Orkney is known for being the location of the biggest gold mine is South Africa, the Vaal Reef Gold Mine, but its other claim to fame is that it is also the site and namesake of a popular South African Afrikaans sitcom during the 1980’s and 1990’s, Orkney Snork Nie, which roughly translates to “Orkney Never Sleeps”.
The town lies along the banks of the Vaal River creating a peaceful sanctuary that is home to many different bird species and lends to a quiet and laid-back ambiance. As a tourist destination Orkney’s rural surrounds provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and water sports – The Vaal River Resort is ideal for picnics and is popular with anglers and water sports enthusiasts.
Orkney has a few accommodation establishments to choose from, including the Vaal Resort which also has caravan and camping sites.
Things to do and see
- Vaal Reef Gold Mine Tours (on request)
- Likkewaan Hiking Trails
- Orkney Golf Course
- Kleksdorp Museum
- Buffelsvlei Wild Animal Park, Potchefstroom
- Rio Casino, Kleksdorp
Orkney receives approximately 601 mm of rain annually with the majority of its’ rainfall occurring during the summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 21˚C.
Orkney was proclaimed in 1940 on the Witkoppen Farm where mining pioneer, Simon Fraser, first started mining for gold in the 1880’s. Simon Fraser, was a Scotsman originally from the Orkney Islands off the northern coast of Scotland and he named the town that developed here after his home.
"Orkn" is the ancient Islandic word for sea lion, and "Ey" a Nordic word meaning island. The sea lion is the emblem of the town.
The town itself was laid out by another farmer, Maconachie, who used the names of British Isles’ authors for the names of the streets.
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