The Old Harbour was proclaimed ‘a Museum’ in 1972. The first Curator Mr Guy Clark was appointed in 1973. The area that had been neglected for years was cleaned up and the cement work repaired. Old fishing boats were collected and repaired for outdoor display. An indoor Museum was planned and eventually built along the slopes where many old fishing shacks stood in early days.
The Old Harbour Museum is an all-weather open-air museum, open 24 hours a day. An indoor exhibition on whales (soon to be expanded to include sharks, fish and inter-tidal creatures) is open to the public six days a week and provides interesting information on the southern right whales which visit Hermanus every year to calve.
The museum has plans to re-introduce small fishing craft and the sale of fish to the harbour, and to procure accommodation for its cultural history exhibits in fishermen’s cottages in the old town nearby.