"If you would like to delve into the history of one of South Africa's hidden gems, then you have to take a trip . . . that will make you click your heels together in joy..."
A tour of history, treasures and stories of Harrismith all in the comfort of a vintage car - Hennie drives you himself in his mint green 1948 Chevrolet fleetmaster with immaculate brown leather bench seats.
The tour stars at the Town Hall which is the third biggest red brick and sand stone building in South Africa.
There are a lot of war memorials in the gardens, including Deborah Retief Gardens. As fans of Anglo-Boer War history will almost certainly know, Harrismith was a major military base during the Anglo-Boer War. A drive to the blockhouse and military cemetery is next on the list.
Along the way, you'll learn about the Norwegians, who were stationed in the area and skilled in ship-building - in fact they decided to build a ship and sail home. The ship took over two years to complete and was named Homeward Bound. In 1886 she began her journey to Durban. And yes they reached the English Channel in 1887 and were entertained by Queen Victory before reaching Norway.
Then there is the 15km mountain race which is the oldest race in South Africa, It originated in 1922 when Major Belcher returned to Harrismith and Mr Schruby bet him that he could not reach the top in less than 60min.
Harrismith also boast the 3rd oldest golf course in South Africa
You'll see many beautiful old offices and houses on the drive - the oldest built in 1858 - only 2 years before De Oude Huize Yard - each with its own story to tell. A wonderful little pamphlet with information of all the buildings is available.
Luxury Harrismith accommodation
A warm welcome awaits from Hennie and Sandra at De Oude Huize Yard in Harrismith, Free state. Built 150 years ago and steeped in history, this is a real gem and offers great charm. Spacious comfortable rooms are quirky with eclectic furnishings and include fireplace or Queen Anne stove. Delicious romantic dinners, pre-booking required. Golf and walks nearby.
Info & bookings