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