In The Area
The Midlands Meander is an 80km network of sightseeing routes winding through the green belly of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, an easy hour’s drive from Durban. The beauty of the meander is a big draw card for brides to be and Notting Hill is situated right in the middle of 20 of the most popular wedding venues. Meander means to “wander at random” and this is exactly what the route is about. Green hills, canopy tours, arts and crafts, family friendly farms, outdoor activities, child friendly accommodation, and restaurants with colourful playgrounds and kiddies’ menus make the Midlands Meander a no-brainer when it comes to family road trips. No amount of “are we there yet” will bring you down, because every bend in the road uncovers an exciting new activity.
Boschoek and Gowrie both started as simple farm courses but are now some of the most beautiful courses in Natal, with natural beauty surrounding the fairways, beautiful streams and dams like only the midlands can offer these courses are a must for your next stay.
Spa’s and Pampering
If a spa treatment sounds a little more appealing to you than the golf course then why not give Brookdale Hydro or Fordoun Spa a try. Both with unique treatments and a variety of options; you are bound to find what you are looking for and forget all about the city stress.
Hot air ballooning
There’s no better way to experience the Midlands Meander than with a 1 hour hot air balloon ride at sunrise. The balloon flights include coffee and biscuits before the flight, champagne or fruit juice afterwards, and breakfast back at the launch site. The flight itself is about 45 minutes to an hour. Contact Sky Adventures: http://www.skyadventures.co.za/hot-air-balloon-flights-kzn
Head to an established trail or forge your own path, the midlands has some of the best mountain biking trails and scenery in the world. With the option to rent a bike and the possibility to organise drop off points there really is no excuse not to give this a try.
Karkloof Canopy Tours
Karkloof Canopy Tours zips through the second largest indigenous forest in South Africa on slides up to 175m long. You’ll see plenty of birds, monkeys, trees, and plants on your exciting tour above the treetops. The canopy tour is suitable for 7 – 70 year olds.
The Midlands Meander has plenty of restaurants with playgrounds and kiddies’ menus.
Piggly Wiggly Country Village
Piggly Wiggly Country Village has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for lunch on the go or a sit down meal. Pack your own picnic with food from the 3 Fat Pigs deli to enjoy on the lawns while the kids play on the jungle gym. There is also Piggly Wiggly Coffee Shop, Meander Fine Wines, and the Pizza Place, as well as a candle dipping shop and putt-putt facility. Serves breakfast, lunch, and tea.
il Postino Pizzeria
Il Postino Pizzeria serves delicious thin crusted wood fired pizza in an outside area with a fenced in play area and jungle gym. Roaring log fires are lit up in winter. Serves lunch, dinner, and tea.
Granny Mouse Bistro
The Bistro at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa offers casual dining with burgers, pizzas, and more. You can also pick up a picnic hamper from the deli if you want to sit outside and enjoy the view. Serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and tea.
Caversham Mill Restaurant
The deck at Caversham Mill Restaurant overlooks the Lion and Impafana Rivers. It’s a great spot to sit back and watch the waterfall and wheel of the old mill. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Bierfassl is a cosy Austrian themed restaurant with a fireplace, outdoor seating, and a kiddies’ playground on the lawn. Enjoy beer tasting from Nottingham Road Brewery and meals from light salads to Eisbein. There is a kiddies’ menu with hamburgers, frankfurters, and toasties, as well as a deli selling food and beer. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Dargle Valley Market
Stock up on local produce and home brewed coffee at the monthly Dargle Valley Market.
Karkloof Farmers Market
The Karkloof Farmers Market is a fresh produce market with fruit and veggies, home baked treats, and an indigenous nursery. Kids will love the pony rides, sand pit, and jungle gym.
Every second Saturday is a great food market as well as a wide selection of locally produced goods.
Swissland Cheese has cheese tasting and tours where you can learn how the cheese is made. Pick a selection of your favourite cheese, ice cream, and dairy products to enjoy on the rolling lawns. Kids will love feeding the goats. The Junction
The Junction is a fantastic shopping village whether you can grab some padkos, stretch your legs, or go for a toilet break. There are various eateries, kiddies’ playground, candle dipping shop, and beautifully manicured gardens. We love the “Slow down. Free range children and animals” sign.
Historical and Natural Attractions
Nelson Mandela capture site
The Nelson Mandela Capture Site was unveiled by President Jacob Zuma in 2012 and is made up of 50 steel poles that align to form the face of former president Nelson Mandela. It’s a beautiful setting with hills and valleys in the background, and a museum and shop on site.
Known by the local Zulu people as “KwaNogqaza” which means “place of the tall one,” Howick Falls cascades 95m into the Umgeni River. You can also hike the Howick Falls Gorge Walk or enjoy a swim and a picnic at the bottom of the waterfall.
Midmar Dam is set in a nature reserve with picnic and braai sites, hiking and biking routes, and a dam that’s great for canoeing, sailing, kite surfing, wind surfing, boating, and fishing. The water is bilharzia free and safe for swimming. There is a boat shop for the rental of yachts, canoes, wind surfers, and fishing equipment.