Is it too soon to be dreaming of Autumn?

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Is it too soon to be dreaming of Autumn?

Has the summer heat got the better of you? Are your thoughts starting to turn towards Easter school holidays and a nice little crisp snap in the air? Feast your eyes on this incredible Autumny eye-candy! Added bonus: with Level 1 regulations in place, we’ve got some ideas on what to do when out and about on the N3 Gateway route.

“Falling leaves are nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.”

So much to do on the 1000 Hills Route

The 1000 Hills prides itself in putting on a show for autumn, with great view-points to watch the changing scenery, or to kick up dry leaves. After the intense heat of summer, many of the outdoor activities can be best enjoyed in the cooler days – without the need for lashings of sunscreen! At the end of the day, enjoy autumn sunsets with an elegant cocktail or a steaming pot of tea at any of the myriad eateries in the area – remember to pack a jumper, the temperature drops when the sun goes down! Check out: www.1000hillstourism.co.za

Some of autumn speciality experiences and events include:

  • The first weekend in Autumn (18 – 21 March) is the 2021 My Life Dusi Canoe Marathon – the epic three-day course between Pietermaritzburg and Durban along the Msunduzi and Mgeni Rivers over a distance of 120km.   Although some of the spectator traditions have been altered due to Covid, it is hugely exciting that the race is going ahead! 1000 Hills is the perfect spot to stay and visit being equidistant between start and finish points and we have plenty to keep your family entertained while you are on the river.
  • A walk through the AmmaZulu Garden and Sculpture precinct situated on a portion of the 20-acre 70-year-old primeval forest in Kloof, is highly recommended.  It feels a bit like a gigantic Easter egg hunt – with visitors searching for fabulous whimsical confectionary in the form of 120 enormous sculptures hidden in the nooks and crannies, and often way above the ground. https://www.ammazulupalace.com/gardens-and-sculpture.php
  • Visit the weekly Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market every Saturday morning – and combine browsing among the fabulous stalls with an amble along the nature trail and enjoy brunch at one of the view-points and rest areas.   
  • Head outdoors to the High Stakes Adventure Sports and Activities: set on a 150-acre plot in Cato Ridge it offers Motocross, quad trails, 4×4, archery, clay pigeon shooting, paintball and zipline.
  • Watch autumn roll past your window aboard the Umgeni Steam Train which runs the last Sunday of each month, and on select holidays. Departing from and returning to Stokers Arms in Kloof with a stop at Inchanga Station where one can browse around the Inchanga community market. 
  • Enjoy coffee, or a meal at the Pot and Kettle, Brown Cat Café, PheZulu – or any of the other outdoor eateries which offer a splendid view of the hills.  
  • Take a walk through the Kranzkloof Nature Reserve up to the Molweni Falls and into the Kloof Gorge to watch the changing colours of nature. 

Horse Riding

Something that is so much more enjoyable in cooler weather is an outride! Stormy Hill is the place to be if you are looking for anything from a one hour horse ride to a complete horsey holiday! Contact Caroline on 0741927787 or www.stormyhill.co.za

Horse Riding Reflections, Stormy Hill

Escape to a Country Cottage

The Boston, Dargle and Impendle area is just over an hour’s drive from Durban in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, on the R617 road towards the Southern Drakensberg.

Rolling hills, lush forests, lakes, waterfalls and dams, create an ideal route for those seeking both peace and the thrill of adventure. The villages of Boston and Impendle, and the area of Dargle, are hubs of activity with hiking, walking, fishing, birding, cycling, horse riding and off road motorbike riding and not too far from our area, para and hang-gliding in Bulwer – particularly from the Bulwer Mountain, the Mahwaqa Mountain or ‘the frowning one’ – are huge draw cards to this part of the world.

At La Bonne Vie Farm, guests have access to the picturesque 30 hectare property, located on the Umngeni River in Dargle, where they can spend their time birding – look out for the resident European Storks, game spotting or fishing.  Contact Lauren on labonneviefarm@gmail.com or 0732444467

La Bonne Vie, Dargle

Stay a while at Calderwood Hall and spend your early mornings and late afternoons enjoying the way the light spills over the Autumn colours in this picturesque landscape. Enjoy a crackling log fire whilst overlooking the beautiful gardens from the large sash windows. Walk in the cooler weather past our ornamental fountain out into the forests. Sit back and soak in the sun beside our the dam or take a gentle paddle in our boat. Contact them on info@calderwood.co.za or https://calderwood.co.za/

Stunning Photography

Kenmo Lake Autumn Reflections by Wynand Grobler

A Carpet of Autumn Leaves along the Midlands Meander by Stephen Pryke

Shop Arts & Crafts

The seasonal colours of the Midlands inspire Shuttleworth to create handwoven rugs, throws and scarfs. They are a reflection, in colour and texture, of the beauty we see all around us.

As in nature, what we create is often a “once-off”. We can either work to a brief or use our imagination and creativity to produce rugs and carpets from any of the materials in which we work in a myriad of different configurations and colours to create unique products. They are truly one of a kind. Contact them on woven@shuttleworthweaving.com or shuttleworthweaving.com

Shuttleworth Weaving, Midlands Meander

Rose Hall

roseh@n3gateway.com

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