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Location: South Africa » North West » Potchefstroom

Potchefstroom is the Gateway to the North West Province

Founded in 1838, Potchefstroom was the first town north of the Vaal River and was named after it's founder, Andries Hendrik Potgieter. Today Potchefstroom is known as the 'City of Expertise' and is home to, inter alia, four tertiary institutions and 30 schools, as well as numerous research bureaus and training centres. This sylvan city on the Mooi River boasts a rich and varied historical and cultural legacy, including many declared National Monuments, e.g. the longest oak avenue in the southern hemisphere. The main museum and three house museums afford visitors a glimpse into the fascinating past of the city and it's people. Tourists may acquaint themselves with the city by relaxing at the Lakeside Recreation Resort with all it's water sport facilities and excellent accommodation, strolling along six short trails in the city and visiting the OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary. The numerous other attractions and recreational facilities available in the immediate vicinity include Boskop Dam, the Vaal River and the Rooihans Hiking Trail situated in the Vredefort Dome and incorporating Krugerskraal, the erstwhile farmhouse of Totius. The Botanical garden and Science Centre of the Potchefstroom University for CHE and the wide variety of sports facilities which also justify the motto, ' North West, Home of Sports', present further opportunities for relaxation. Potchefstroom, situated on the southeastern border of the province, is often called the 'Getaway to North West'. Only 116 km from the important marketing outlets of the Gauteng Province, Main road and rail links in all directions keep the city in touch with the trade routes.

GENERAL INFORMATION

How to get there

Johannesburg 117 km, Klerksdorp 40 km, Parys 48 km, Sasolburg 85 km

Altitude – 1343 m above sea level

Average Rainfall – 767 mm per annum

Average Temperatures – Maximum 29,83°c; Minimum 1,56°c

Banks – Absa 5, Fnb, Landbank, Nedbank, Saambou, Standard

Rivers – Mooi

HISTORICAL VIEW

City Hall

The stately City Hall in Edwardian Classicistic design was inaugurated in 1909. Together with the City Hall of Krugersdorp it is the oldest existing City Hall north of the Vaal River in South Africa. The western facade is strictly symmetrical with the 26 m high ornamental, domed tower as a central axis. The clockwork and bell with it's Westminster chimes were manufactured in the Netherlands.

Goetz / Fleischack Museum

ca 1870 (Gouws Street) Victorian home of the well known Goetz and Fleischack families.

Main Museum

(c/o Gouws and Wolmarans Street) Cultural history and art museum. Variety of exhibitions.

Olën Park, PUK / McArthur Stadiums

Both these Western Transvaal sport headquarters were laid out in 1892. Olën Park, named after Charle Olën, is truly the assembly point of rugby in North West Province. PUK / McArthur Stadium was named after Kenneth McArthur, the Potchefstroom policeman who in 1912 was awarded a gold medal for winning the marathon at the Olympic Games.

Potchefstroom University

The University, one of four tertiary institutions in the city, was founded in 1869. From 1921 to 1933 it was known as the Potchefstroom University College (PUK) and was awarded full university status in 1951. The beautiful campus boasts two national monuments; the main building (the first permanent building inaugurated on 4 April 1931), and Heimat Hostel.

President Pretorius Museum

ca 1868 (Van der Hoff Avenue) Pioneer dwelling of President MW Pretorius (ZAR).

Totius Museum (1904)

Esselen and Molen St Restored house of Totius (JD du Toit) – bible translator, poet and theological.

NATURE

Boskop Dam Nature Reserve

20 km from Potchefstroom is the Boskop Dam Nature Reserve where various highveld antelope such as zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebees and springbok roam. It's western shoreline is frequented by fisherman who favour artificial lures

OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary

Situated south of the city, adjacent to the Mooi River. A 60 ha reserve open to the public. Shelters must be booked before hand. Approximately 200 bird species attract bird lovers from far and wide. The Mooi River Trail runs through the 'Green Belt' along the Mooi River to the Lakeside Recreation Resort.

Trim Park

The Trim Park is situated in the Green Belt area adjacent to the Mooi River. This natural paradise through which the Mooi River Trail meanders, is a delightful recreational area and has lately also developed as ideal venue for shows and other festivities.

ATTRACTIONS

Annual Events

Aardklop National Art Festival, Spring Show, Rotarians Rhythm Festival

AH Potgieter Banqueting Halls

With it's post-modern building style, this venue is unique in the North West Province and adds character to the city. Ideal for conferences and receptions. Can accommodate 1500 people for a meeting and 800 people for a formal dinner. Early bookings are advisable.

Business Centre

Comprises a variety of commercial firms, including shopping centres of large chain store groups, as well as office space for numerous professional services. Kerk Street Mall adds a colourful character to the business centre which makes shopping and every other visit highly enjoyable experience.

Lakeside Recreation Resort

Popular resort situated on the banks of Potchefstroom Dam on the Mooi River. Chalets and caravan park. Variety of facilities, including water sport, angling, swimming pool, etc. presents a relaxed and holiday atmosphere to suit all age groups. Supertube, mini golf, trampolines, go-karts and fun cycles. Children will derive endless pleasure from the play park and carousel. The licensed restaurant's verandah, overlooking the waterfront, will contribute to your pleasant stay. Early bookings are advisable

Longest Oak Avenue in Southern Africa

Potchefstroom Oak Avenue of 6,48 km comprises Botha, Kock, Kruger, Retief, Van Riebeeck and Tom Streets and Calderbank Avenue, it stretches from the Agricultural College to the Lakeside Resort. The trees were planted following a decision by the City Council in 1910. A stone beacon with a bronze plaque was erected at the corner of Lombrad and Kruger Street after the avenue was declared a National Monument in 1975. The beacon was constructed with stones from the old North Bridge.

Potchefstroom Country Club

The country Club with it's 18 hole golf course forms part of the Green Belt. The golf course, nine holes of which are played across the Mooi River, has twice hosted the South African Open. Big tournaments are annually presented. Modern facilities for tennis, bowls and squash are also available at the country club.

ACTIVITIES

Outdoors – Bird watching

WHERE TO STAY

Alwee & Nicotiam B&B

Bokmakierie Guest House

Art Kat Kunshuis

Located in Potchefstroom, the Art Kat Kunshuis offers ideal accommodation for those visiting the town's Cultural and Academical Institutions or the annual Aardklop National Arts Festival. Apart from comfortably appointed rooms, Art Kat also offers regular art workshops in various art forms. Within walking distance of shopping centres and restaurants.

WHERE TO EAT

Coffee at Burgundy's

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