Marine Drive on the Wildside

Marine Drive along the Port Elizabeth beachfront and the Wildside all the way out to Schoenmakerskop probably has some of the best scenery in PE. Sea views, a rugged coastline, gullies to enjoy with kids, fishing spots, coastal fynbos, shipwrecks, whales and dolphins, hiking trails, nature reserves, picnic spots, camp sites, tons of photo opportunities and so much more.

Marine Drive with many names

The section of road from the end of the Settlers Freeway, under the narrow gauge bridge up to the S-bend is called Humewood Road.  From there up to Hobie Beach its known as Beach Road while from 1st Avenue onwards all the way to Schoenmakerskop its called Marine Drive.  Confusing indeed.  Thus most people just refer to the whole thing as Marine Drive.  The picture was taken looking towards the S-bend from the top of the railway bridge at Humerail. 

Lister Memorial

The area along Port Elizabeth’s southern coastline which is reached via Marine Drive is where the Driftsands area can be found.  In the late 1800’s the movement of sand dunes towards the town was very worrying to the town council and plans were devised to stop the sand from “invading” and overrunning Port Elizabeth.  One of the things done was a railway line that was built along the dunes and all the town’s garbage was taken out there by train and dumped on the dunes.  In the late 1880’s Josep Storr Lister came up with an idea to stabilise the dunes by planting Port Jackson trees and exotic grasses.  He commenced his work in 1890 and was successful in stabilising the dunes both in Port Elizabeth as well as on the Cape Flats in Cape Town.  Only problem though is that the exotic species have today become a problem in the area and we now work towards eradicating them and allowing indigenous coastal bush to take its place.  A small stone monument stands in Summerstrand next to Marine Drive as a memorial to the work Lister did.  Unfortunately the plaque that told the story on the memorial got wings and disappeared many years ago.
Thanks to regular PEDP visitor Roche who reminded me of this very unknown monument.

Willows Resort

The Willows is a legendary resort on Marine Drive close to Schoenmakerskop and generations of Port Elizabethans have spend weekends and holidays there. It was upgraded a couple of years ago and is a top class resort. The resort has self-catering chalets and a very nice camping area as well as conferencing facilities. Facilities for holiday makers include tidal pools, a super tube, volleyball, a games room and much more.