Utrecht is one of the five original Voortrekker settlements established prior to 1850. The Voortrekkers who settled in the area in 1852 named it after the Dutch town of Utrecht. This town in the Balele Mountains, with its old-world charm, gained prominence during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1870 when it served for several weeks as the headquarters of the British army. Today, Utrecht is the administrative centre for the cattle-ranching and coal-mining industries.
Adventure And Sport
Fly-fishing: The Utrecht area has fantastic opportunities for fly-fishermen.
Hiking Trails: Several hiking trails traverse the area, including the Enhlanzeni Valley Trail, Balele Waterfall Trail and Entabeni Hiking Trails.
Fauna And Flora
Balele Conservancy: The Balele Conservancy, with an area of approximately 15 000 ha, lies in the picturesque Balele Mountains.
History And Architecture
Captain Leo Pokrowsky Memorial: The Pokrowsky Memorial was erected in honour of a Russian officer who fought for the Boers during the Anglo-Boer War. He died in 1900.
Colonial Architecture: The Rothman and Shawe houses are ideal examples of colonial residential architecture.
Conference Hill: Prior to the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War, British government representatives conducted negotiations with Zulu chiefs at Conference Hill.
Historical Buildings: There are several historical buildings in town, including the Magistrate’s Offices, the Old Post Office, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Town Hall and the Old Residency.
Historical Walks: Historical walking trails introduce visitors to the town’s historical and architectural treasures.
Old Cemetery: Boers and British troops lie side by side in the Old Cemetery.
Old Parsonage Museum: The Old Parsonage Museum was built in 1887. It houses Anglo-Boer War artefacts such as old documents, items found at British campsites and Dutch Bibles.
Old Republican Powder Magazine: This powder magazine was erected in 1893 and is one of three similar structures built by the old Transvaal Republic Government.
Petrus Lafras Uys Monument: The Uys Monument was erected in honour of Piet Uys, first magistrate of Utrecht and one of the original settlers of the area.
Uys House: Uys House is one of the oldest European buildings in KwaZulu-Natal and a fine example of colonial residential architecture.