A stroll along Noordhoek Beach will bring you to the remnants of a British steamer long past its prime. The great Kakapo looked far different in her days of seafaring adventures.

Built in 1898, the SS Kakapo – named after a type of parrot from New Zealand – began her first voyage in the 1900s. She was destined for Sydney, Australia and set sail from Swansea in Wales but made a stop over in Cape Town along the way.

Like many a ship before and after her, Kakapo was at the mercy of the Cape of Storms. Mighty winds took a hold of the vessel and dragged it towards Chapman’s Bay.

The captain at the helm mistook the area for Cape Point and before he realised his mistake, it was too late. Kakapo and her 20 crew members were driven ashore and despite numerous attempts to get her back in the water, the vessel wouldn’t budge.

Now, some 120 years later the remnants of Kakapo have been worn away by the sand, wind and waves; leaving only fragments of her hull and boilers in the sand.

A 40 minute hike along the beach trail leads to her final resting place, a foreboding reminder of the fearsome power of the sea.


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Picture: Hilton T Flickr

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