Shipwreck Trail

thomas t tucker wreck

By Vicky · Published Sep. 28th, 2021 · Updated Nov. 24th, 2022

The Shipwreck Trail visits the famous wreck of the Thomas T. Tucker. It is a relatively easy hike across fynbos covered dunes and the beach.


Cape Point is a section of Table Mountain National Park. The entrance gate to this section of the park is about 1 hours drive from the centre of Cape Town, and it takes another 20 minutes to drive to the Olifantsbos car park where this hike starts. If you don’t have a car, check out the options for car hire* from Cape Town.

Shipwreck Trail Hiking Map

Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the bookmarks.

Tips for The Shipwreck Trail

  • This walk is in the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park.
  • The entrance gate hours are 06:00 to 18:00 from October to March and 07:00 to 17:00 from April to September.
  • Adhere to the closing time indicated at the gate to avoid having to pay a fine.
  • Entrance fee: Free for WildCard holders, R85/40 for South Africans, R340/170 for foreigners (adults/children)
  • Sunhat, sunscreen and water are welcome in sunny weather.
  • Check out our Cape Point Guide for all other things to do.

The shipwreck trail starts right at the car park of Olifantsbos Point. Walk along the trail heading south towards the beach. You start off walking on a narrow path on the grass, and get closer and closer to the beach until you’re walking on the sand. The route continues along the beach, but there isn’t any specific trail.

Shipwreck trail along the beach in Cape Point
Walking along the coast
Beach on the Shipwreck trail in Cape Point
The windswept beach
Whale bone on the beach in cape point nature reserve
Whale Bone

There’s a huge skull of a whale lying partially buried by the golden white sand. Whether you can see it depends on how windy it’s been lately, but make sure to look out for it. After the whale, continue walking down the beach.

The Thomas T. Tucker Shipwreck

Thomas T. Tucker Shipwreck at the end of the trail
Thomas T. Tucker Shipwreck at the end of the trail
 Thomas T. Tucker Shipwreck and return point for the hike
Thomas T. Tucker Shipwreck and return point for the hike

After a 1.8km walk, you reach the shipwreck. The Thomas T. Tucker was one of the many Liberty ships that America used to move large amounts of supplies to the war zones in the Second World War. Unfortunately, the ship ran ashore due to a fog bank on the 27 of November 1942. Everyone survived but the ship broke up quickly.

There is a short extension to the less impressive wreck of the Nolloth south down the beach, 800 m further.

Trail back from the Shipwreck

hiking along the beach in cape point, south africa

After you’ve explored all you want to at the beach, retrace your footsteps and return the same way. Soon you’ll be back at the car park and the end of the Cape Point Shipwreck Trail Hike.

Heading to the very point of the peninsula as well? Check out our Cape Point loop hike. If you want to explore a different area of Cape Point, check out the hike we did to Antoniesgat, or visit our Cape Point Guide for many more activities.

Olifantsbos Beach, Cape Point, western cape, south africa
Olifantsbos Beach just north of the Car Park

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