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Five of the best day trips in Gauteng

Keen for a day trip less than two hours outside the city? Gauteng has a lot more to offer than you might think. We round up five of the best spots to keep the kids entertained or laze away a Sunday.

Five of the best day trips in Gauteng

Get walking: Hennops Hiking Trail
This trail is popular for good reason – it’s under an hour’s drive from Johannesburg and offers scenic 5km or 10km routes for hikers or cyclists. The route has plenty of interesting points, including caves, bridges, a cable car, and historical sites – among them an old veld hospital used in the Anglo Boer War. If you’re not into hiking, there’s a great picnic spot alongside the river, and you can even make a weekend of it and sleep over at their well-equipped Hadeda Camp.

R511, Pretoria
GPS location: S 25˚47’87.7” | E 27˚5’49.7”
hennopstrails.co.za

Photo: Hennops Hiking Trails website

Eat the day away: Mosaic @ The Orient
The Mosaic restaurant at The Orient boutique hotel in Elandsfontein has become famous for the culinary offers of its award-winning chef Chantel Dartnall. A scenic drive outside the city takes you to this pristine institution, where the furniture is all imported from Morocco and the service is astounding. Patrons have exclusive access to the recently opened Adriaan Boshoff Museum in the grounds of the Francolin Conservancy, so you can peruse the vast collection of this South African impressionist’s paintings in between your appetisers. Mosaic offers set menus paired with wine for around R850 to R1 250 per person. It’s the type of place you’ll want to spend the whole day at as you nibble on each course of gourmet food paired perfectly with delicious wine.

Orient Boutique Hotel, Francolin Ave, Elandsfontein, Pretoria (Tshwane)
GPS location: S 25°45’40.0” | E 27°59’56.6”
restaurantmosaic.com

Photo: The Mosaic

The perfect chill-out: Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge
This really is a hidden gem. A short drive to Muldersdrift will get you to Cradle Moon, where you’ll feel a world away. Along the 32-hectare lake you might find people tanning in deck chairs, while others sup in the restaurant or take in the scenery. Buy some arm bands at the activity centre and you can swim, paddle or kayak. Also on offer are cycling, trail running, fly fishing, game drives (they have over 20 species of wild animals, including rhino) and boat cruises.

Beyers Naudé Drive, Muldersdrift
GPS location: S 25°57’44.2” | E 27°51’34.0”

cradlemoon.co.za

Photo: Cradle Moon

Art in the outdoors: NIROX Sculpture Park
One of the best places to spend a Sunday is on the scenic lawns of NIROX Sculpture Park, located on 20 hectares of landscaped gardens and waterways in the Cradle of Humankind. The Winter Sculpture fair runs until 31 July, where you can see outdoor works of art by renowned African and international artists. There’s plenty of food and drink on sale and the atmosphere is great. NIROX hosts a variety of concerts, exhibitions and picnics throughout the year, so make sure to check their website for info.

R540 Kromdraai Rd, Krugersdorp
GPS location: S 25°59′ 09.56” | E 27°46′ 59.17″

niroxarts.com

Photo: Nirox Arts Foundation Facebook page

Cullinan: A quaint little town

There used to be a steam train that would take you to Cullinan, but its permit has expired. No matter, located 30km east of Pretoria, you can get to this quaint little town in an hour and a half by car. Take a tour of the mine where the famous 3 106-carat Cullinan Diamond was discovered in 1905, book a horse-riding excursion, or go hiking in the Windy Brow Nature Reserve. If you want to take it easier, stroll down Oak Avenue Boulevard to see the historic town’s houses and museums, or pop into one of the many coffee shops for a bite to eat. There’s also fishing, quad biking and zip-lining on offer, making this small town a bountiful place of things to do.

GPS location: S -25° 40’ 15.17”| E 28° 31’ 25.10”
Cullinan on gauteng.net

Photo: Gauteng Tourism Authority