De Doorns

De Doorns

This small town in the Hex River Valley was named after a local thorn bush (doringbos). The vineyards of the Hex River Valley produce most of the export grapes of South Africa. The legend of the witch (heks) tells of a young girl, Eliza Meiring, whose great love died a tragic death in 1768. When her grief became too much for her to bear, she jumped to her death. To this day she is said to wander the area looking for her lost love.

During the late autumn season the valley turns into a colour extravaganza, which is very popular amongst photographers. The Hex River is dominated by the Matroosberg Peak (Sailor Mountain) named after Klaas Matroos who lived in the area.

Touws River originated as a railway depot and junction.

Adventure And Sport

4×4 Route: The Hex River 4×4 Trail starts at the foot of the Quado Mountain Range. The Aquila Game Reserve also has a 4×4 route.


Tours: The De Doorns area is predominately a farming region and many farm tours are organised where visitors can observe how the fruit is packed and arranged. Some wine farms give visitors an opportunity to pick their own grapes.

Fauna And Flora

Aquila Game Reserve: The reserve features some beautiful mountains and is home to many species of animals and birds. Various outdoor activities can also be enjoyed, such as horse routes and 4×4 trails.

History And Architecture

Astronomical Survey Monument: This extraordinary monument consists of two concrete pillars on which astronomical instruments were mounted. These serve as reminders of the British who studied the stars here in 1882.

Cape Dutch architecture: The stately Cape Dutch homesteads, with their white gabled walls sparkling in the sunlight are scattered throughout the valley, valuable reminders of a more gracious era.

Steam Locomotive: The locomotive is displayed in a park in the town centre.

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