Rotary Way is often described as the best-kept secret in Hermanus. It’s a fabulous drive along the spine of the mountains above Hermanus. It’s well worth a detour for the unparalleled views across Walker Bay and Hermanus on one side and the beautiful Hemel en Aarde (heaven and earth) Valley on the other side. There are also great hiking trails through the fynbos.
Before you reach the town of Hermanus you’ll notice two large white gate-posts on the left marked ‘Rotary Way’. Along the way you’ll see well-marked tracks showing various hiking trails, and the roadway lined on both sides with beautiful white protea bushes. Every region within the Western Cape province has its own special fynbos varieties, and this region – the Overberg – has some of the finest examples of proteas that you might not see elsewhere.
After a short climb you’ll come to two view-points. The first is at the radio relay station from where you can see all the way to Hangklip on a clear day. The second is a little further along (very well marked). Park your car, sit on the benches, and be sure to follow the short paths through the fynbos – one leads downwards a few metres where you can photograph the view without the power lines. Another leads upwards to a small koppie from which you get a different perspective.
If you choose to continue along the road after it changes from tar to gravel, you’ll come to the point where hang gliders launch above Hermanus, then you reach a gate that marks the beginnings of Hamilton Russel wine estate’s property. At the end of the road are a couple of benches from which to view the stunning scene before you.
During whale season this is a good spot to see whales from a distance but at any time of the year it’s worth the drive.
The entrance is interesting, being two gate posts that imply it was once a private property but I can find nothing about itonline. However, here is an interesting snippet about why and when this lovely road was built.