Swinburne is a welcome stop-off spot between these two cities and anyone who has travelled this route has most likely stopped here at one time or another, whether or not they were aware that it was Swinburne or not. Despite not having much to offer as a town except a petrol station, basic shop and the Hound & Hare Restaurant and Pub, it is most likely this real obscurity and calm that makes travellers want to stay longer.
Rensburgkop is a well-known landmark alongside the N3 and nestled below this towering rock, alongside the Wilge River is the small quaint village of Swinburne. Surrounding Swinburne is a network of country roads leading to hiking, fishing, mountain biking, lions, birding, quad biking and more off-driving fun. The Rensburgkop Mountain is itself a much-loved spot amongst hikers, bikers and climbers.
Yellow-wood forests, grassy plains and typical mountain weather that can have you pulling your windbreaker on and off depending on which season and in which hour of the day, all help contribute to a beautiful, sometimes flower strewn, countryside. Swinburne is also home to one of the oldest bridges in the Free State, opened in 1884 and spans the Wilge River.
There are a few accommodation options in and around Swinburne ranging from the Riverview Country Inn, the most well-known, to B&B’s, Guest Houses to camping facilities.
Things to do and see
- Rensburgkop Mountain
- Bald Ibis Hiking Trail
- Wilge River Bridge
- Middledale Pass
- Van Reenan's Pass
- Love Lions Alive Sanctuary, by appointment only
- Platberg Nature Reserve, 15 km
- Harrismith Town Hall, 22 km
- Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve, 60 km
Swinburne receives approximately 712 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during the Summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 26˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between -2˚C and 20˚C.
There are daily domestic and international flights into Johannesburg’s, O R Tambo International Airport approximately 298 Km away via the N3 and into Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, approximately 307 km away via the N3. Car rental companies are available for easy access around the area.
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