Heading north along the N2 Highway for about 35 minutes from Durban passing Umhlanga Rocks, Sibaya Casino, Umdloti/Verulam turn off's and fields of sugar cane, just before the Tongaat Toll Plaza you will notice on the western side of the Highway the new King Shaka International Airport which was opened in May 2010.
After passing through the Toll Plaza the town of Ballito will come into view. At the next intersection turn off the highway, cross the fly over, and proceed along this road and you will have arrived at the bustling town of Ballito. Here is some more info on Ballito and surrounding areas.
Situated on the western shores of the warm Indian Ocean this rapidly growing and vibrant town has many diverse attractions.
What was once a small holiday destination for the local farmers and some up country visitors, this seaside town in the last ten years has grown immensely into an emerging commercial hub and the reason for this growth is due to only two things - location and Durban's King Shaka International Airport 15 minutes away.
Besides the wonderful natural beaches, subtropical climate and booming economy you would find your self ideally situated to visit many other destinations if you are based in the area.
With a diverse range of accommodation from luxury hotels, self-catering apartments, B & B's, cottages, and caravan and camping facilities you are sure to find something that suits you.
Travelling north along Ocean Drive you will arrive at Thompson's Bay and Chaka's Rock. Thompsons Bay has a scenic protected beach and Charlie's tidal pool. At the one end of the pool there is a fascinating hole in the black rock formation that was dug out by the San People and used as a type of coal in their fires for making and hardening their metal implements. Entering the cave one will discover a trail that scrambles over rocky dune formations and secluded beaches that leads to Willards beach. (only done with calm seas)
On north of the bay you will find High Rock which is popular with the rock and surf anglers. Chakas Rock is basically a residentual area with Simbithi Eco Estate and Golf Course located on the western boundry of Chakas Rock. At the intersection of Ocean Drive and Chakas Rock Main Road there is a walkway down onto Chakas Rock beach with a refreshing tidal pool built in between the rocks. Feel free to swim and snorkel amongst the amazing variety of sea life to be find in this pool.
If you travel west up the hill along Chakas Rock Main Road or the (212) towards the N2 you will arrive at Simbithi Eco Estate and Golf Course.
Salt Rock will the next stop which is very popular swimming, surfing beach and is home to Salt Rock Surf Lifesaving Club. This is a very popular beach with the locals and visitors. You will also find the Salt Rock Hotel and Caravan resort with it's gardens and lawns that flow down to the beach and a large tidal pool in the rocks of Salt Rock.
It is here were Salt Rock derives it's name from, where the San People collected salt off the rocks to be taken inland and distributed amongst their people who wore scattered all over this country.
There are a number of restaurants and convenient shops in the area and all types of accommodation can be found.
Moving on a winding road towards Sheffield Beach you will pass a number of small beaches namely Tiffany's, Dave's Rock and lastly Christmas Bay. These beaches are most popular with anglers and divers as they are mainly rocky bays and coves. Sheffield is a residential area with a number of bed and breakfast, self-catering establishments and guest houses. (At Christmas Bay car park the road ends and one would have to double back to Salt Rock or Umhlali).
On the western side of the N2 higway one will find the farming village of Umhlali with a few retail shops, garage and some light industry as well as Umhlali Preparatory School. Umhlali village is one of the older settlements on the north coast and is situated between the old north coast road and the railway line.
One of the quiter areas on the north coast this village has the potential of becoming one of the gems in the area. Known for being one of the better fishing spots it also has a recently built tidal pool.
Travelling along the N2 Highway through the Umvoti toll plaza the next turn off you come to will be the Blythedale/Stanger intersection. At the stop turn right and head down to the Blythedale, on arrival go round the traffic circle where you will find a large parking lot. From the parking lot there is a short walk to the beach offering idyllic swimming, surfing and fishing areas. Further down the beach you will discover the Umvoti river estuary and launch site for ski boats and jet skies. It is also well known area for bird watching.
On the inland side of the N2 is Stanger which has two major industries, Sappi Fine Paper and Gledhou Sugar Mill both situated on the banks of the Umvoti river. In the town you will treated to diverse array of shops where just about anything could be purchased at reasonable prices. At the first set of traffic lights when approaching Stanger if one had to turn north on the R103 to Danall you will find the turn-off that leads to the beautiful Prince's Grant Golf Course and Estate
Whether you are on the N2 or the R103 and follow the signage you will arrive at the popular beach and lagoon village of Zinkwazi with its beautifully preserved Zinkwazi river flanked with indigenous forest and abundent birdlife. Here you could paddle up the river for several kilometres or simply relax on the beach. A variety of accommodation is availible from caravan and camp to self catering and guest cottages are available.