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The Midlands Meander is for Children

N3 Gateway / The Midlands Meander is for Children

The Midlands Meander is for Children

Midlands Meander Association
Specification
Core Activity:Multi-activity Type:Self-drive Duration:Day trips or 4 nights / 5 days Budget:Dependent on choices – contact Midlands Meander members directly. When to Go:Families can enjoy a fun family experience in the Midlands Meander all year-round. Spring brings the wild flowers to the mountain grasslands. Come in summer to see the baby animals. Autumn sometimes brings the magic of snow. Itinerary Rating:Not all of the activities listed are suitable for all ages: parents are requested to use their discretion. If unsure, please call ahead to make enquiries. Other:Online accommodation booking available at www.midlandsmeander.co.za Visitors are encouraged to enquire about facilities and activities for children at accommodation establishments when booking.

The Midlands Meander abounds with experiences and adventures for everyone from little ones to teenagers – and Mom and Dad too!

DAY 1 – HOWICK/KARKLOOF/CURRY’S POST – The wonderful and the thrilling!
Begin your day at the magnificent Howick Falls (S 29° 48′ 67″ / E 30° 23′ 89″) – see if you can catch sight of the famous Inkanyamba, a giant serpent-like creature that lives at the base of the falls according to local legend. Pop into Hangabout Hammocks (033 330 2040 – S 29° 29′ 11.1″ / E 30° 14′ 10.9″) in the shopping precinct there.

Afterwards, head onto the Karkloof Road, and stop at Yellowwood Café for breakfast, where the littlies can enjoy the animal farm and play on the jungle gym (033 330 2461 – S 29° 28′ 42.1″ /E 30° 14′ 13.7″), and the older kids and Dad can challenge each other to a game of paintball (phone ahead to book).

Or if it is a Saturday morning, you may wish to continue a little further along the Karkloof Road and discover the delights of the Karkloof Farmers’ Market (082 820 8986 – S 29° 27′ 54.8″ /E 30° 14′ 45.5″), Saturday from 7h00 to 11h00 only.  Enjoy breakfast and stock up on organic veggies, home baking, artisan cheeses, preserves and other delights while the kids play outside in the play area.

For a fascinating and thrilling experience of the pristine mistbelt forest of the Karkloof and the incomparable thrill of the zipline, head out for a Karkloof Canopy Tour (033 330 3415 – S 29° 19′ 21.9″ / E 30° 15′ 44.3″). It’s foefie slide fun for the whole family – from ages 7 to 70!

On the way back, slow down your heart rate and chat about your experiences in the peaceful environs of the Karkloof Conservation Centre.  Have a leisurely picnic on the grounds and spend some time in their excellent bird hides– maybe you’ll get lucky and see all three types of cranes the Conservation Centre is famous for.

Not into picnics? Then head across Howick to the Curry’s Post Road and have lunch at the Corner Post Restaurant & Bar (033 330 7636 – S 29° 28′ 35.7″ / E 30° 13′ 09.1″) or at Tumble Downs (082 802 2837 – S 29° 25′ 10.9″ / E 30° 11′ 51.2″), further down the Curry’s Post Road.

The magical sculpture of the Elves and the Shoemaker in the gardens of Groundcover (082 562 0874 – S 29° 23′ 18.6″ / E 30° 10′ 32.3″) is a must-see – and don’t miss the beautiful hammocks and swinging chairs at Heavenly Hammocks in Curry’s Post (083 378 7100 – S 29° 21′ 24.7″ / E 30° 07′ 43.7″)

Child-friendly places to stay on the Curry’s Post Road:
• Cranford Country Lodge (082 556 6748 – S 29° 22′ 32.7″ / E 30° 09′ 05.7″)  • Old Halliwell Country Inn (033 330 2602 – S 29° 22′ 92.6″ / E 30° 10′ 59.1″)

DAY 2 – LION’S RIVER, MIDMAR – Arts and Culture
Take it slowly today with a visit to the world-famous statue of Nelson Mandela at the iconic Capture Site (079 971 3074 – S 29° 28′ 07.0″ / E 30° 10′ 10.0″), where Mandela was arrested in 1962.   Kids in the mood for art and craft? Why not have fun with candle-dipping and sand-art (084 381 8010 – S 29° 27′ 30.0″ / E 30° 08′ 08.0″) or paint a selection of gorgeous pottery at the Zulu-Lulu Art Bar (083 627 3491 – S 29° 27′ 30.0″ / E 30° 08′ 08.0″) – all at the Piggly Wiggly Centre near the Capture Site.

