Set off on a captivating adventure to Magaliesburg, a charming town cradled at the base of the splendid Magaliesberg mountains, just an hour away from the bustling streets of Johannesburg. This serene haven offers a perfect retreat from urban life, presenting a scenic tableau that appeals to both thrill-seekers and those in search of tranquillity.
Magaliesburg, with its rich variety of attractions, ensures that every visit is memorable. Whether it’s exploring the rugged mountain trails, relishing in the serenity of nature, or engaging in exhilarating outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque locale. Prepare to uncover the top 10 activities that make Magaliesburg a must-visit destination for anyone looking for an exceptional getaway.
1. Magalies Canopy Tours
Magalies Canopy Tours offers an exhilarating ziplining experience, set against the backdrop of the ancient and ecologically rich Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve. Just an hour and a half from Johannesburg and an hour from Pretoria, this adventure invites thrill-seekers to glide through the skies, exploring one of the world’s oldest mountain ranges, estimated to be over 2,500 million years old.
Participants often rave about the thrill of the experience, the attentive and humorous staff, and the opportunity to learn about local flora like the King Protea and lichen. The adventure is not just about the adrenaline rush; it’s also an educational journey through a region steeped in natural history.
To fully enjoy this adventure, it’s recommended to dress in comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes, like running shoes or ‘veldskoene’. Strap-on sandals are also suitable, but flip-flops are not, as they may fall off during the zipline. While shorts or long pants are ideal, mini-skirts are discouraged due to the harnesses worn. Don’t forget to bring a camera for the numerous photo opportunities along the way. Participants can even enter their best shots in the “Photo of the Month” competition on the Magaliesberg Canopy Tour website for a chance to win a free tour.
Magalies Canopy Tours is a perfect outing for everyone from families with children aged six and older to corporate groups, school groups, couples, and even those looking to conquer their fear of heights. This unique ziplining adventure promises an unforgettable experience for anyone searching for “fun things to do near me.”
Address: Rosewood Functions, Part of 84 of the Farm, Rietfontein, Rustenburg
Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 6:30 am – 4:30 pm
Contact: 014 535 0150
2. Magalies River Valley Scenic Balloon Ride
Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris offers a remarkable Magalies River Valley Scenic Balloon Ride, a unique way to witness the break of dawn over the serene landscapes near Johannesburg. As guests gather at the Skeerpoort Country Base, they’re greeted with warm beverages and freshly baked treats, setting the tone for the day’s adventure. The highlight is the one-hour sunrise flight, revealing panoramic views of the Magaliesburg mountains and river valley, followed by a celebratory toast upon landing.
Post-flight, guests return to the Clubhouse Pavilion for a delectable buffet breakfast, enjoying the picturesque scenery. This experience, available every morning including weekends, weather permitting, requires a minimum of four passengers. The flight schedule aligns with the sunrise, varying throughout the year, ensuring the most spectacular views at dawn.
Bill Harrop’s offers two types of tickets: the non-refundable Explorer Flight Ticket and the refundable Traditional Flight Ticket, with rates ranging from R3190 to R3490 per person, varying by package and season. For those planning to attend, warm, peelable clothing is advised, along with a camera for capturing the breathtaking moments. The adventure is suitable for ages seven and up, with special considerations for disabled or challenged participants, promising an unforgettable aerial journey for all.
Address: R560 Skeerpoort, 2146
Opening times: Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm; Saturday – Sunday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Contact: 083 457 3402
3. Aerial Cableway Hartbeespoort
Experience the wonders of the Magaliesberg from a unique vantage point with the Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway. Established in 1973 and spanning 1.2 km, this iconic cableway lifts you to the summit of the Magaliesberg mountains, unveiling a breathtaking panorama of the Hartbeespoort Dam and its picturesque surroundings.
Immaculately maintained, the facility exudes cleanliness and orderliness, from the pristine restrooms to the spotless walking trails. At the peak, a serene, grassy area awaits, adorned with comfortable beanbags for lounging and soaking in the views. Numerous tables and seating spots are scattered about, offering perfect nooks for relaxation or a leisurely lunch. The experience is further enhanced by the exceptional service and relaxed ambience, making it a delightful escape for both tourists and locals alike.
Revamped in 2010 by Zargodox Ltd and proudly reopened by then Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the cableway holds the title of the longest mono-cableway in Africa. Open daily, it’s not just a ride but a gateway to rediscovering the beauty of your own country. Whether it’s a special occasion like a birthday (where rides are complimentary) or just a day out, the Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway promises an unforgettable experience amidst the grandeur of the Magaliesberg.
Address: Plot 3, Melodie Melodie Agricultural Holdings, Hartbeespoort
Contact: 012 253 9910
4. Mountain Sanctuary Park
Tucked away in the Magaliesberg Mountains lies Mountain Sanctuary Park, a tranquil nature reserve that masterfully combines the thrill of adventure with the serenity of the great outdoors. This privately owned haven is an ideal retreat for those seeking to immerse themselves in nature’s embrace, away from the daily grind. The park is a mosaic of ancient, untouched mountains and crystal-clear mountain pools, offering a respite of peace and tranquillity.
Visitors to the park can explore a variety of hiking trails, each weaving through the diverse landscape and leading to enchanting natural mountain pools. Whether you choose to stay in a cabin with breathtaking views of the valley or opt for a more rustic camping experience, Mountain Sanctuary Park guarantees an atmosphere of quietude and relaxation. Highlights include traversing from the mystical Perdewater Grotto to the shimmering West Pools and savouring the delightful offerings of the Stacombs restaurant.
