GONUBIE BEACH (East London, SA)

As promised in our previous post, we are taking you down to the beach at Gonubie today.

Gonubie is known as the holiday village of East London … and it’s easy to see why. The beautiful beach has hosted many popular events such as rubber duck- and surfing championships. It has a wonderful boardwalk that provides fantastic views across the sea and the Gonubie (or Gqunube) River Mouth is also a fun place to explore.

On our way to the beach, we walked pass a few lovely sights. There were a decorated surfboard mounted against a lamp pole and succulents that were planted in fun “pot holders”, like wheelbarrows and a boat.

One of many decorated surfboards we saw on our way to the beach

At the beach, you have the best of both worlds. On the one side, there are big rocks where waves are crashing and fishermen eagerly standing with their rods, while on the other side is a lovely sandy beach.

A rocky beach – ideal for fishermen
At the parking area in front of the ocean
A great slogan: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

As mentioned earlier, there is a great boardwalk from the parking area to the beach (very conveniently going over the rocks).

The start of the 500m long boardwalk from the parking bay

On the one side of the boardwalk is a tidal pool and on the other side high dunes with vegetation.

Dunes with vegetation on the left and the tidal pool on the right
A view over the tidal pool

Once we reached the end of the boardwalk, steps took us directly on the lovely white sand of the beach. This must be a great spot for beachgoers during the summer months … we did dip our feet into the water of the Indian Ocean, but it was definitely too cold to go in deeper.

The dunes and boardwalk along the ocean
The end of the boardwalk (or the start if you’re coming from the beach)
There are a couple of benches where one can rest and enjoy the views

On the other side of the boardwalk and parking bay, there are a hiking path on grass which are running close to the ocean. We took this path and saw a couple of fishermen on the rocks.

Fishermen on the rocks
An information board on which fish can be found on the south coast
More mosaic pots on the hiking path

There are a few coffee shops and restaurants at the side of the main road. After all the walking, it was certainly time for lunch and when we saw the sign for the “Heavenly Pancake House”, we just had to stop there.

Heavenly Pancake House

I love pancake in any form – rolled up or filled, whether it’s sweet or savoury, anything will do! I ordered the Hawaiian pancake while Berto’s choice fell on a steak roll. We enjoyed our lunch and will definitely visit the Heavenly Pancake House again. 

Our first introduction to (one) of the beaches of East London was great! We can’t wait to visit the other beaches and river mouths – yes, there’s more. But I’m sure we’ll come back again (and again) to Gonubie beach as this a lovely place to either enjoy a stroll on the beach or having lunch with a view! We hope you have enjoyed this just as much as we did!

The view of the Indian Ocean from Gonubie beach

64 comments

  1. onubie is so beautiful, great share Corna ❤ The description and images you shared are absolutely stunning! It feels like I'm right there at the beach, thank you for that 🙂 just what I needed. 'm looking forward to reading more about East London.

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    • Ek was verbaas om te sien hoe mooi die strand is … hier gaan ons beslis meer kom kuier wanneer dit weer warmer word! Die meeste van die dorpies (of “suburbs” soos hulle dit noem), is mooi skoon … mens moet dit net nie te diep in die middestad van Oos-London waag nie – daar lyk dit nie so goed nie 😔. Maar hier is beslis baie ander plekkies wat die moeite werd is om te besoek en waarna daar mooi gekyk word.

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  2. Those mosaics are beautiful and the beach wonderful. I think I prefer beaches in the off-season and then it’s so refreshing to walk along listening to the sea (even better when there’s ice chunks but I imagine you would avoid that!) Your pancake looked good. That is how my mother made them, unlike the thick ones they make here, which are nice but completely different. Glad you have somewhere so nice to enjoy.

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    • I was surprised to find all those mosaic artwork … it made me want to find more! I totally agree with you being on the beach during the off-season – one definitely tend to hear more nature sounds. Oh no, ice chunks sounds way too cold for a beach walk … the more sun the better 🌞. As for the pancake … I would not mind having another one right now – and that’s how we learned to make pancakes in school (it definitely took me back to my high school years). There is so much more to explore … but first we need to settle down in our new house … oh, priorities!

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  3. I would certainly enjoy visiting this lovely area. You picked a the perfect time for a reconnaissance as you were able to enjoy the natural beauty without the throngs of people that that must be present in warmer weather. Heavenly Pancake House would be my local hangout.😋😃

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    • You’re absolutely right John … with the beach being so lovely, I can just imagine the amount of people being here on a hot December day! We had this (almost) to ourselves and that was just perfect! Oh, those pancakes … there must be 20 different pancakes (and I feel obliged to try them all at some point during this year 😀).

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    • Haha 😁 … maybe they have water in common … isn’t the Docklands area close to the River Thames? It is a lovely beach and I kind of see us enjoying summer evenings here. Pancake – I think there must be at least 20 different pancakes (and the one looks as yummy as the next)! Thanks for popping in – enjoy the rest of your week.