More in the mood for action? Go sailing, canoeing or fishing at the Midmar Resort (033 330 2067 – S 29° 29′ 27.8″ / E 30° 11′ 37.8″) and enjoy a picnic there. Or if you can’t picnic, go fishing and mountain bike riding and enjoy a delicious lunch at St Ives Hotel & Restaurant (033 234 4490 – S 29° 27′ 24.6″ / E 30° 08′ 00.1″) (there is also a lovely jungle gym). Lunch is also available nearby at Fern Hill Hotel (033 330 5071 – S 29° 29′ 05.2″ / E 30° 11′ 21.5″)

Child-friendly places to stay:
• Fern Hill Hotel (033 330 5071 – S 29° 29′ 05.2″ /E 30° 11′ 21.5″) • St Ives Restaurant & Hotel (033 234 4490 – S29° 27′ 24.6″ / E 30° 08′ 00.1″) • Midmar Resort (033 330 2067 – S 29° 29′ 27.8″ / E 30° 11′ 37.8″)

DAY 3 – DARGLE, BOSTON – A day of nature and organic goodness!
Take your children to experience the breathtaking natural world of wildlife and indigenous Nguni cattle at Tillietudlem Trout & Game Lodge (033 234 9045 – S 29° 36′ 53.4″ / E 29° 56′ 19.9″), which can be reached from the Dargle Road. Enjoy a relaxing day of game walks, fishing and a delicious gourmet lunch. Or if pizza would be more welcome, taste delicious pizza made the traditional way at Il Postino Pizzeria (072 905 9390 – S 29° 28′ 32.7″ / E 30° 06′ 15.8″) on the way back down the Dargle Road.

For a delicious organic lunch, inspiring beautiful food, gardens and a child-friendly forest walk out Boston way, visit Picklepot Café  (072 190 5548 – S 29° 42′ 54.4″ / E 29° 57′ 25.9″)

Child-friendly places to stay:
• Inversanda Farm Cottages on the Dargle Road (082 772 1621 – S 29° 32′ 03.6″ /E 30° 03′ 13.1″) • Everglades Hotel & Conference Centre (033 234 9042 – S 29° 32′ 34.3″ / E 29° 57′ 58.7″) • Lemonwood Cottages (082 052 6072 – S 29° 23′ 10.1″/ E 30° 03′ 12.8″) • Old Kilgobbin Farm Cottages (086 662 2327 – S 29° 28′ 25.2″ /E 30° 03′ 34.3″)

DAY 4 – LIDGETTON, NOTTINGHAM ROAD – Little kids, old fashioned fun and a bit of magic!
One of the most popular attractions on the Meander for children is to feed the kids and goats at Swissland Cheese (082 418 3440 – S 29° 24′ 45.1″ / E 30° 04′ 20.6″) in Lidgetton. Buy delicious cheeses and biscuits to enjoy on a family picnic there while you watch the goats climb the spiral wooden goat tower. Other child-friendly places to eat in this area are: • Caversham Mill Restaurant   (072 125 3392 – S 29° 24′ 56.4″ / E3 0° 05′ 45.3″) • Granny Mouse Country House (033 234 4017 – S 29° 25′ 26.5″ / E 30° 05′ 25.3″) • Günther’s (033 234 4171 – S 29° 24′ 30.3″ / E 30° 04′ 49.4″) • Millgate Cottage (083 289 7696 – S 29° 24′ 47.9″ /E 30° 04′ 57.1″)

Head up the R103 to Nottingham Road… littlies love to visit the fairies and the elves at the magical stone cottage called The Faraway Tree (072 870 0458 – S 29° 21′ 05.5″ / E 29° 59′ 07.5″). Want to get creative together? Book a pottery, ceramics, stained glass or mosaic class at Aladdin’s-de-Light (033 266 6460 – S 29° 21′ 34.2″ / E 29° 59′ 37.1″) Remember how much fun it was to have a horse/pony ride? Try Kleinberg Estate (033 266 6170 – S 29° 17′ 25.9″ / E 30° 03′ 26.6″)

The Junction in Nottingham Road also offers temptations for those with a sweet tooth – try chocolate dipping at Chocolate Heaven (033 266 6870 – S 29° 21′ 27.6″ / E 29° 59′ 50.8″) as well as old-fashioned and modern toys at Funtasy (033 266 6999 – S 29° 21′ 27.6″ / E 29° 59′ 50.8″).

