Why go there?
The whole town of Pilgrim’s Rest is both a national monument and a World Heritage site – not bad for a small town, right? The small mining town was developed during the gold rush and is now a major tourist attraction.
There’s plenty to do and see in the area, such as visit the Groot Trek monument and gold panning, where you can re-enact what it was like when people panned for gold back in the day.
What is there to do?
Whether you want to do a little sightseeing, take in its beautiful surrounds, or just brush up on your local history, there is always something to do in this town.
Explore The Upper And Lower Parts Of Town
Pilgrim’s Rest is divided into two sections – the upper and lower town. Both parts of town are full of history and historic memorials to help you learn a little more about the town. This offers a great opportunity for visitors to admire the old architecture that will take you well back in time.
Visit The Historic Royal Hotel
This hotel made entirely of corrugated iron is iconic and exudes the hard yet vibrant period of the 1870s gold rush. This was the spot where diggers would go to celebrate their finds or drown their sorrows at the hotel’s bar, Church Bar. Pilgrim’s Rest has a tradition where every visitor to this little town has to have a beer at this bar, so be sure to pay a visit to this iconic spot.
Stop By The Central Garage Museum
Love cars? Then you will enjoy a visit at the Central Garage Museum, which displays a number of vintage vehicles and transport methods that were used during the gold rush. It’s not a big collection, but you will get to view vehicles from great quality antique cars and trucks, to horse-drawn wagons and carriages.
Find The Robber’s Grave
Visit the town’s historic graveyard and find The Robber’s Grave. This grave is the resting place of a thief amongst the diggers in the mining camp during the gold rush. You will notice how the grave lies north/south, rather than east/west like all the rest.
Check Out The Printing Museum
With the news of the expanding goldfields in the area, this was the start of the town’s first local newspaper, Gold News. The Printing Museum in Uptown Pilgrim’s Rest displays a number of the equipment that was used to hand-print newspapers during the early 1900s.
Pay Your Respects At The War Memorial And Oak Tree
The War Memorial is a commemoration of the men from Pilgrim’s Rest and surrounds, who fought and died during World War One and Two. The oak tree next to the memorial was planted in 1965, which grew from an acorn from the Delville Wood battlefield.
Travel Back In Time At The House Museum
This museum is a well-preserved Victorian-era home where you can tour the living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen to get a feel of how people in this small town lived during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Each room contains furniture and decorations from that time period.
See The Sights Around The Town
Not only are there things to see in the town, but also around it! Journey up to Robber's Pass and take in some breathtaking views while looking out for the seldom-seen herd of wild horses. Pay a visit to some of nature’s most stunning landscapes and sights, including God’s Window and Wonder View, The Pinnacle, Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, the Three Rondawels, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
How far is it?
Pilgrim’s Rest is four hours from Joburg.
Best time of year to go?
All year round! Summer can get extremely hot, though.