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  4. What a lovely beach walk Corna, and all the better for the various flourishes of artwork. The pancake (we call that an omelette where I come from) looked every bit as “heavenly” as the name suggests. How fantastic that even during your first visit you knew you’d found a place that you’ll be back to time and time again.

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    • Thanks Leighton – a beach walk and artwork combined … that was a bonus! Yes, our omelettes also look like these pancakes (but hey, I like them both ☺️). We are quite surprised with the places we found thus far – I think we might just like it here!

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  5. Hi, ek was baie, baie jare terug in Oos Londen en ek kan nie onthou dat dit daai tyd so daar gelyk het nie – baie dankie vir die artikel en fotos, maak my sommer lus om weer ‘n slag ‘n draai daar te gaan maak. 🙂

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    • Hi Brenda, dis my eerste keer hier … so, ek kan nie eens vir jou se of dit baie verander het nie. Gonubie het beslis daardie klein vakansie dorp gevoel en mens kan sien daar word moeite gedoen om dit skoon en netjies te hou (die middestad van Oos-London is egter ‘n ander storie … ongelukkig). Maar rondom die stad, is daar baie om te sien – ons kan nie wag om rond te gaan en te kyk wat hier nog is nie! Dankie vir die inloer 😉.

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    • Kan jy nou glo … so ‘n mooi strand hier aan die suidoos kus 😄. Ja-nee, as ek na die akkommodasie kyk rondom die strand area, is dit beslis ‘n besige plek gedurende vakansies (en waarskynlik in die somer).

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    • That is something new to us as well … the lush vegetation next to a beach. I guess it’s fairly unique to this side of South Africa’s coast. And you’re right, it is absolutely beautiful – we will go there soon again!

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  6. What a wonderful place to go for a walk, Corna 🙂 It’s not just the sunlight that boosts your mood or the blue skies and waters that provide a calm relief. Your soul needs a little rejuvenation every now and again and there is something about time on the beach that gives you solace, hope and renewal. As the saying goes: “You can shake the sand from your shoes, but not from your soul.” Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    • Thank you for reading about “our” new beach Marion 😉 … we will definitely go back there (for both the scenic views and the pancakes)! Yes (thanks for asking), I think we are starting to feel like we belong here – I don’t have to open all the cupboards anymore to find the cups and I can find my way from the closest shop back to our house … that must mean we’re adopting to our new home. There is so much we want to go and see, but we have to also sort out our house (oh, and more importantly, Berto must work 😄) … but we’ll get there!

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    • The boardwalk is lovely (and great to have those scenic views over the Indian Ocean while walking there). As for the planters – they’re so unique and it was nice to search for different ones while we walked around (I like the idea of an old phone box 😊). Thanks Tricia, hope your weekend is great too … with nice summer sunny weather!

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  7. Oh get me to the beachhh, look at those gorgeous wide open views and the golden sand, with barely anyone on it! What a dream, and so perfect to have close by. I love the board walk, and look at those pancakes – yum!

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    • This was the perfect day on the beach Hannah … sunny weather, but almost not a soul in sight to enjoy the beach day (it may look different in summer though). It seems boardwalks are a familiar sight here in East London – to get over the dunes and vegetation to the beach … and when there’s something to eat on the other side, bonus!

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  8. I can see that you have found a wonderful place by the sea. I would love to walk on the boardwalk, or barefoot in the sand along the ocean. Still, you have so much left to explore…

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    • Thank you so much Lisa. This was a lovely walk … those views over the ocean were just splendid! I really liked the mosaic artwork that popped up everywhere – great to see how a town is taking care of their beach. I have a feeling you’re right my friend … 😉

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  9. Goodness, this takes me back a few years/decades! I was on Gonubie beach way back in 1978 and there was no sign of a boardwalk then! In fact I have a photo of me in a bikini on that beach. My in-laws were living in Fort Beaufort so we headed down there for the day! Whereabouts have you moved to?

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    • Haha, yes I don’t think that boardwalk was there since 1978 😉 … though, I don’t think much have changed over the years (maybe a new shop here and there, but there is almost a feeling of “time stood still” here in Gonubie … which I like very much). That was quite a drive from Fort Beaufort to Gonubie for the day – but I suppose to get to a beach is never a long drive! We have (temporarily) moved from Langebaan (on the West Coast) and are currently close to the Nahoon river (about 10km from East London). I must say, this is the one part of South Africa we don’t really know and we are totally surprised with the beauty on this side of the country!

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      • If you have ever been to Fort Beaufort in December (and I realise you probably haven’t) then a couple of hours drive to a beach is well worth it 😂 it is, or at least is was, very hot up there!

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      • Oh … I heard some stories of hot (very hot and humid) weather during December on this side of the coast. We have been to Sodwana (on the far north coast) last year December and it was almost unbearable … maybe we’ll spent a lot of time at Gonubie beach this year!

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