Beyond its scenic trails, the park is a sanctuary for a myriad of indigenous animals, birds, and creatures native to the Magaliesberg. Guests are encouraged to take nature walks, armed with a spotting list from the office, to discover these natural inhabitants. For those seeking a refreshing dip, the park is dotted with several natural rock pools, as well as a beautifully located swimming pool. Adventure enthusiasts can also indulge in rock climbing and abseiling, with the park providing the perfect backdrop for these exhilarating activities.
Mountain Sanctuary Park is more than just a destination; it’s a journey into the heart of nature’s untouched splendour, offering an escape that leaves every visitor with enduring memories.
Address: Maanhaarrand, North West
Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Contact: 014 534 0114
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5. Hennops Offroad Trail
Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts will have a great time at Hennops Trails, offering five trails of varying lengths and spectacular views. Whether you opt for the short and sweet Dasie trail or the challenging Krokodilberg trail, each promises a journey through nature’s wonders and a refreshing outdoor adventure. You can also enjoy 4×4 challenges to guided game drives. With picnic facilities and more, it’s a perfect destination for a day of outdoor fun.
Address: R511 Gauteng, Pretoria
Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
Contact: 082 825 9205
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6. Hike to the summit of the Magaliesberg
Embark on the Mountain Trail at Shelter Rock for an 8km hike with a 400m rise to the summit. This journey through nature, history, and geology unveils the unique beauty of the Magaliesberg, showcasing ancient trees, remnants of an Iron Age village, and breathtaking views from the summit.
Address: Kgaswane Nature Reserve
Opening times: Monday – Sunday, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm (1st May – 30th August); Monday – Sunday, 7:00 am – 5:00 pm (1st September – 30th April)
Contact: 071 473 6298
7. Shelter Rock Trail
Opening times: Saturday – Sunday, 7:00 am – 4:30 pm
Contact: 071 473 6298
8. Magalies Sleepy River
Magalies Sleepy River Caravan Park, set in the scenic Magaliesberg mountain range, offers a peaceful camping experience just an hour from Johannesburg. This charming resort in Magaliesburg serves as the perfect escape for those looking to relax in nature or explore the area’s rich offerings. With hiking trails, historical sites, and a variety of restaurants nearby, guests have plenty to choose from.
The park itself provides an array of onsite activities. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks by the river, birdwatching, or a dip in the pool, complete with two fun slides. The campsite is well-equipped with electrical and water points, and a kiosk offers treats and refreshments. As a dedicated bird sanctuary, the tranquil setting is ideal for spotting kingfishers and hornbills, emphasizing the resort’s commitment to preserving a peaceful, natural environment.
Suitable for both overnight stays and day events, Magalies Sleepy River caters to all with reasonable rates for adults and children. It’s an excellent choice for family outings or group gatherings, offering a serene backdrop for relaxation and connection with nature. Whether settling in for a camping adventure or visiting for the day, this caravan park promises a memorable experience in the heart of the Magaliesberg region.
Nestled amidst the tranquillity of the Magaliesberg, Rustig is a charming family-run farm that has evolved beautifully from its 1930s tobacco-growing origins. Today, managed by the Oosthuizen family, it thrives as a cattle and game farm while offering a serene getaway, conveniently close to Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Rustig is a haven for those seeking a break from city life, boasting well-appointed accommodations, scenic hiking trails, and delicious food. Its sparkling pool adds to the allure, making it an ideal retreat for families or corporate teams in need of relaxation or team-building activities.
The farm’s elegant wedding venue, set against the backdrop of lush gardens, positions Rustig as a picturesque choice for nuptials.
The farm’s accommodation options cater to diverse needs, from the Heritage House, perfect for wedding guests, to the cosy Stone House with rustic charm. Backpackers find comfort in communal living, while the self-catering bungalows offer a more secluded experience.
With hiking trails like the challenging Karee trail, offering spectacular views at the summit, Rustig is not just a place to stay; it’s an adventure to be experienced. Here, the beauty of the Magaliesburg mountains comes to life, inviting families to hike, braai, or simply bask in the wilderness’s peace.
Address: Magalies, Portian 91 Plaas Hartebeesfontein Hekpoort
Contact: 079 490 2690
10. Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre
Nestled in the heart of South Africa, the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre stands as a beacon of organic farming and herbal education, founded by Margaret Roberts and lovingly continued by her daughter Sandy. Celebrating over 40 years of existence, this centre is more than just a garden; it’s a journey into the world of herbs, medicinal foods, and natural wellness practices. Recognised as one of South Africa’s top ten gardens, it operates on the principles of organic farming, making it a unique and pioneering establishment in the realm of natural health and agriculture.
Open to the public on Wednesdays and the first Saturday of each month, the Herbal Centre is a hub for learning and relaxation. Here, amidst the tranquil setting, visitors can explore the lush gardens, visit the tea garden, browse through the fairy gallery, or attend one of the many lectures and demonstrations offered. The centre’s commitment to education is evident in its diverse programs, attracting a wide array of visitors from students to gardening enthusiasts. Those planning to visit are encouraged to confirm their visit in advance to ensure a seamless experience.
The Herbal Centre is a place where nature’s bounty is celebrated and shared. Its meticulously maintained paths lead to a nursery brimming with rare herbs and fruit-bearing plants, a tranquil chapel, a labyrinth for quiet reflection, and a serene tea garden. The on-site shop offers a wide array of handmade products ranging from gourmet delicacies to natural skincare items, all crafted in their studio. For those seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre offers a calming and enriching experience, filled with the wonders of nature and the wisdom of herbal lore.
Address: R513, 0251
Contact: 087 150 0100
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