Newcastle is the largest town in Northern KwaZulu-Natal and is situated on the alternative route linking Gauteng and Durban. The town lies in the Battlefields Region between the towns of Volksrust and Ladysmith.
Newcastle is historically of great interest to each visitors’ who want to gain more information on the Anglo-Boer War. Visitors can inspect the sites of some of the major battles fought during the first War of Independence, including the battlefields of Laing's Nek and the Battle of Majuba, where the British suffered their final defeat. The town also offers many monuments and memorials such as Hilldrop House, once the dwelling place of Author Rider Haggard, and O’Neill’s Cottage where the Peace Treaty was signed and a number of grave sites.
The town also offers the opportunity to experience the wonders of the countryside, the Drakensberg is only a short drive away and the surrounds offer hiking trails, game viewing and beautiful country drives on various mountain passes.
Newcastle accommodation options include B&B’s, Guesthouses, self-catering cottages, game lodges as well as caravan and camping sites.
Things to do and see
- Fort Amiel
- Newcastle Armoury
- Newcastle Town Hall
- Carnegie Art Gallery
- Hindu Temple
- Newcastle Old Library Building
- Botha’s Pass Kontreiwinkel
- Ncandu State Forest Nature Reserve
- Chelmsford Nature Reserve
- Ingogo Hiking Trail
- Brandon’s Pass
- Laing’s Nek Pass
- Muller’s Pass
- Normandien Pass
- Amajuba Mall
- Blackrock Casino
- Kilbarchan Golf Course
- Newcastle Golf Course
Newcastle receives approximately 779 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 23˚C.
There are daily local flights into Pietermaritzburg Airport, approximately 263 Km’s away via the N3 and N11, and into O R Tambo International Airport, approximately 308 Km’s away via the N3 and R34. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Newcatle was originally known as Post Halt Two on the journey between Port Natal-Durban and the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Transvaal). It was the fourth town established in KwaZulu-Natal after Weenen and Pietermaritzburg and was named after Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom, which in turn was named after the British Colonial Secretary in Queen Victoria’s Government, The Earl of Newcastle. It has links with 27 sister Newcastle towns dotted about the Western World.,
It was founded in 1864 as a trade and administrative centre for the most northerly part of KwaZulu-Natal. The township was set out by Dr Sutherland who later became the Surveyor General of Natal.
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