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Attractions in the Area

Harrismith is the centre of one of the five wool producing districts in Southern Africa. It was established in 1849 and was named after the glamorous and hard riding British Governor, Sir Harry Smith.
  • Art and Crafts
    Factories and craft shops near Harrismith
  • Harrismith Golf Course
    The 18-hole golf course is the third oldest in South Africa
  • Harrismith Town Hall
    A graceful sandstone and brick building built in 1907, and a National Monument.
  • Kerkenberg - The Voortrekkers camped in the area, whilst their leader, Piet Retief, negotiated with the Zulu leader Dingane. After receiving reports of what the Voortrekkers interpreted as successful negotiations Retief's daughter wrote his name, and the date, which was also his birthday, on the rock where they held a church service.
  • Sterkfontein Dam
    The third largest dam in South Africa, and unusual practically all the water is pumped up the escarpment from KwaZulu-Natal. Built before the Lesotho Highlands water scheme was developed, this was a vital source of water for Gauteng. Ideal for water sport enthusiasts and anglers.

    Harrismith Wildflower Gardens
    Qwaqwa National Park

  • Harrismith Wildflower Gardens
    Founded in 1967 as a botanical garden these contain about 20 % of the Drakensburg region's flora. Located around two dams fed by mountain springs. Perfect picnic spot.
  • "Berg Bohaai" Sport Festival
    The fourth Berg Bohaai will happen on 24 and 25 February 2006. This family weekend is meant to provide fun for the whole family and takes place at the Platberg Stadium in Harrismith, with our majestic Platberg Mountain forming a stunning backdrop to all the great activities which we have planned for you.
  • Platberg
    The most famous landmarks in the Eastern Free State, the 9 kilometre long, 2 377 metre high Platberg.
  • Deborah Retief Garden
    A 250 million year old, 33 m fossilised tree lies in this garden next to the town hall. Memorials honour those who fought in the Anglo-Boer war.
  • Qwaqwa National Park
    In the highlands of the eastern Freestate bordering the Golden Gate National Park, has developed a number of mountainous 4x4 trails. Within Qwa-Qwa National Park the Basotho Cultural Village is simply a must to visit. The Basotho Cultural Village shows the traditional way of life of Basotho from the 16th century
  • Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
    Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north-eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. They offer hiking trails, game viewing, environmental education courses, Horse-riding, abseiling and canoeing.

    Basotho Cultural Village
    Golden Gate

  • Clarens
    With its Swiss-like appearance and concentration of artists having truly a charm to be found nowhere else. The Titanic Rock at the northern entrance of Clarens is another attraction . Wonderful Trout fishing facilities in the nearby town of Clarens.
  • Kestell
    Houses the second largest sandstone church in the Free State, designed by the famous architect Gerard Moerdyk who also designed the Voortrekker Monument.
  • Bald Ibis Hiking Trail
    Swinburne, Harrismith and Van Reenen Pass. Located on Rensburgkop. See a massive San cave with some paintings, a vulture restaurant and massive yellow wood trees
  • Swinburne
    is a little village just off the N3, south of Harrismith. It is a very beautiful area strewn with good boulders. Ideal for rock climbing

South African's spectacular Drakensberg escarpment is a 200-kilometre-long world heritage site which stretches from the north western border of Kwazulu Natal to the Tugela Region in the south. Originally referred to as the "Dragon Mountains" by early settlers, to the Zulu's living in the east the rock formation resembled a row of spears so they called it 'Ukhahlamba', meaning Barrier of Spears. Today, it is affectionately known to locals as the 'Berg'.
Its mountains rise as high as 3000m, and host some of the most popular South African Nature Reserves, all of which have unique, breathtaking views. It is the source of many rivers and spectacular waterfalls, including the Tugela Falls, the second highest in the world.

The foothills and caves of the Drakensberg contain over 35,000 San rock art images - evidence of the tiny, indigenous people who practiced a prehistoric lifestyle in the area hundreds of years ago.

The Drakensberg Mountains are synonymous with a unique richness of biological diversity. They are home to rare and exquisite flora, such as cycads, and a variety of birds and wildlife, including the eland, the largest of the African antelope, oribi, jackal, baboon and porcupine. It is here that the rare Bearded Vulture has made its home, the largest of Africa's birds of prey with a wing span of nearly three metres.

The Drakensberg Peaks are:

  • Champagne Castle (3377m)
  • Giant's Castle (3314m)
  • Mount-aux-Sources (3282m)
  • Cleft Peak (3280m)
  • Indumeni Peak (3200m)
  • Cathkin Peak (3181m)
  • The Sentinel (3165m)
  • Ndedma Peak (3078m)
  • Windsor Castle (3065m)
  • Castle Buttress (3053)
  • Cathedral Peak (3004m)
  • Organ Pipes (2914m) and
  • Gatberg (2408m)

  • The National Accommodation Association

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