This excellent museum offers insight into Mossel Bay's role as an early stomping ground for European sailors. Named for 15th-century Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias, the museum contains the 'post office tree' where sailors left messages for one another, the 1786 Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie; VOC) granary, a small aquarium and a local history museum. The highlight is the replica of the caravel that Dias used on his 1488 voyage of discovery.
Its small size brings home the extraordinary skill and courage of the early explorers. The replica was built in Portugal and sailed to Mossel Bay in 1988 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Dias’ trip. There's an extra fee to board the boat (adult/child R20/5).