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Bartholomeu Dias Caravel

Bartholomeu Dias Museum - Munrohoek Cottages

Bartholomeu Museum - Whale Skeleton

Bartholomeu Dias Museum Mossel Bay



  • Famous 500 year old Post office Tree
  • Life-size replica of the Dias Caravel
  • Shell Museum & Aquarium
  • Ethno-Botanical Garden

Historical Background

The Bartolomeu Dias museum complex was officially opened on 3 February 1989, however the Mossel Bay museum industry can be traced back to the 1960’s when the Mossel Bay museum was first opened. The museum later became known as the Post Tree museum complex before being renamed again in 1989.

The Dias Museum Complex is situated near the beach, shops, restaurants, banks and the tourist information center. Inside the Maritime Museum is a shop where postcards, stamps, books, souvenirs and small gifts can be bought. On the grounds of the Dias Museum Complex are mountain tortoises, ducks and museum cat. In the Granary there are conference facilities available for 48 people or if used in cinema style, seating for up to 100 people. Catering can be arranged. Mail from the shoe is collected twice a day (once a day out of season) by the Post Office. Whales can be observed from the museum grounds during June to November.

The Granary

A live speciman table with examples of plants and flowers found in the Mossel Bay area on display in the granary. Bartolomeu Dias – the master mariner after which the Mossel Bay Museum Complex is named, was the first explorer to set foot on South African soil here in Mossel Bay on 3 February 1488.

The Shell Museum

This structure was erected in 1902 next to the Post Office Tree as an extension to the old mill and was mainly used as a store. In later years Mr. Joe Shirley used the building for his plumbing business, after which it became known as the “Shirley Building”.

The Post Tree

In 1500 Pedro de Ataide, Commander of one of Cabral’s ships, on his return journey from the east, left a letter of importance in a shoe or iron pot under or near a large tree.

Botanical Garden

The Braille trail makes it accessible to visually-impaired people so that they can read about, feel and smell the wonderful collection.

The Fountain

Dias named the fresh-water spring "Aguada de São Bras" (watering place of St Blaize).

The Munrohoek Cottages

The first building was built around 1830 by Alexander Munro from Scotland for £25.

The Malay Graves

This site was discovered in 1968, not far from the Post Office Tree.

The Field Garden

The valley and beach adjacent to the museum complex is today known as Munro’s Bay.


Current rates for April 2017 - March 2018. Until further notice:

Entrance fee to the complex Adults R20
  Children under age of 18 R5
  Pensioners R10
Entrance fee to complex ad to go on the replica of Dias's ship
  Adults R40
  Children under age of 18 R10
  Pensioners R20
Museum hours Monday to Friday  09:00 to 16:45
  Weekends and Public Holidays  09:00 to 15:45
  Good Friday and Christmas Closed
© 2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - Dias Museum Mossel Bay
Western Cape Government - Cultural Affairs and Sport