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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
90 Old Main Rd, Botha’s Hill
Tel 082 901 7318
NU Driving range
Exit 31, M13
tel 076 653 9930
Deon Adendorff 079 468 3095.
Springside Nature reserve
93 Springside Road, Hillcrest
Krantzkloof Nature Reserve
152 Kloof Falls Rd
Whatsapp: 079 702 6452
Picnic sites are not open
100 visitors at a time
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: https://durbangreencorridor.co.za/mqeku-adventures
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:
Pensioners (+60) & Children (2-12): R200
Family Package (2 Adults & 2 Children): R880
Booking is essential: http://umgenisteamrailway.com/
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.