The 2010 Soccer World Cup next year will without doubt see masses of foreigners choosing to holiday in Durban – for the most part to enjoy our beaches and the warm and inviting Indian Ocean. And this is one of the reasons why our beloved Golden Mile is finally receiving a makeover.
The head of strategic projects and 2010 planning at the eThekwini Municipality, Julie-May Ellingson, said there’s a multimillion-rand plan to revamp the beachfront in order to improve Durban’s beach experience. The plan aims to link the harbour mouth with Blue Lagoon via a promenade. “We have 8km of amazing shoreline and we must use it to its full potential. For that we need a decent promenade with activity nodes about every 300m all the way along,” said Ellingson.
We’ve seen changes already indicating that the process is underway – such as the demolishing of Snake Park and the Ocean Conference Centre. And plans to open up the Amphitheatre and reconfigure pools are in the pipeline. Mini-town will be reconfigured as well, and the ugly-looking barbed wire fence along that area will be taken away. “The promenade will be widened all the way to Suncoast Casino. After the casino we’ll have a link directly to the stadium. So ultimately, by removing the divisions between the beaches all long the beachfront, we are opening up a direct link from New Beach all the way to the stadium,” said Ellingson.
And as if that isn’t good enough news, Durban has been listed as one of the top 10 family beach holiday cities in the world by the renowned Lonely Planet. Along with beautiful beaches such as Kauai in Hawaii, Cottlesloe in Australia, Karon Beach in Thailand, Tavira in Portugal, Sayulita in Mexico and Bali’s Sanur, our Golden Mile is a top destination for those travelling with children. “Durban resembles a gigantic resort holiday paradise, raised for the sole purpose of entertaining families,” the Lonely Planet publication says of the city in its section on South Africa. “Lined with safe beaches watched over by lifeguards, the Golden Mile is great for swimming, snorkelling and water sports.”