Newlands Forest is a beautiful conservancy area set on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, in the upmarket suburb of Newlands, Cape Town. Owned by the Table Mountain National Parks Board, along with the City Parks Department of Cape Town, Newlands Forest is an oasis in the Southern Suburbs made up of a beautiful natural pine forest, various hiking trails, a fire station, nursery, and a reservoir.
Situated less than 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s city centre, Newlands Forest is a picturesque setting for all ages. Whether you’re after a strenuous hike, a short stroll with your furry companion, or a day of family fun, Newlands Forest is the ideal place to be. Several vantage points are spread along the routes and offer exquisite views across the Cape Town city centre to Blouberg in the distance. While walking through Newlands Forest, hikers will also see many of Cape Town’s major sports stadiums, including Cape Town Stadium, Athlone Stadium, and Newlands rugby and cricket stadia.
Visitors entering the forest from the parking area will come across a sign with information detailing the various hiking trails on offer. This allows you to choose the appropriate route for your needs, factoring in the amount of time you have, your fitness levels, and what you wish to experience during your hike. Options include viewing the over 50-year-old Newlands Reservoir that supplies a large amount of the area’s water, enjoying picnics along the edge of trickling streams, and visiting the Newlands Fire Station, which services emergency bushfires with running water dumps and 3 helicopters. The Fire Station also serves as the Headquarters of the growing Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) firefighting group. The City Parks Nursery is well worth a visit – maintained and run to supply the public areas of Cape Town with a wide range of flora, it includes 4 large greenhouses and a large area of growing land. It has also begun a plan to reintroduce indigenous species of trees to Newlands Forest, with the aim of rehabilitating the original afro-temperate forests.
- Contour Path (to Kirstenbosch and Constantia Nek) Level: easy to moderate
- Fernwood Track Level: Moderate
- Constantia Nek to Kirstenbosch Level: Moderate
- Woodcutter’s Path (to Rhodes Memorial) Level: Moderate