The first of the Southern Suburbs is Observatory. Generations of bohemian students from nearby University of Cape Town have turned Observatory into a cosmopolitan and racially diverse area. Bars and nightclubs are in general for the young and terminally hip.
Cecil Rhodes, financial giant and former Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, still seems to dominate this area. The neo-classical Rhodes Memorial on the slopes of Devil’s Peak has a great view and the restaurant there serves breakfasts, teas and lunches. Close to the highway the beautifully restored and operational Mostert’s Mill stands as a reminder of this area’s agricultural past. Rhodes also donated the site for the University of Cape Town, where a statue of him greets students who have trudged up the hill. Near the university, in Mowbray, one finds the Irma Stern Museum – the artist’s house now devoted to her work. It is also a venue for changing exhibitions.
Rhodes also gave the Groote Schuur Estate for the head of the government. Near the President’s house in Newlands is Montebello, a design centre and restaurant, and Josephine’s Mill, a restored mill and restaurant. Newlands is the home of two of the world’s most famous sporting stadiums, The Newlands Cricket Field and Newlands Rugby Stadium. For sports buffs, the SA Rugby Museum and SA Sports Science Institute are housed next to Newlands Rugby Stadium.
The leafy residential suburb of Rondebosch is home to the Baxter Theatre and Red Cross Hospital. Rondebosch Common is a popular walking and recreational area.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and the Constantia Winelands are other major tourist attractions in the Southern Suburbs. The Constantia wine-producing region boasts several award-winning labels such as Buitenverwachting and Klein Constantia and many of these estates offer wine tastings and wine sales and house excellent restaurants.
Kirstenbosch is one of the world’s great botanical gardens. Spacious lawns and botanical diversity make a trip here naturally educating and uplifting by its sheer beauty.