Child-friendly places to eat in the Nottingham Road area:
• Cafe Bloom  (033 266 6118 – S 29° 20′ 99.8″ / E 29° 59′ 44.9″) • Bierfassl Restaurant & Pub (033 266 6320 – S 29° 21′ 41.1″ / E 29° 59′ 57.4″) • Rawdons Hotel (033 266 6044 – S 29° 22′ 29.1″ / E 30° 00′ 40.1″) • Sapore (033 266 6921 – S 29° 21′ 13.0″ / E 29° 59′ 48.0″) • Linga Lapa Restaurant (033 266 7001 – S 29° 18′ 55.6″ / E 30° 02′ 56.4″)

Child-friendly places to stay in the Lidgetton area:
• Beacon Vlei Guest Farm (033 234 4486 – S 29° 23′ 10.2″ / E 30° 04′ 26.7″) • Caversham Mill (033 234 4524 – S 29° 24′ 56.4″ / E 30° 05′ 45.3″) • Granny Mouse Country House (033 23 4071 – S 29° 25′ 26.5″ / E 30° 05′ 25.3″) • Midlands Forest Lodge (033 940 0145 – S 29° 23′ 31.0″ / E 30° 04′ 54.0″) • Millgate Cottage (083 289 7696 – S 29° 24′ 47.9″ / E 30° 04′ 57.1″) • Little Milton (033 267 5028 – S 29° 19′ 23.8″ / E 29° 58′ 45.9″)

Child-friendly places to stay in the Nottingham Road area:
• Bellwood Cottages  (033 266 6218 – S 29° 22′ 37.4″ / E 29° 59′ 38.2″) • Rawdons Hotel (033 266 6044 – S 29° 22′ 29.1″ /E 30° 00′ 40.1″) • Thatchings Guest House (033 266 6275 – S 29° 18′ 44.0″ / E 30° 04′ 21.0″ • The Windmills Resort (033 266 6965 – S 29° 18′ 56.8″ / E 30° 03′ 06.4″)

DAY 5 – GIANT’S CASTLE, KAMBERG – Majestic mountains and ancient heritage
If you have older children, introduce them to the ancient heritage of the art of the San people at Ezemvelo’s Kamberg Resort (033 267 7251 – S 29° 23′ 13.5″ / E 29° 40′ 04.8″) and Giant’s Castle Resort (036 353 3781 – S 29° 13′ 06.8″ / E 29° 33′ 27.4″). In addition to walks and hikes, there are some beautifully scenic picnic spots at both resorts. Trout fishing is also available at Kamberg Resort. For a private, upmarket San art and wildlife experience, stay at ZuluWaters Game Reserve (036 352 0100 – S 29° 06′ 13.6″ / E 29° 48′ 14.5″).

For horse riding in the area, try Bergtrails (033 267 7926 – S 29° 18′ 59.1″ / E 29° 43′ 20.0″) and Antbear Lodge (036 352 3143 – S 29° 08′ 02.1″ / E 29° 48′ 15.9″)

Child-friendly places to stay:
• Antbear Lodge (036 352 3143 – S 29° 08′ 02.1″ / E 29° 48′ 15.9″) • Giant’s Castle Resort (036 353 3718 – S 29° 13′ 06.8″ / E 29° 33′ 27.4″) • Kamberg Resort (033 267 7251 – S 29° 23′ 13.5″ / E 29° 40′ 04.8″) • Silverhill Guest Lodge (033 267 7430 – S 29° 19′ 33.2″ / E 29° 41′ 14.6″) • Sycamore Ave. Treehouses (033 263 5009 – S 29° 09′ 03.5″ / E 29° 58′ 57.4″) • ZuluWaters Game Reserve (036 352 0100 – S 29° 06′ 13.6″ / E 29° 48′ 14.5″)

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