This treasure chest of a museum specialises in shipwrecks along the South African coastline and contains showpieces specific to the Overberg.

Three sections make up the museum – one of which is the Shipwreck Museum. Housed in the old former Independent Church, you will find an amazing assortment of cannons, figureheads, chinaware, coins, ships’ bells, buoys and other life-saving equipment. From the 120 shipwrecks recorded to date, some of the notable wrecks include Zoetendal – 1673, Joanna – 1682, Nostra Senhora de los Milagros – 1686, Schoenenberg – 1722, Nicobar – 1783, Arniston – 1815, Queen of the Thames – 1871, La Lisa – 1840, The Birkenhead – 1852, Oriental Pioneer – 1974.
The renowned author from Bredasdorp, Audrey Blignaut, has a room in her honour, within the museum, which contains furniture and other bric-a-brac.

Panoramic view of the Shipwreck Museum gardens

The Old Parsonage, a typical Strandveldhuis (Overberg home), is furnished with articles collected along the coasts. Here too, for safekeeping, is a collection of newspaper cuttings and other trivia salvaged from various wrecks.

Photo credit: Herman von Bon

The Old Coach House exhibits Cape carts, a scotch-cart, two horse-drawn hearses and a splendid old fire engine. The buildings alone are beautifully restored examples of old Cape architecture.