Living the good life on a budget? Visit Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal!
MIDWAY between Durban and Johannesburg and bordering the Free State and Mpumalanga, Newcastle is much more than an interesting stopover.
While it is the alternative route to travellers from Gauteng to Durban, it is an ideal destination if you are someone who likes to slowdown and enjoy the benefits of a similar lifestyle on a budget.
Home to reggae star, Lucky Dube, Kwaito musician L’Vovo and soccer players Helman Mkhelele and Deli Mbatha, Newcastle offers top-class leisure and country living.
There is history and hiking, fascinating falcons, lovely landscapes and cascading waterfalls.
It is known for its world-famous Battlefields Route as well as a wide selection of outdoor adventures: 4×4 trails, mountain biking, horse-riding, fishing, golfing, yachting, sightseeing…
The area also boasts game reserves and 400 species of birds.
Bearing in mind the current social distancing rules, such outdoor activities ensure that visitors are not confined to enclosed areas.
Visiting business people often take time out to enjoy some of the local leisure activities.
They will have already discovered that the regional airport in Newcastle has recently been upgraded. It is also going to be developed into a Techno Hub, thereby creating an ideal opportunity for attracting investment.
A local shisanyama experience
Wherever your interests lie, the Amajuba District caters for wide interests-and culinary tastes.
Travellers can take the Amajuba township route between Madadeni, Osizweni, and Blaauwbosch to experiment with local cuisine such as Shwarmas, kota’s, speciality ice cream creations, fat koeks and inhloko.
Fun things to do
See the Falcon Roost – The biggest roost of Amur Falcons in Africa can be seen between late November and March at the Show Grounds/Farmers Hall, when about 15 000 falcons roost, before migrating to Mongolia for the European summer.
Take on some hiking trails at the following locations- Vulintaba Country Estate, Ingogo, Moorfield Farm, Balele Game Park in Utrecht to name a few. The Amajuba District also offers the Drakensberg Route as the area is in northern Drakensberg.
Visit the following historical sites- Chief Albert Luthuli Museum and Blaauwbosch Methodist church, Newcastle Town Hall, Carnegie Art Gallery, the local Battlefields Route (Majuba gravesite is 40km away), Hilldrop House, King DinuZulu Old Prison, St Dominic Pavilion, The Armoury (where Winston Churchill spend a night as a prisoner of the Boer Forces).
Meander around the Amiel Museum– This attractive historic complex overlooking the town houses a cultural/history museum. A cemetery dates to the Transvaal War of Independence. It was formerly a fort built as a look-out post for British soldiers leading up to the Zulu War. Open weekends 10h00-16h00, Saturdays 10h00-13h00.
Plunge into the past – Around the Vulintaba Estate, there are three sites of rock art of exceptional quality, suggesting that the Bushman or San, travelled through the area to the uKhahlamba Drakensberg and the coast.
Five of the best accommodation places
Vulintaba Country Estate
Grey Goose Game Lodge
Haggards on Hilldrop
Patterson B & B