Newcastle was established in 1864 and was once a popular stopover for wagons journeying between Port Natal and the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (South African Republic). Originally called Post Halt Two, it was also briefly known as Viljoensdorp during the Boer occupation in 1889. The settlement was later named after Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England and shares its current name with some 27 other towns around the globe. Newcastle is one of the largest towns in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Adventure And Sport
Angling, sailing, power-boating, water-skiing: The 1 000-ha Chelmsford Nature Reserve accommodates several species of bugs and birds. The dam is renowned as a carp and bass angling venue and also provides opportunities for sailing, power-boating and water-skiing.
Hiking Trails: A number of hiking trails allow views of the beautiful scenery of the Drakensberg Range and the fauna and flora of the area.
Holkrans Mountain Bike Trail: The Holkrans Trail is one of several biking trails in the area.
Ndanyaan Horse Trails: Ndanyaan Horse Trails offer a choice of one or two-day horse trails along the Ncandu River.
Art And Crafts
Carnegie Art Gallery: The Carnegie Art Gallery houses a beautiful collection of paintings, primarily landscapes by South African artists.
Chelmsford Nature Reserve: The 1 000-ha game park accommodates a large variety of species of bugs and birds.
Township Tours: Guided township tours will give you a taste of traditional urban African life.
Fauna And Flora
Lipizzaner Stud Farm: The Lipizzaner Stud Farm teaches visitors more about these graceful horses.
History And Architecture
Armoury: The Armoury was built by the Newcastle Mounted Rifles in the 1870s and features an unusual architectural design that includes a gable.
Battlefields: Important battlefields in the area include Majuba, Laing’s Nek and Schuinshoogte.
Fort Amiel: Fort Amiel was built to ward off Zulu skirmishes during the 1870s. There is a museum on the site.
Fort Terror: Fort Terror was once used as a signalling post. Its remains can be seen just outside Newcastle.
Hilldrop House: Hilldrop House is the former home of the famous author Rider Haggard. The museum at Fort Amiel documents his life.
Hindu Temple: The dome of the Hindu Temple is reported to be one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Town Hall: The Town Hall was built in 1897 of sandstone in order to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.