- Free State
Oldest Gold Mining Town in SA
This is a small tranquil town with much of the surrounding area used for agriculture. Odendaalsrus has highly successful farmers and is proud of its flourishing farming community. Despite being a large farming area, Odendaalsrus still boasts all the necessary facilities and services and it is in close proximity for residents who enjoy a bit of city life once in a while.
This may not be a big tourist town, however the natural beauty of the landscape has an inviting appeal and visitors will enjoy the warm sunshine and peace and quiet. Odendaalsrus has a unique vibe where photographers and artists can express themselves.
A few attractions can be found in the surrounding area, mostly outdoor activities, but visitors can also visit the ‘borehole’ monument between Odendaalsrus and nearby Allanridge. It might not sound like much until you consider that it was the sinking of this borehole on a farm in 1946 that led directly to the discovery of one of the richest seams of gold in South Africa,
Odendaalsrus offers a few quaint B&B’s for visitors and Welkom offers many more accommodation options.
Things to do and see
- The Dam Park Recreation Resort
- De Rust Private Nature Reserve
- Goldfields Motor Racing Circuit
- Bell’s Pass Hiking Trail
- Erfenis dam Nature Reserve
- Welkom Museum, 19 km
- Oppenheimer Park Golf Course
Odendaalsrus receives approximately 554 mm of rain per year with most of its annual rainfall during winter.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 21˚C.
Founded in 1899 as a church centre, it was named after Jesaja Odendaal, who owned the farm on which it was established. By 1946 Odendaalsrus had grown into a town of 40 houses, 3 shops and a hotel.
Then came a golden explosion as in that same year a diamond drill probed down and produced from the Geduld borehole a core revealing such a treasure of gold that within days a flood of fortune-seekers descended on Odendaalsrus and its name featured in newspaper headlines all over the world.
The secretary of the village management board, who earned a monthly salary of 2 pounds by playing a gramophone in the local pub, was inundated with thousands of letters and telegrams from overseas investors seeking advice. Some of them addressed their letters to the 'Lord Mayor of Odendaalsrus'.
Today, Odendaalsrus is a substantial, modern town and the centre for consolidated mines which has four shafts working in two rich mining areas.
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