- Northern Cape
Where Old Windmills go to Retire
Loeriesfontein is a small town situated in a huge natural basin, surrounded by mountains where Namaqualand, Bushmanland and the Hantam region meet. Other nearby towns include Nieuwoudtville and Calvinia.
The area is known the world over for its incredible displays of wild flowers during South Africa’s spring time, a huge variety of around 4 000 plants, of which most can be found in the vicinity of Loeriesfontein. Spring flowers can be seen in town itself on empty plots, the local golf course and on the Kliprand and Calvinia roads.
Loeriesfontein may be a small town, but it has more to offer than just its famous flowers – they have also grown a rather large, and most remarkable, collection of windmills or Windpumps! These “Steel Flowers” of Loeriesfontein can be viewed at the Windmill Museum which was first started by the late Dr Watson of Cape Town. The Museum is now cared for by the Fred Turner Museum, found alongside, in an old school building. This Museum has exhibits of more than 1 000 items focusing on the culture and way of life of the pioneering farmers.
Loeriesfontein is also home to one of the largest Quiver Tree Forests in the world. These plants are also known as Aloes and can grow to a height of up to four metres. They live for hundreds of years and they are medicinally and culturally important for local cultures.
Loeriesfontein and the surrounds offers self-catering units and Guest Farm accommodation.
Things to do and see
- Fred Turner Museum
- Windmill Museum
- Quiver Tree Forest
- Namaqualand Flowers
- Hiking Tails
Loeriesfontein receives approximately 224 mm of rain annually with very little rainfall occurring throughout the year.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 32˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 21˚C.
There are daily flights into Cape Town International Airport, approximately 433 km’s away via the N7. Private charter jets offer flights to and from Vredendal Airport, only 144 km away via the R27. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Loeriesfontein grew around a general store which was established in 1894 by Frederick Turner, originally from Norwich in England, to provide supplies to the local farming community. Today the store is still a thriving business and is known as Turner & Haupt Spar, it is run by Frederick Turner’s grandson, Victor Haupt.
The origin of the towns name is somewhat unclear. Some believe that the town was named after the Knysna Loerie, a bird that used to frequent the neighbourhood but there is disagreement as to whether any Knysna Loeries ever nested in the area. Another explanation is that the town was named after a travelling Jewish salesman, Lurie, who used to peddle his wares in the area and a third group believes that the name of the town was derived from the Afrikaans word "loer," which means "to peep”.
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