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Looking down on the town of Harrismith © PixelPirates
Harrismith Nearby Attractions
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Harrismith Tourism Information

Harrismith is a town steeped in history with many battlefields, cemeteries and historic monuments dating back to the Anglo Boer War. A 250 million year old 33m fossilised tree, can be found in the Deborah Retief Garden next to the Harrismith Town Hall.

There is a range of accommodation in Harrismith. Bed and Breakfasts in Harrismith are popular for those on business or wanting a short stop over. For those who like being self sufficient, there is always the option of self catering in Harrismith.

The nearby Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve is a yachtsman's paradise due to the prevailing winds in the area. Harrismith is an ideal place from which to explore the scenic countryside and return to the comfortable accommodation available both in the town and surrounding area.

Harrismith was named in honour of the British Governor Sir Harry Smith. It's location was chosen for its strategic position as the halfway point between Johannesburg and Durban, and because of its direct access to Bloemfontein and the Cape.

Harrismith is a charming town situated in the Free State province of South Africa. Nestled at the foot of the Platberg Mountain, it serves as a convenient stopover for travelers on the N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban.

Here are ten things to see and do in and around Harrismith:

  1. Platberg Nature Reserve: Explore the Platberg Nature Reserve, which offers hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and stunning views from the summit of Platberg Mountain. The 9 km Platberg hike is a popular trail that rewards hikers with panoramic vistas.

  2. Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve: Visit the Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve, known for its crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty. It's a great spot for fishing, boating, hiking, and picnicking. The dam is also a popular destination for windsurfing and sailing enthusiasts.

  3. Harrismith Town Hall: Admire the historic Harrismith Town Hall, a beautiful sandstone building constructed in 1907. The architecture and design reflect the rich history of the town and provide a glimpse into its past.

  4. Debora Retief Park: Relax in the tranquil surroundings of Debora Retief Park, a well-maintained public park in Harrismith. The park features lush gardens, walking paths, and a peaceful atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

  5. Bergville: Take a short drive to the nearby town of Bergville, a gateway to the Drakensberg Mountains. From here, you can access various hiking trails, visit local markets, and explore the scenic beauty of the region.

  6. Harrismith Golf Course: Play a round of golf at the Harrismith Golf Course, one of the oldest golf courses in South Africa. The course is set against the backdrop of Platberg Mountain, offering a picturesque and challenging golfing experience.

  7. Swallow Bridge: Visit Swallow Bridge, an old stone bridge built in 1896. The bridge is a historical landmark and a popular spot for photography. The surrounding area is also a great place for birdwatching.

  8. Anglo-Boer War Battlefields: Explore the battlefields and memorials from the Anglo-Boer War in the Harrismith area. Sites like the Harrismith Cemetery contain graves and monuments commemorating those who fought and died in the war.

  9. Dungeons and Dragons Indoor Market: Browse the Dungeons and Dragons Indoor Market, where you can find a variety of local crafts, antiques, collectibles, and food stalls. It's a great place to pick up unique souvenirs and taste local delicacies.

  10. Witteberg: Discover the nearby Witteberg area, known for its rugged landscapes and outdoor activities. The Witteberg Private Nature Reserve offers hiking, birdwatching, and opportunities to see the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

Harrismith provides a mix of natural beauty, historical significance, and recreational activities, making it an interesting destination for travelers exploring the Free State province and the surrounding areas.