Seafood, Sunsets and Solitude
Doringbaai is a picturesque fishing hamlet that was once an anchorage from where provisions were transported to in-country towns by camel train.
Doringbaai was first settled in 1925 when the North Bay Canning Company instructed a Dutchman named Koos Bleeker, to establish a crayfish packing factory in the West Coast area. When Bleeker arrived in Doringbay he found nothing more than an abandoned wooden shack, but there was no shortage of crayfish. So Bleeker set out to find locals who’d be willing to help with the construction of the factory and the first man he discovered was Jan Laubscher from the Sandveld.
By the 70s the West Coast fishing industry had lost its luster. Fish and major fisheries had begun to migrate southwards and had forced the closure of the Doringbaai factory. This set the tone for a long period of economic decline. Only through tourism and alternative commercial ventures do these authentic West Coast fishing villages survive. It’s one of the last outposts where hospitality, fresh crayfish, and excellent wines come with the territory.
Since the early 2000’s the old factory has been converted into a business hub that includes an Abalone farm, a restaurant, a winery with wine-tasting facilities, and a function venue.
The Abalone Farm was created in 2011 and its first farming operations started in 2013. The farm is an initiative between The Doringbaai Development Trust & entrepreneurs of the area.
Other prominent buildings include the Doringbaai lighthouse which was built in 1963 and the Roman Catholic Church.
The Abalone farm won the category “best-job- creating-business” at the Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards.
VREDENDAL (& Vanrhynsdorp) NAMAQUA WEST COAST TOURISM OFFICE
P.O. Box 1000,
3 Church Street, Vredendal, 8160
+27 (0) 27 201 3376