What was once a tin shack mining town is today a thriving little town which serves the needs of prison staff at the nearby Zonderwater Prison, staff at the Cullinan Diamond Mine and the surrounding farming community. Many of the towns’ residents have also found employment in the nearby surrounding suburbs of Pretoria. Rayton lies just far enough away from the madding crowd but still close enough for a quick dash to the city.
Visitors to Rayton will find many outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking and 4X4 trails. Day trips to Cullinan and Pretoria offers an abundance of other attractions and activities – the Cullinan Mine is a worthwhile excursion and the William Prinsloo Agricultural Museum on the Kleinfontein Farm is a wealth of information as it celebrates the area’s rich agricultural history.
Rayton also boasts some fine examples of classic architecture that have survived the ages. The original magistrate’s office which dates back to the towns’ early days, was the first and only brick building at that time.
Rayton has a limited number of self-catering, B&B and Guesthouse establishments however many other accommodation options can be found in the surrounding area.
Things to do and see
- McCarthy Rhino Park 4X4 Trail
- Buffelsdrift Conservancy
- Rosemary Hill Mountain Bike Park
- Cullinan Diamond Mine, Cullinan
- Diamond X Cowboy Ranch, Pretoria East
- William Prinsloo Museum, Pretoria East
Rayton receives approximately 708 mm of rain annually with the majority falling during the Summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 1˚C and 21˚C.
There are daily flights into O R Tambo International Airport approximately 67 km away via the R515 and R25 as well as into Lanseria International Airport, approximately 90 km away via the N4 and the N14. Car Hire facilities are available at the airport.
Rayton began as a mining town on the farm Elandshoek and was originally known as Rayton Junction, more fitting at the time as it was laid out, in 1895, along a spur of the main railway line that connected Pretoria to the port of Delagoa Bay in Mozambique.
A mini diamond rush, caused by Sir Thomas Cullinan’s discovery of a kimberlite diamond pipe (now the Cullinan Diamond Mine), saw the town boom and serve thousands of miners and prospectors.
The Montrose Diamond Mining Company did the town planning and named the town after the wife of the company’s first manager, Lady Rachel Ray Williston.
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