The first white farmers reached the Bokkeveld plateau in the early 1700s, but a town was only established in 1897. The town with its sandstone buildings is surrounded by fields of heather, proteas and succulents, species that are not found in other sections of the Hantam Karoo. This phenomenon is due to the relatively high rainfall that Nieuwoudtville enjoys. Two other phenomena are the spectacular 100 m high Niewoudtville Falls on the Doring River and Vanrhyns Pass, 8 km west of the town, a road with magnificent views.
Adventure and Sport
Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve: The reserve has a 146-km hiking trail.
Hiking: Several hiking trails open up the wonders of the region to visitors.
Archaeology and Palaeontology
Oorlogskloof Glacial Rock Pavement: This site on the farm Oorlogskloof, 10 km south-east of town, dates back to the Permian era some 280 million years ago.
San Rock Art: San artists used yellow, grey and black ochres for the paintings at Papkuilsfontein.
Fauna and Flora
Glenlyon Wild Flower Reserve: Nieuwoudtville has the greatest concentration of bulb species in the world. Glenlyon itself is the home of 500 000 endemic “bulb binellas”. Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve: The reserve lies on the R27 turn-off from the N7 national road, 6 km from town. The 10 km road in the reserve is gravelled. Protecting a prime region of the Bokkeveld Mountains, Oorlogskloof (“Ravine of War”) offers visitors breathtaking views of the mountains, the river and Vanrhynspass. The reserve has a 146 km hiking trail.
History and Architecture
Sandstone Buildings: Many of the buildings in the town have been built with locally cut sandstone, helping the town to blend in with its surroundings.
Nieuwoudtville Falls. The water of the Doring River (Thorn River) explodes into a million shiny drops and flies, momentarily free, through the air, only to come back down to earth after a 100-m drop.
Vanrhyns Pass: 8 km west of town. The road through the pass may be a feat of modern engineering, but the magnificent views are all supplied by nature.