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South Africa’s Coldest Town
Molteno is a small farming village just north of Hofmeyer and roughly 13 km from the tiny settlement of Stormberg – where the famous Battle of Stormberg was fought in December 1899.
The small town is most famous for being the home of Ouma Rusks, but it is also well-known for being one of the towns in the vicinity of the only ski resort in the country, Tiffendal – Molteno is also regarded as the coldest town in South Africa!
Molteno lies in the heart of the Stormberg Mountain range, in an area that is also rich in fossil finds and stone age implements uncovered in caves and diggings close to the town. Three extinct volcanoes in the vicinity add to the suggestion that perhaps this little unheard of town is worth more than just a cursory glance.
The history of Molteno goes back as far as when the town came into being and a small Museum which is located in the sandstone library building tells of the more exciting times of the town. Its exhibits cover local European cultural history, a history of the area’s indigenous people and a selection of daguerreotypes of the town (photographs produced through one of the earliest photographic processes known).
Molteno is also home to one of the oldest railway stations in South Africa, officially reopened in late 2007 after being closed due to disrepair
There are only three Guesthouses in Molteno, but the surrounding area offers a wide range of other accommodation options.
Things to do and see
- Ouma Rusks
- Stormberg Biltong Factory
- Molteno Dutch Reformed Church
- Bamboeshork 4X4 Trail
- San Rock Art, King Glen’s Farm
- Dorper Wind Farm
- Commando Drift Nature Reserve
- Groot Doringhoek Pass
- Route 56
Molteno receives approximately 554 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during Summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 10˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between -2˚C and 17˚C.
There are daily flights into the East London Airport, approximately 280 km’s away via the N6 and into the Bram Fischer International Airport in Bloemfontein, approximately 328 km’s away via the N1. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Molteno was founded in 1874 when cola was discovered in the area. The town was named after Sir John Molteno, the first Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.
South Africa’s first Coal Mine was opened here.
Interesting fact to note is that its other namesake is in Italy, just 35 kilometres north east of Milan.
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