- Western Cape
- Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
The three rounded outcrops that make up Paarl Mountain is the second largest granite outcrop in the world and forms part of the Nature Reserve for which Paarl is well known.
Few towns have been blessed as Paarl has with an area of unspoiled natural beauty at its doorstep.
A network of paths make it an ideal area in which to walk, within a few minutes of the bustle of everyday urban life. Take a vigorous hike, or climb Bretagne Rock, follow one of the many hiking trails, visit Millwater Wild Flower Garden where 15 species of protea may be viewed, catch trout or bass for dinner or enjoy mountain biking or picnics. Fishing permits available at Paarl Municipality.
The picturesque landscape of fynbos vegetation is dominated by massive rounded granite rocks set among ancient wild olives, rock candle woods and wagon trees. The water in the storage dams contributes to the tranquillity. There are several viewpoints which offer panoramic views toward Table Mountain and the sea in the west and the Boland Mountains in the east. Local schools have laid out the Klipkers Nature Trail for which a guidebook is available. The circular route starts at the Language Monument and takes roughly 2 hours.
Conservation of the indigenous plant and animal life involves among other things, eradicating exotic plants and implementing a program of controlled burning.
The Jan Phillips Mountain Road is kept in good repair, although not tarred, as well as the road leading to the Bretagne Rocks with its spectacular viewpoints. On the plateau, roads are not intensively maintained, mainly to discourage motor traffic and to retain it as an unspoiled walking area.
While it's only been attempted by brave individuals up until now, abseiling off Paarl Rock will soon be available to the general public.The Paarl pluton is a multiple granite intrusion covering an oval area of about 50 km2. The geological formations of the surrounding plain comprise mainly slate and quartzite belonging to the Malmesbury Group.
The pluton consists of several discrete granite bodies distinguished by variable amounts of the main minerals feldspar, quartz, and mica of contrasting textures. The coarse porphyritic granite with its large pale reddish crystals of feldspar was emplaced 530 million years ago after intrusion of the medium-grained but before the fine-grained granite.Reaction with slately wall-rocks produced the hybrid granite.Originally emplaced with 5-10 km depth the pluton was laid bare with erosion over a long period and sculpted into domes by spalling of curved rock slabs owing to pressure relief.
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