Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) continues its campaign to woo tourists and visitors to the Zulu Kingdom ahead of the Easter holiday season – part of its drive to bring back the sector to its former glory.
Newcastle, which is on the alternate route to travellers from Gauteng to Durban, is the next stop – an ideal place for business and pleasure.
The efforts by TKZN supported by local municipalities and tourism organisations attempt to capture some of the potential tourists spend by enticing travellers to visit the area known for its historic Battlefields Route, outdoor adventures such as hiking, 4×4 trails, mountain biking, horse riding and fishing.
Over the past five decades, consistent growth has seen Newcastle grow from a rural town to a thriving industrial and commercial city with a strong agricultural base. After a very tough hard lockdown, TKZN wants to showcase how travel has changed and showcase what KZN offers in terms of luxury, tranquillity and rustic lifestyle.
The Newcastle area showcases various tourism activities such as hiking, fishing, cycling, sight-seeing and golf. This is top-class leisure and country living.
Places of interest to visit in Newcastle:
Chief Albert Luthuli’s footprints – Blaauwbosch
Chief Albert Luthuli, eighth president of the ANC and recipient of the Noble Peace prize, was the principal and only teacher at the Intermediary School in Blaauwbosch (Newcastle) from 1917 to 1918.
The Blaauwbosch community was a typical amaKholwa (African Christian Community) dedicated to family values, education, and spirituality. The school and the adjacent Methodist Church was built in 1912 and reflect the Umgabaan (ironstone) building style and sandstone work period.
Luthuli was confirmed in the Methodist Church and became a lay preacher during his stay at Blaauwbosch.
Be sure to visit the historical school, surrounded by gum trees, cattle kraals and traditional homesteads, where one of South Africa’s greatest luminaries once resided and left his mark. There is a plaque at the school dedicated to Luthuli and the anti-apartheid struggle.
The home of Lucky Dube – Newcastle
Lucky Philip Dube (3 August 1964 – 18 October 2007) was a South African reggae musician and Rastafarian. He recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English, and Afrikaans over a 25-year period and was South Africa’s biggest-selling reggae artist. Lucky Dube was born on a small farm near Ermelo in the eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga). In 1982, his aunt Eleni brought him to Madadeni, a township on the outskirts of Newcastle, where Dube joined the Love Brothers, a group performing in the urban mbaqanga style that merged elements of soul and pop with traditional Zulu music.
His family still resides in Newcastle.
Fort Amiel Museum
Fort Amiel was an important output, built in 1876 to secure Newcastle against attacks from the Zulus. This attractive historical complex overlooking the town, houses a cultural/history museum—a cemetery dating to the Transvaal War of Independence.
It is open during the week from 10 am until 4 pm, as well as on Saturdays from 10 am until 1 pm.
Amur Falcon Roost
The most significant roost of Amur Falcons in Africa can be seen between late November and March at the Show Grounds/Farmers Hall in Newcastle when about 15 000 falcons roost. The Falcons migrate to Mongolia for the European summer.
Around the Vulintaba Estate, there are three well-known rock art sites of exceptional quality, suggesting that the Bushman or San, travelled through these parts on their way from the uKhahlamba Drakensberg to the coast and visa-versa. Rock art depictions are mainly of Eland, hunting scenes and mythological depictions.
It can be safely assumed these shelters were never lived in but merely used as a stopover during their travels or whilst they were on hunting trips. These rock art panels have been dated back to possibly 4000 to 8000 years old. Some degree of vandalism has occurred, and the tragedy is that, in some cases, a chisel was used to remove certain paintings from the panel, thereby destroying them beyond recognition. Neighbouring farms also have rock arts discovered on-site, for example, Moorfield Farm.
Vulintaba, Ingogo, Moorfield Farm, Balele Game Park in Utrecht to name a few.
Other places of interest:
- Moorefield Nature reserve
- Chelmsford Nature Reserve
- Khazini’s Shisanyama
- Vulintaba Country Hotel & Spa
- Jackson Brown (Vulintaba Country Hotel & spa)
- Mid-City Grill (Blackrock Garden Court)
- Tramonto Boutique Hotel
- Pint & Pigout restaurant
- Ocean basket
- Chief Albert Luthuli museum and Blaauwbosch Methodist church
- Newcastle Town Hall
- Carnegie Art Gallery
- Local Battlefields Route (Majuba 40km, gravesite)
- Hilldrop House
- King DinuZulu Old Prison
- St Dominics Newcastle Pavilion
- The Armory
Be sure to visit these sites today, embracing the rich history and beauty that makes Newcastle genuinely unique.
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Content supplied by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN)