In 1905, the tiny town of Winterton, Kwa-Zulu natal was founded as a small irrigation and agricultural settlement. The town is had plentiful vegetation and the perfect climate for cattle farming plus the Tugela River flows through the town, providing a constant source of water. The town was originally known as Springfield but in 1910 it was renamed 'Winterton' after H. D. Winter who was the Secretary of Agriculture at the time.
Winterton is home to 6 500 residents and located midway between Johannesburg and Durban, making it the ideal stopover spot. Winterton provides its visitors with the best of both worlds as it combines the atmosphere of both the Midlands and the Drakensberg.
If you are interested in learning more about KwaZulu Natal's history, then Winterton is the perfect destination as it is situated fairly close to the Spioenkop Battle site as well as the Spioenkop Dam. There is also the Winterton Museum which has many exhibits from the 1900s which include artefacts from the battlegrounds as well as more information on the history of the area.
The Drakensberg Mountains are not too far away from Winterton and so there is a variety of accommodation available. The Drakensberg Mountains are a very popular holiday destination and there are many different activities to do during your stay such as, mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding through the mountains. If you are looking for a really unique way to enjoy the splendid beauty of the Drakensberg, then you can also go on hot air balloon tours which provide you with a bird's-eye view of the area.
Winterton almost appears to be frozen in time thanks to the number of antique shops in the area. The town's original general dealer has been renovated into one of these antique shops. However, there is one thing that doesn't fit in with the rest of this town and that is their Segway tours. Visitors can book an off-road Segway tour for an unmatched experience.
If you want to experience Winterton at its finest then you should attend one of their main festivals. In March they host the Adrenalin Smoking Dragon Festival which celebrates mountain biking, adventure racing, paragliding and many more extreme activities that guarantee to get your blood pumping. In October, the Berg and Bush Mountain Bike Race travel through the area. This race puts its participants' skills to the test in the unforgiving terrain of the Drakensberg Mountains. A festival that is gaining popularity each year is the Smoking Dragon New Year’s Festival. This festival is the place to go to celebrate the outgoing year and ring in the new one and features some of South Africa's best musicians.
Photo © Steven Herbert