Odendaalsrus was established in 1899 by the Dutch Reformed Church on the farm Kalkkuil and for many years, was one of the most isolated towns in the Free State. An almost impassable track through the flat, sandy terrain caused more than one vehicle, even ox wagons, to become bogged down in the soft sand. However, these conditions changed dramatically with the discovery of a rich gold-bearing core and the subsequent flood of fortune hunters that descended on the town. Today, Odendaalsrus is a pleasant, well-planned and modern gold-mining town.
Adventure And Sport
Gliding: The town and surroundings offer excellent gliding conditions.
Motor racing: The Goldfields motor racing circuit, situated 2 km out of town on the road to Hennenman, is regarded as one of the top five motor racing circuits in the world. Grand Prix as well as local motorcar and motorcycle races, are regularly held at the circuit.
Sport: Angling, canoeing and motor boating facilities are available at Freddie’s Mine. The mine also has horse riding, rugby and squash facilities. The town has its own tennis courts and active marathon, netball, gymnastics, karate and wrestling clubs, as well as a carrier-pigeon club.
Canoeing: Canoeing is allowed on the Mimosa Dam.
Art And Crafts
Art Gallery: Art and crafts enthusiasts enjoy a visit to Ernie’s Art Centre in Josia Street.
Fauna And Flora
De Rust Private Nature Reserve: The reserve is situated 25 km from town on the road to Kroonstad. Accommodation is offered in a tent and caravan park with ablution blocks and a swimming pool, as well as chalets and a guest house. Enjoy viewing game species, such as gemsbok, eland, impala, lechwe, zebra and ostrich, as well as many other smaller species of antelope.
Mimosa Dam Recreation Resort: The Mimosa Dam Recreation Resort is the perfect place to take a weekend break.
Mini zoo: The “mini” zoo on Thelma Farm will appeal to children and grown-ups alike. Do pay it a visit.
Municipal Gardens: The Municipal Gardens, in Church Street, offer a tranquil setting in which to relax or take a leisurely stroll.
Quiver Trees: Although these trees are endemic to Namibia, a resident of the town managed to establish a small “forest” of quiver trees (Aloe dichotoma) in his garden at 84 Erleigh Boulevard. The quiver tree gets its name from the early San warriors who used the branches of the tree as quivers for their poisoned arrows. The tree is a slow-growing member of the Aloe family and can grow to a height of up to seven metres. The trees can be seen by appointment only.
History And Architecture
Musical Recordings Collection: Mr Jimmy Marais and his wife are the owners of a unique collection of historic music recordings and paraphernalia ranging from old tape recorders, old turntables, LP records, the oldest dating back to 1892, needles, etc. and can be viewed by appointment.
Sinkhuisie: View the first corrugated iron house erected in the town, on the corner of Kerk and Oranje Streets.