(originally known as Noetziekamma, a Khoisan phrase for ‘dark water’ )
Ten minutes East of Knysna lies a secluded cove boasting a pristine beach, a quiet estuary, a large variety of indigenous flora and fauna and an eclectic collection of classic beach houses and fanciful “castles”.
No ancient battles or kingdoms lie in the Noetzie Castles’ history, but rather the spirit of pure fun and carefree holidays. Noetzie started out as a holiday destination for families living and working in Knysna and Oudtshoorn. Long before the winding road into it could carry the modern motor vehicle, adventurous groups seeking a quiet retreat would pack up their horse-drawn carts and make their way to the simple seaside huts and camping grounds.
As times moved on, relative ease of access allowed for more advanced building projects. The first “castle” was never planned as such, but the natural stone used for construction inspired a friend of the owner to say “All you need to do is add a few turrets, and you’ll have a castle.”And so they did.You can read more on the history of Noetzie here
Noetzie remains a peaceful, somewhat isolated place but has now become famous worldwide because of its castles. Populated by a small group of permanent residents, many of the Noetzie properties are still owned by the original families.
Bordering on the Sinclair Nature Area, Noetzie itself is protected by the Noetzie Conservancy; a collective of residents, owners and concerned parties formed in 1999. The conservancy is dedicated to maintaining this pristine site for locals and visitors alike.
Today, Noetzie still attracts holiday makers and locals to its sandy shore; for either a few nights of escape from the rigours of fast-paced modern life, a few hours of sun-seeking, birdwatching, canoeing and hiking or just to satisfy their curiosity and see the castles for themselves. Intimate beach side weddings are also popular.