Today this beautiful and somewhat fragile region forms the heart of a Battlefields Route that one can do as part of a tour or as a self-drive experience - maps and brochures in tow to trace the battles that involved Mahatma Gandhi, Churchill, Shaka and General Louis Botha - all of whom played strategic roles in these intense clashes that have left the landscape imbued with the echoes of battle.
Address: The Battlefields Region, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa | Phone: 072 271 1766
Chelmsford Nature Reserve
The Chelmsford dam, which takes three hours to circumnavigate, provides ample carp and bass fishing and a plethora of bird watching opportunities with 217 species of birds including the great crested grebe, comb duck, pink-billed lark, black-bellied bustard, African grass owl and bigger birds like the yellow-billed duck, greater flamingo, lesser flamingo, whiskered tern, osprey and a resident pair of fish eagles.
The grasslands, apart from providing access to greater mammals like herds of springbok, blesbok and red hartebeest, also provide a chance to spot the blue crane, marsh owl, denham’s bustard and many others.
Address: Normandien, Newcastle, 2942 | Phone: +26 (0)34 351-1753
Newcastle Town Hall
Newcastle commenced building their town hall in 1897 in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Once building was completed in 1899, the town’s people started a collection for a clock to be added to the building. The Town Hall has been part of many historical events including the second Boer War where it was used to store furniture that was pillaged during this time.
Monuments have been erected outside in remembrance of those brave men who gave their lives during the Anglo Zulu War. This fascinating building is brimming with history and makes for an interesting visit.
Address: Scott's Street, Newcastle, Battlefields, KwaZulu Natal. | Phone: Call Not Available | Price on request
Newcastle made the decision to build an Armoury during the 1870’s when there was a threat of war against Zululand. The Armoury was built and provided a home for local volunteers and those in service. It is still and was then being used as a meeting point too.
Winston Churchill himself spent the night at Newcastle Armoury as a prisoner of the Boer forces in 1899. This fascinating building is filled with history and is open to the public to view the military memorabilia. If these walls could talk they could tell many an exciting tale about the goings on behind and surrounding this historical building.
Address: Corner of Hardwick and Scott Street, Newcastle, Battlefields, KwaZulu-Natal | Phone: +27 (0)34 318-7176 | Price on request
Ncandu Nature Reserve
The Ncandu State Forest Nature Reserve is the second-biggest indigenous forest in KwaZulu-Nata land is filled with grassy plains and yellowwood gorges.
There are many little streams running through the forest that meet the Ncandu River where trout are plentiful. This is the ideal place for a scenic stroll or relaxing horse ride. Many trails run through the reserve which take you all though the sandstone cliffs, to the majestic waterfalls and allow for fabulous birding opportunities.
Address: 32 km from Newcastle on the Drakensberg Escarpment. | Phone: Call Not available
Ingogo Hiking Trail
Set on a beautiful 3 000 hectare reserve in the berg plateau of the northern Drakensberg. What makes the estate so scenic is the presence of the Drakensberg escarpment. One hikes through lush grasslands, trout streams and indigenous montane forests offset by clear mountain streams, waterfalls and incredible views.
Address: Start and finish at the site office Dunblane estate, near Newcastle | Phone: +27 (0)12 803-9109 | Price on request
Fort Amiel Museum
Set in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal is the Fort Amiel Museum. Formerly a fort built in 1876 by the 80th Staffordshire Volunteers and Major Amiel as a lookout post for British soldiers leading up to the Zulu War.
The fort was used as a garrison for the Kings Royal regiment during the Boer War and also served as a hospital, transit camp and depot. In 1979 the fort, surrounding area and graveyard was declared a national monument and they began restoring the site after they found the original plans for the fort in the London Museum during this time.
Address: 4 Fort Street, Amiel Park, Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal | Phone: +27 (0)34 312-7211 | Price on request
Botha's Pass Kontreiwinkel
Botha's Pass Kontreiwinkel is a quaint little country stall housed in the original Botha's Pass store built in 1906. Find the Kontreiwinkel at the foot of the Botha's Pass on the R34 to Newcastle.
Stop off for refreshments, home made jams and confectioneries, all prepared in the traditional way, nuts, dried fruit and biltong and a variety of baskets, mats, handicrafts and collectibles of all descriptions. Plenty of off road parking makes it a pleasant stop over en-route.
Address: R34 Main Road between Newcastle and Memel, Kwazulu-Natal | Phone: Call +27 (0)34 341-1901