the Simon’s Town Waterfall and decided to go see if we could find it and explore a bit in that area as it is a very short walk. I was very surprised at how lovely it is and can’t believe so few people know about it.

Admiral’s Waterfall
You can either park in the main road and start at the Shell Petrol Station as your drive into town, and walk up to the top. Go up the steps to the left of the garage and at the top of the stairs turn right and follow the road until you reach an old building and the “pylons” next to “Victoria Lane”. Go up this road until you see a sign that reads “Cable Hill”. Here you will see Barnard Street on your right. Follow that road all the way to the waterfall.

Alternately, if you don’t want to walk up the hill past the beautiful old houses then you can drive up to Barnard Street and park almost at the entrance of the hike. Make sure not to park in front or block the residents driveways.

It should take no more than 15 minutes to get to the waterfall from the start of the gravel pathway.

After exploring the Admiral’s Waterfall, we scrambled down off the path to another waterfall. Please be careful as it is very steep and can be slippery!

Just Nuisance Grave – From here we walked back along Barnard Street to the steps leading up to “Just Nuisance Grave” The grave of the famous dog is at the top of the Signal School Steps at the top of the hill above Simon’s Town. It is a rather tough uphill climb up the +- 340 steps to the top, but the view is well worth it and thankfully coming down is much easier. The grave is located at the Navy Signals area. (Just inside the gate at the top)

Before heading back down the Signal School Steps, we stopped to enjoy our coffee and sandwiches while enjoying the beautiful view of Simon’s Town below.

History of the Skilift pylons or aerial-ropeway pylons in Simons Town

The history behind the Simon’s Town Aerial Rope-way is rather interesting. Simon’s Town Historical Society has shed some light on the silver-painted steel “skiline” or “ropeway” pylons.

“It operated between 1904 and 1934 and took supplies and personnel from the West Dockyard to the Royal Naval Hospital and the Sanatorium to the sanatorium above. The alternative transport was a slow and arduous journey by ox wagon up the old Red Hill Road.    The Simon’s Town ropeway was preceded by one in Gibraltar and on Table Mountain – built around 1892 to transport equipment and materials to construct dams on the mountain. The British Admiralty in Simon’s Town visited the ropeway on Table Mountain before beginning plans for one in Simon’s Town. But designing a route for the Simon’s Town ropeway proved challenging as the carts passed over St Georges Street, creating a concern for enough headspace of pedestrians and carts. It would also pass directly over three houses in Cornwall Street.   The owner of these houses was paid a yearly fee of £1 per house for “the right of way”.   In the West Dockyard, where the ropeway started, the buildings were too close together to allow the cables to pass through. This was solved by cutting a hole in the walls of the storehouse building.   The engine driver, stationed in an engine room at Chapel Hill, had no vision of the beginning and end of the ropeway. He relied on painted areas on the cables – when seeing the colour pass into the engine room he knew to stop the carts.   The ropeway operated with six carts: two for passengers, with seats for six people; two for patients, with two cots in each, and two tarpaulin-covered carts for carrying goods.   The ropeway stopped operating in 1927, due to a “misunderstanding”. Every Friday, the ropeway was closed to passengers and only goods and stores were transported. The officer commanding the dockyard would send a routine signal to all stations and ships about this. An unknown official interpreted this as a system that seemed to break down each week. The order was issued to shut down the ropeway. The wire ropes were removed in 1934, and the pylons have stood, unused, ever since.”

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We walked back down to our car and took a drive to Just Nuisance’s Statue in Jubilee Square then took a quick drive and walked down to Boulders Beach to see the penguins along the walkway.

Once again a lovely morning out doing something new and filled with a bit of interesting history about Simon’s Town 🙂

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