Local getaways

5 fantastic things to do in the Free State

From quaint towns to majestic mountains, the Free State is a destination in itself

17 November 2019 - 00:00 By staff reporter
Vredefort Dome is about 120km outside of Johannesburg.
Vredefort Dome is about 120km outside of Johannesburg.
Image: Unesco/Francesco Bandarin

1. VISIT THE VREDEFORT DOME

The Vredefort Dome is the site of the world's largest meteorite impact, which occurred over 2,023 million years ago, leaving a crater that's about 300km in radius. You can take a guided tour of the Vredefort Dome to learn about its history, and there are also many other activities in the area, including river rafting, abseiling, and mountain biking. 

2. GET YOUR GARDEN ON IN BLOEM

There is an incredible variety of indigenous fauna and flora to be found in the Bloemfontein Botanical Gardens, which boast over 124 bird species, 54 reptile species and 50 mammal species, including the rock hyrax and Cape porcupine. It's the perfect escape for nature-lovers in need of a long, leisurely stroll with stunning views on offer. For serious trail-lovers, there is also a series of slightly more challenging hikes across the dolerite koppies. 

3. MAKE A CATCH IN KROONSTAD

Kroonstad offers water sports and other adventures, and is a prime fishing spot. At the Serfontein Dam, fishermen have a good chance of catching the local largemouth yellowfish and many others.

4. GET CULTURAL IN CLARENS

In the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, charming Clarens offers a wide range of distractions. Hike or do a guided horseback trail through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, enjoy the thrill of white-water rafting on the Ash River, visit the fascinating Basotho Cultural Village, or simply stroll around the artsy town.

5. RESORT TO BETHLEHEM

Treat the family to a weekend at Frontier Inn and Casino in the peaceful town of Bethlehem. Chill out in your comfy, cosy room, take the kids for some fun at the Magic Company, and enjoy an adults-only evening in the casino. There are three restaurants to choose from, including the popular Beef Baron Grillhouse.


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