Recommended rest and adventure stops on the N3 to KwaZulu-Natal

Discover some of the country’s hidden gems on your road trip

Little Church Van Reenen
Little Church Van Reenen

Whether it's the festive season or the school holidays, a drive down to the coast is always a good idea.

Although flying to your destination is still the fastest method of travel, for many South African the costs involved can put this out of reach. That's why the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) is working to make driving a safer and more comfortable option for all.

A company that manages more than 400km of the N3, N3TC recently took members of the media on a road trip. This involved various rest stops along the way to Durban, which offer travellers not only a chance to rest but also an opportunity to discover some of the country’s hidden gems.

SowetanLIVE picked a few places that are definitely worth exploring on your next trip to KZN.

Horseriding at Oaklands Country Manor

Just 40km from Harrismith and 8km from Van Reenen, this beautiful countryside estate offers spectacular mountain views. A romantic experience that's ideal for couples, guests rave about the cosy rooms with comfortable beds as well as the first-class food at their restaurant.

Activities at Oaklands include hiking, cycling, horseriding and tennis.

The Little Church in Van Reenen

Have lunch in what is believed to be the smallest Roman Catholic church in the world.

It was built by retired magistrate Maynard Mathew following the death of his son Llandaff Matthew. The church takes a maximum of eight people - this is because Llandaff perished while rescuing eight miners following a mining accident in 1925.

These days the church also houses a tea garden, which offers not only a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains but some of the best homemade pies around.

Rafting on the Tugela

This is the perfect place for adrenaline-seeking families en route to the coast.

Spend a couple of hours on the Tugela River with Four Rivers Rafting and Adventures, then get treated to a braai on your return. Some of the other activities on offer here include paintball, quad trails, archery and zip-lining.

Birding and bushman paintings

Go on a hike with renowned birding expert Stuart McLean to the Khanti Bushman paintings in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, near Himeville and the Sani Pass. Botanical enthusiasts will also appreciate the wide variety of flora growing in the area.

If the above activities don't tickle your fancy, the N3 Gateway Tourism Association offers other options to make your trip even more enjoyable. It is a non-profit company that was formed in 2008 to market the region as a world-class travel destination to both domestic and international tourists.

Visit the N3 Gateway website to find more authentic experiences.

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This article was paid for by the N3 Toll Concession.

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