The Waterworks Museum Hike is a wonderful 12km walk starting at the top of Table Mountain (at the cable car station) and ending at Constantia Nek. With a bit of preparation and planning, you could work it that you only spend about five minutes walking uphill and the rest is flat or downhill walking …
In order to do this you are going to have to take the cable car to the top of the Table Mountain; its either that or taking on the two hour ‘amble’ to the cable car station!
Your goal is Constantia Nek, via the Waterworks Museum which is found on the Back Table. To get to the museum you need to turn left on leaving the cable car station and follow the concrete path on the back edge of the table top. Four pathways meet about 10 minutes walk from the cable car and you need to follow the route towards Maclears Beacon and then on towards Echo Valley and the Hely-Hutchinson Reservoir.
It should take about 20 minutes to reach Echo Valley and you should then make your way for a further five minutes or so towards the opposite slope where you will be rewarded for your efforts thus far with a fantastic view over the Hely-Hutchinson and Woodhead reservoirs.
Photographs by Iain & Stefani.
The Waterworks Museum is found at the base of the Hely Hutchinson Reservoir wall and to get to it you need to follow the path and then make your way over a rocky stretch (about five metres in total). Follow the concrete road toward the Museum which is normally open seven days a week but if it’s not open the overseer should have a key.
The journey either back to the cable car or on to Constantia Nek should take about two hours so ensure you leave yourself enough time to reach either destination.
If you are carrying on towards Constantia Nek resume your walk by either climbing onto the wall of the reservoir, or if you have a thing for heights, use the road below the wall.
The more scenic route is the path on top of the wall, but either road will take you to Constantia Nek, and you join up with the lower road at the end of the dam wall. Follow the road for about two hours until you reach the end at Constantia Nek.
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Please remember that if you do choose to walk the entire way to Constantia Nek you will need to make sure that you either have a car or a lift waiting for you. If not walk to the museum and then retrace your steps back to the table top and catch the cable car back down to your vehicle.
Always make sure you follow the mountain rules and take enough water with you. Sun block and a hat are essential in the summer and a light, waterproof jacket should always be carried. Try to walk in a group of no less than four people and a fully charged cell phone is always handy!