North of Durban, along the Onlanga River, lies the coastal town of Umhlanga. This getaway destination is often referred to as the “place of reeds” for the tall, slender-leaved plant that grows along the river waters and marsh. Umhlanga offers a vacation feel with its sprawling coastline, but also has an urban appeal with one of the largest shopping centres in the southern hemisphere, and some of the tallest skyscrapers in the country. The coastline is Umhlanga’s main draw, but there are a handful of family-friendly picnic areas to escape to beyond the sand and surf. Here are five of the best.
1. Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve
This 26 ha nature reserve is located along the shores of the Indian Ocean. The Ohlanga River’s lagoon is situated in the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, which is also home to lush forests and wetlands. Start at the car park at the northern end of Lagoon Drive, and follow the reserve trail. You’ll find picnic sites, the remains of a prehistoric shell midden, a pedestrian bridge and other paths across the lagoon.
2. Umhlanga Ponds
Just beyond the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve are the Umhlanga Ponds. The shallow, richly vegetated ponds on the Ohlanga River are linked to the nature reserve by reed beds and coastal forest. There are four ponds in total. This beautiful wetland is home to many birds, animals and plants. In fact, the diverse variety of birds is a main attraction to the area. Over 215 species have been sighted.
3. Chris Saunders Park
Chris Saunders Park has a large lake, water feature and amphitheatre. There is also a landscaped children’s playground on site, which has a bicycle track, soccer field and playground equipment. Enjoy a picnic on one of the soft rolling hills, next to the lake under a shaded tree, or on one of the cascading stairways.
4. Umhlanga Rocks Main Beach
What better place to picnic, than one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Enjoy the warm ocean breeze, and the sound of the high waves crashing. Umhlanga Rocks Main Beach is perfect for sprawling on the sand, swimming in the pristine waters or strolling the Whalebone Pier. Take a walk along the promenade, where you can visit the local shops and even rent a picnic umbrella.
5. Your Own Backyard
What better place to host a family picnic than in the comfort of your own home? You don’t need to go far to find a peaceful retreat, or outdoor space to relax and enjoy the fresh air. Your backyard can be transformed into the perfect picnic area with a little help from Easigrass. Artificial grass is the perfect alternative to create a lasting green space for your home. Contact us for a free quote.