New Year’s Weekend things to do in 1000 Hills

Find special things to do to see out 2021 and welcome in a brand new and exciting 2022, in the beautiful 1000 Hills.

Here are some unusual, fun activities to consider for the post-Christmas leg of the summer holidays.

There are still accommodation options if you want to make a weekend away of it and stay over.

New Year’s Eve.

El Nino in Botha’s Hill is hosting a fun “Pyjama Party” on New Year’s Eve. They have festive drinks on special, and will have the fires lit, for patrons to bring their own braai pack and salads. They will have sport prizes all evening – including a prize for the ugliest pyjamas!

There will be a New Year’s Eve “Vinyl Nite” event at Shongweni Club. See the new year in by dancing to favourite 60s, 70s and 80s songs played on original vinyl by DJ Jamie. There are two dance floors, with plenty of space and drinks and food specials. 

Holiday Activities.

A range of outdoor family-friendly, Covid compliant activities can be found at the NU driving range complex.

It is of special interest to golfing enthusiasts of all levels, as the spacious outdoor complex boasts a 300m long driving range, a PB golf shop, putt-putt and adventure golf. They are geared for experienced serious golfers as well as for the recreational golfer, and for families.

There is a secure play area for the little-ones to play while older family members groove their game nearby.  There is a nine hold putt-putt course which is open seven days a week at an affordable rate.

The menu of indoor simulated games which can be played at the NU driving range precinct.
The menu of indoor simulated games which can be played at the NU driving range precinct.

Of special interest is an all weather simulated games and sports arena, which caters for all skills levels, ages and interests with various sporting code options. There is also a race simulator and virtual shooting range.

Highway Paintball is an outdoor paintball arena – also geared for families at this time of year, but can accommodate social groups, team buildings and parties. Safely gear and paintball guns are included in the ticket price.

Head Outdoors.

After days of sitting around family meals tables devouring turkey and trifle, perhaps get outside for a hike or stroll. The 1000 Hills has many walking and exploring options including Springside Nature Reserve in Hillcrest which boasts 21ha of forest, grassland and wetland, Krantzkloof Nature Reserve which conserves 668ha of the Molweni and Nkutu River gorges, or Shongweni Dam and game reserve which is an activities based nature reserve which requires visitors to enter to enjoy one or a combination of activities – abseiling, rock climbing, trail walks, kayak or boat rides.

Hike with a view in lower Molweni.
Hike with a view in lower Molweni.

Lower Molweni in 1000 Hills is a hikers’, birders’ and nature lovers’ paradise. Durban Green Corridors with partners have created a network of community-developed nature trails through the rugged cliffs and forests of the area.

Head for the great outdoors, enjoy the early-winter crisp weather and discover somewhere new: visit the Mqeku Picnic Site – a magical unexplored playground  20 minutes from Hillcrest in the heart of the Valley of 1000 Hills which offers fabulous birding opportunities, river tubing or “bum-sliding” on a natural rock slide, 4×4 trails; nature hikes and picturesque picnic and braai sites.

Mqeku Picnic Site – an Ideal Spot for Family Outings
Mqeku Picnic Site – an Ideal Spot for Family Outings

The Umgeni Steam Railway is having a super busy festive season! A vintage diesel loco will be pulling the carriages for two trips on 2 January at 08h30 and 12h30.

The journey departs from (and returns to) Kloof Railway Station. The train follows the Old Main Line, meandering along the Valley of 1000 Hills, through one of the oldest operating tunnels in South Africa to Inchanga.

At Inchanga, which used to be the halfway point between Durban and Pietermaritzburg on the Old Main Line, there is plenty to see and do for the whole family- do some post-Christmas shopping at the Inchanga Station Craft Market and grab something to eat, with foods to suit most tastes, and great home-grown coffee on sale.

Hidden gems at the Ammazulu Garden and Sculpture Precinct.
Hidden gems at the Ammazulu Garden and Sculpture Precinct.

Ammazulu Gardens and Sculpture Precinct is a magical experience featuring enormous sculptures hidden in a portion of the 20 acre primeval forest. Local, African and international artists from diverse traditions have created the works using different media.  At the centre of the garden is an alfresco café – the Ping Pong Pagoda Café and behind the café are five airy hanger sized studios with artists at work and art retail options.

Country-style retail and entertainment clusters can be found throughout 1000 Hills: Mushroom Farm, PheZulu, 1000 Hills Village, Stone House, Talloula, Fig Tree Farm and Sunset Valley all have cosy places to enjoy a light meal. Similarly, retail outlets which finance worthwhile organisations are also important to consider – such as the retail options at the Kloof and Highway SPCA or Woza Moya at Hillcrest Aids Centre. 

Good to Know:

For accommodation options, visit:

El Nino

90 Old Main Rd, Botha’s Hill

Entry R25

Tel 082 901 7318

Shongweni Club


NU Driving range

Exit 31, M13

Plantations offramp


Simulated sports

tel 076 653 9930

Highway Paintball

Deon Adendorff 079 468 3095.

Springside Nature reserve

93 Springside Road, Hillcrest

Krantzkloof Nature Reserve

152 Kloof Falls Rd

Kranskloof, Kloof

Whatsapp: 079 702 6452

Picnic sites are not open

100 visitors at a time

Shongweni Dam

Mr461 Rd, Dassenhoek, Outer West

Tel 078 039 9881

Lower Molweni Hikes

Tel: 031 322 6026 / / 078 726 4890

Mqeku Picnic Site

Info and map:

The Pot and Kettle

Open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch

Live music on Sundays

8.30 until 4pm

Tel: 031 777 1312

Umgeni Steam Railway

Departs from and returns to Kloof Station:

Post Christmas Steam Trip: 26 & 27 Dec @ 8.30am and 12.30pm

Seats are limited & booking out fast, book & pay within 48 hours to ensure your seats!

Ticket Prices for the Return Trip:

Adults: R290

Pensioners (+60) & Children (2-12): R200

Family Package (2 Adults & 2 Children): R880

Booking is essential:

Ammazulu Gardens and Sculpture Precinct / 88 Kloof Falls Rd, Kloof. 

Open to the public, Thursday to Sun: 10am until 4pm

Otherwise by appointment / 083 244 7565  

Entrance to the Sculpture walk is R50 / Kids under 10 free.

For more info:

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