For adrenaline junkies keen to feed their habit, rush off to Highstakes in Cato Crest for a smorgasbord of adventure delights.
Highstakes is set on a spacious scenic 150 hectare plot in Cato Ridge, with magnificent views over the 1000 Hills and in easy access of the main Durban to Pietermaritzburg N3 freeway.
It caters for those who are keen to enjoy the great outdoors and are up for a challenge. Their activities are all family-friendly and suitable for the physically robust (but not suitable for very young children); and are great for bonding with colleagues, family and friends.
Optimising the magnificent valley views, a 400m single zipline traverses the rolling terrain, from the top of the hill to the bottom.
It is reached from a raised platform, making it easily accessible and can be enjoyed by anyone over the age of five in all weather conditions. There is no group size limit, although a minimum of two people are required and there is a maximum weight limit of 120 Kgs.
Most people know Highstakes for their great quad trails. The routes all offer majestic scenery – where one can see the rolling hills and nearby Polo valley and Tala reserve. There are different trail route options. There is a one hour option for the more adventurous, and a half hour option for first timers and family groups. The main one hour guided trail takes guests on grass for the first 20 to 30 minutes so that they can get used to the bikes, and then the trail is adjusted to suit the pace, skill and riding ability of the guests.
There are guides for each group and there are 20 quad bikes for hire. Helmets are supplied. Quad trails are suitable for 13 years upwards.
Their main motocross track is a thrill for experienced riders and novices, and all riders in between. The main track is 1.8 kilometres long and features doubles, tabletops, rhythm-sections, rollers, and off-camber corners.
There’s also an outer track to test one’s speed on the straights as well as off camber cornering skills.
There is also a mini track which is great for novices and little ones. This is only open to bikes under 80cc – so open to riders that ride 50cc or 65cc motorcycles.
This is a cheap, fun, social introduction into the exciting world of Motocross, ad it is also really useful when learning to ride a motorbike, or master a new one.
Highstakes host a number of racing events: regional and club days during the year. One needs one’s own bike to ride. There is a venue couvert charge for bikes on weekends, but riders can come and ride for free during the week.
At Highstakes Venue 4×4 drivers are welcome! Whether you are a novice or are experienced behind the wheel, their 4×4 course will test drivers’ skills and handling abilities. The Highstakes course includes 40 degree inclines. For this reason, four wheel drive vehicles must feature a low range facility or diff-lock. Guests can select their own route to suit their driving skills. Highstakes cannot take responsibility for any scratches or damages to participating vehicles.
Archery is offered on request, and bows and arrows and targets are provided. The bows are all high standard bows (recurve bows for adults , compounds for kids, minimum age 12) so not suitable for youngsters or for people who aren’t physically robust.
There is a great deal of skill and precision needed to master the ancient sport of archery – and enormous fun in achieving the elusive bulls’ eye!
Clay Pigeon Shooting
Another precision sport is clay pigeon shooting which always looks a lot easier than it really is! Highstakes offers clay pigeon shooting facilities for the keen marksman as well as rank amateur. In order to shoot, the minimum age is 15.
Regrettably the restaurant, function rooms and bar are not operating due to Covid restrictions, however refreshments and snack meals can be purchased on site and enjoyed in the grounds. NO alcohol may be bought onto the premises, but can be purchased on site for those partaking of the activities.
Due to Covid numbers and high demand, all activities require pre-booking ahead of time.
Self-catering accommodation is offered for those wanting to make a weekend of it, or who want to explore the 1000 hills using Cato Crest as a base.
Good to know
Highstakes is open 7 days a week from 8am to 4:30pm.
Address: 2 Killarney Valley; Cato Ridge
Please check their Facebook page for events.
To find out about other things to do and places to visit in the area – visit The Valley of a 1000 Hills Community Tourism Organisation website at www.1000hillstourism.co.za. Or watch their promo video: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyzlnGsA6Zg