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Swinburne Accommodation, Northern & Eastern Free State

Swinburne Accommodation

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  • Swinburne, a stones throw from the Free State / KwaZulu-Natal border  © PixelPirates
  • Van Rensburg's Kop as seen from the N2 at Swinburne near Harrismith 


Perched on the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment, the hamlet of Swinburne is the last (or first), town in the Free State before you enter (or leave) KwaZulu-Natal. Conveniently situated just off the N3, the national road linking Durban and Gauteng, Swinburne lies 20 kilometres east of Harrismith towards the seaside town of Durban 2.5 hours away.

This is magnificent mountain country offering the usual mountain pursuits of rambles, hikes and rock climbing or scenic drives to view bushman paintings in secluded caves. All this is set against the magnificent backdrop that is Van Rensburg's Kop.

Swinburne's proximity to Harrismith allows visitors to take advantage of all the amenities and activities available here, including access to the 18 hole golf course which is the third oldest course in the country.

The Sterkfontein Dam, a short drive from Swinburne, offers a variety of water sports and excellent fishing opportunities, while The Spioenkop Dam and Nature Reserve offer nature lovers the chance to view Rhino, Giraffe and numerous species of Buck in their natural surroundings.

With the historic town of Ladysmith situated less than an hours drive away, Swinburne travellers can relive history by visiting the battle sites which abound on The Natal Battlefields Route.

Swinburne is a small village situated in the Free State province of South Africa, near the border with KwaZulu-Natal. It lies along the N3 highway, making it a convenient stopover for travelers between Johannesburg and Durban. Despite its small size, Swinburne and the surrounding area offer several attractions and activities.

Here are some things to see and do in and around Swinburne:

  1. Mount Everest Game Reserve: Located near Swinburne, the Mount Everest Game Reserve offers a range of outdoor activities. You can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, horse riding, and bird watching while taking in the stunning views of the Drakensberg mountains.

  2. Harrismith: Just a short drive from Swinburne, Harrismith is a larger town that provides additional amenities and attractions. Visit the Harrismith Town Hall, a beautiful sandstone building, or the Harrismith Botanical Gardens, which feature a variety of indigenous plants.

  3. Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve: A bit further afield, the Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve is worth the trip. This scenic reserve offers water-based activities such as fishing, boating, and windsurfing. The surrounding landscape is perfect for hiking and bird watching.

  4. Golden Gate Highlands National Park: Located about an hour's drive from Swinburne, this national park is renowned for its golden-hued sandstone cliffs. Enjoy scenic drives, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing. The park is home to various animals, including zebras, elands, and numerous bird species.

  5. Platberg Mountain: Dominating the skyline near Harrismith, Platberg Mountain is a popular hiking and climbing destination. The mountain offers several trails, including a challenging hike to the summit with rewarding panoramic views.

  6. The Sentinel Peak Hiking Trail: For a more adventurous outing, head towards the Drakensberg and tackle the Sentinel Peak Hiking Trail. This trail provides access to the famous Tugela Falls, the second-highest waterfall in the world. The hike offers breathtaking views and an exhilarating experience.

  7. Van Reenen’s Pass: Drive through Van Reenen’s Pass, a scenic mountain pass on the N3 highway between Harrismith and Ladysmith. The pass offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys and is a popular spot for photography.

  8. The Little Church in Van Reenen: Visit the smallest Roman Catholic church in the world, located in the nearby village of Van Reenen. Known as "The Little Church," it seats only eight people and is a charming and unique stop along your journey.

  9. Local Eateries and Farm Stalls: Explore the local farm stalls and eateries around Swinburne and Harrismith. These establishments often offer delicious homemade goods, local produce, and South African cuisine, providing a taste of the region's flavors.

  10. Drakensberg Mountains: The majestic Drakensberg Mountains are within driving distance of Swinburne and offer a wealth of outdoor activities. From hiking and climbing to exploring ancient rock art sites, the Drakensberg is a natural playground for adventurers and nature lovers.

Swinburne's proximity to various natural attractions and scenic landscapes makes it a worthwhile stop for travelers exploring the Free State and the broader region.






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Swinburne Accommodation, Northern & Eastern Free State
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