Northern Freestate

The following information was made available by the Free State Department of Tourism Web site.

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About Free State
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Xhariep | Motheo |Lejweleputswa | Thabo Mofutsanyana | Northern Free State

Bird Watching | Wildlife | Hiking | Sports/Adventure

The Free State Province disposes of an extensive system of parks and reserves, including one national park (Golden Gate) and more than 80 provincial, municipal, and privately owned nature parks, nature reserves, game reserves, and game farms. Activities include bird and game viewing, trophy and biltong hunting, hiking, horseback riding, biking, 4X4 off-road driving, camping, climbing and spelunking.

Northern Free State

This region constitutes a strategic agricultural region, producing inter alia the major portion of South Africa's maize crop. The 300 sq. km Vaal Dam between the Free State and Gauteng is not only the main source of water to South Africa's industrial heartland, it also is the inland water mecca of South Africa, offering boundless opportunities for all types of water sport. This and other vast water surfaces in this area offers one the opportunity to relax and revisit your plans for an unforgettable holiday in South Africa before you hit the road to anywhere in the rest of the country. Proximity to Gauteng allows you to reach this area within one hour from leaving Johannesburg International Airport. Excellent accommodation facilities and game farms, bush camp and camping sites for the adventure junkies cater for a wide range of preferences in order to accommodate all visitors' needs and requirements.

In the Northern Free State one can challenge the white waters of the Vaal River in a raft or canoe, or sail at a leisurely pace through the fertile, willow tree-lined valley with the fish eagle's cry of Africa ringing in your ears. Around the Vaal Dam are four yacht clubs and various boat chandlers, boat builders and repair yards, while powerboat junkies regularly ply the waterways of the Vaal, Wilge and Vals Rivers. Many of the attractions of this region centre around the life giving waters of the Vaal River with the Vaal Dam near Deneysville and the Jim Fouché Resort near Oranjeville being the major venues. The Kroonpark Resort has an impressive indoor pool and large festival grounds and is in the centre of Kroonstad.

There is more on offer to the outdoor enthusiast with hiking routes that vary from easy to rugged mountain rambles in the Vredefort Dome. Untouched San paintings and ruins of settlements of people who lived in the area during the iron age are to be seen on these trails. The Vredefort Dome, being the third largest meteorite site in the world, is worth visiting although being 200km in diameter it is difficult to visualise, except from the air. Rock climbing and abseiling can also be arranged in the Dome area. In the 19th century the area comprising more or less the present Heilbron, Frankfort, Petrus Steyn, Lindley and Reitz was known as the Riemland, named after the countless game herds which roamed the fertile velds - today the scene of prosperous stock farming which includes cattle, sheep, etc.

The visitor will find the Northern Free State as home to enchanting and sophisticated settings. Deneysville is known as the Gateway to the Vaal Dam, while with Frankfort on the banks of the Wilge River, Parys and Villiers alongside the Vaal and the city of Kroonstad straddling the glorious Vals River, there are indeed holiday and weekend destinations aplenty. If golf is your game, be sure not to miss out on a round at Parys' Golf Island located in the midst of the Vaal River.

Sasolburg is one of South Africa's outstanding examples of foresight and successful planning and is today not only one of South Africa's major industrial centres, but the Sasol Group of Companies is also a business player of global stature. Sasolburg as town is also leading as regards to environmental awareness since statistics show there are more trees and shrubs in the town than people. Having won the Administrator's Trophy for the Most Beautiful Large Town in the Free State several times, the time and effort which has gone into the beautification and conservation of Sasolburg is awe-inspiring!

Cities/Towns: Deneysville, Edenville Frankfort, Heilbron, Koppies, Kroonstad, Oranjeville, Prys, Sasolburg, Tweeling, Viljoenskroon, Villiers, Vredefort.

Must-sees in the Northern Free State

Vredefort Dome at Vredefort
Riemland Museum at Heilbron
Green Mealie Tea Garden in Kroonstad
Golf Island at Parys
Gallery 88 Art Gallery at Sasolburg
Highveld Gardens at Sasolburg
Tractor Museum at Viljoenskroon
Sailsure Week in September at Deneysville
Vintage car exhibition at Edenville
Sandstone NG Church Frankfort
Boskoppie predator farm near Kroonstad

Visitors Information