The Northern and Eastern regions of the Free State are bordered in the East by the majestic Drakensberg Mountains and the Lesotho border, and in the North by the Vaal River. In the far east of the region on the Lesotho border and nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains is the 11600 hectare Golden Gate Highlands National Park. While some national parks are noted for their wildlife, the Golden Gate is one of those noted for its natural beauty, and takes its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the majestic sandstone cliffs of the park.
Just to the North of the Golden Gate is the small town of Bethlehem, whose biblical name means "house of bread", an appropriate name for the town that is at the heart of the country's wheat growing region. In fact the whole of the Northern and Eastern Freestate is a most important agricultural area, producing a great percentage of South Africa's maize and wheat.
The small town of Deneysville was proclaimed in 1939 and its existence is a direct result of the construction of the Vaal Dam, completed in 1938. The 32000 hectare Vaal Dam is the main source of water for the Witwatersrand and the village owes its early reputation on it being the southernmost terminal for BOAC's flying boat service from Britain to South Africa during the second world war. Deneysville is a main venue for water sports enthusiasts, housing four yacht clubs, boat chandlers and boat building and repairs.
Right on the border between the Northern and Eastern Free State and Kwazulu-Natal is situated the charming little country town of Harrismith. Established in 1849 on the banks of the Wilge River, Harrismith gets its name from Sir Harry Smith who was a govenor of what is now known as the Free State. Harrismith is easily recognized when traveling through the region by the large flat topped mountain, the Platberg, which sits just behind the town. The town is the last before making the long climb up the Van Reenen's Pass where the N3 highway cuts through the Drakensberg. There are many reminders of the Anglo-Boer wars in the area.
In the extreme South of the Northern and Eastern region and situated on the Highlands scenic route that follows the Lesotho border lies the small town of Hobhouse. The town is on the banks of the Leeu River and is named after the Anglo-Boer War concentration camp heroine, Emily Hobhouse. This suffragette was so appalled at the conditions in the concentration camps that she started a nursing and welfare service amongst the Boer women. She was so dedicated to her new calling that she called off her wedding -her wedding veil can still be seen on display in Bloemfontein.
A little to the North of Hobhouse is the thriving little agricultural town of Ladybrand, founded in 1867. Ladybrand sits at the base of the Platberg ridge and is an important administrative town in the wheat and sunflower belt of the Freestate. There are many fine examples of sandstone architecture in the town, which lies just a few kilometers from the Caledon Bridge, the main border post between South Africa and Lesotho.
One of the most important towns of the Northern and Eastern Region of the Freestate is Kroonstad which, according to legend, has the distinction of being one of few towns anywhere to be named after a horse, Kroon, which belonged to the prominent Boer leader Sarel Cilliers. Kroonstad is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful towns of the Free State, and is an important centre for the production of maize, wheat, meat, sunflowers, dairy products and wool.
Discover and enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the Eastern Free State Mountains, close to the Lesotho border. Mont Plaisir offers luxurious self-catering accommodation...
Come and experience the crisp clean air of the Eastern Free State in the relaxed atmosphere of The Old Country House and Cottage in the heart of Fouriesburg. Spend the evening with friend and family in front of the coal stove and greet the morning sunrise
Pluvio Guesthouse is situated in the Heart of the town of Parys, within walking distance to the Vaal River. Luxurious accommodation in 7 Individually decorated Guest Rooms.
Bersheba River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Vaal River, Bersheba River Lodge, offers a unique accommodation experience, combing the tranquillity of the river with exquisite luxury, a cosy ambiance offering an escape to the country experience.
The Barbet Country Cottages are situated on a large farm, 17 km from Clarens along the magnificent Maluti route, a beautiful, scenic drive, including our very own 'God's Window', overlooking the vast Maluti Mountain ranges.
Akzente is situated in the heart of Clarens, within walking distance of all the galleries, shops and restaurants, but still has a panoramic view of the valley and the mountains of Golden Gate and Lesotho...
We have three self-catering cottages in the large garden on the farm "Madrid", which has been in the Mousley family for 144 years. The cottages are close enough to the homestead to be very safe but still out of sight of each other. Also in...
The lodge, nestled below massive sandstone cliffs, consists of a beautifully renovated double storey English Cottage with four charming en suite bedrooms and a majestic, renovated sandstone farmhouse with 5 comfortable en-suite bedrooms and huge ...
There are two loft style apartments for two in the heart of Clarens. Views across the Clarens roof-tops to the mountains beyond. Private patio overlooks charming courtyard. Walking distance to restaurants, galleries, shops and village square...
Kestell Hotel is a quirky old fashioned country hotel over 100 years old. It is pet friendly and offers 12 bedrooms. Ideal for business travellers and a great weekend getaway.
398 Vaal de Grace Golf Estate is a three-bedroom riverfront self-catering villa ideally situated on the secure Vaal de Grace Golf Estate just 2 km outside Parys on the R59 towards Vredefort.
Commanding spectacular views of Mount Horeb & the Maluti's and a sandstone's throw from around 20+ restaurants, Ash River Lodge B&B offers accommodation for 22 guests.
Neethlings Place is only a stone throw away from the centre of the popular village of Clarens. A solid sandstone construction with a large patio offers magnificent views of the Maluti Mountains. Neethlings Place offers 5 bedrooms, 4 x double beds and 1 wi
Family farm accommodation nestled in the Rooiberge, situated on the banks of the Caledon River with easy access to Clarens, Lesotho's Ski Slopes and Katse Dam. Rates are inclusive of all meals and teas.
Shady Pines is a beautiful home situated in spacious gardens with full views of Platberg. Seven spacious bedrooms are available plus two self-catering units - all equipped with modern amenities. Home cooked meals and unbound hospitality...
Aqua View Riverside Guest House is nestled on the Vaal River, in the heart of the beautiful tourist town of Parys.
The Clarens Country House is nestled in a wooded corner of the secure Clarens Golf and Trout Estate, with wrap-around mountain views. The century-old stone house offers 4 luxury self-catering suites opening onto an enormous fully-glassed veranda...
The farm consists of six self-catering chalets. Four are situated close to the restaurant at the lion camp, for a more private stay you can choose our two chalets overlooking our 14 Ha dam in the game reserve.