We will give you a little bit of a disclaimer: when travelling to this beautiful spot in Hekpoort, PLEASE make sure you take a bakkie or a car that's not low suspension or low on ground clearance, as the dirt road to the property is exceptionally rocky, bumpy and treacherous (trust us, this is from our own personal experience!) But once you get there, it's all worth it.
Rustig is a beautiful, well-established family farm that's run by the Oosthuizen family. This plot was a tobacco farm way back in the 1930s and now specialises in cattle and game, and of course, providing us city slickers with an idyllic country escape from the city. This location offers accommodation, amazing hiking trails, an upmarket wedding venue overlooking the lush gardens, and just a serene place to getaway from everyday life and just unwind.
Now, if you're looking to stay the weekend to chill out and reconnect with Mother Nature, there are many accommodation options available - the Heritage House, the Farmhouse, the Stone House, the four-sleeper tent, the six-sleeper tent or the Backpackers. Each one has it's own unique charm, feel and budget. We stayed in the lovely Farmhouse which can sleep 10 people in its five spacious rooms. Another thing we really loved about this Farmhouse was its LARGE kitchen with heated floors (the weekend we chose to getaway on was FREEZING!) and the big veranda complete with comfy couches and braai area. But as for the other options, here's a few details:
The Heritage House features a Victorian-style bathroom, a rustic farm-style kitchen ( equipped with a fridge, microwave, kettle, and limited cutlery and crockery, however no stove or oven). There's a beautiful formal lounge that opens onto a veranda which overlooks the formal rose garden.
The Stone House is rustic and is one of the oldest buildings on the farm. It sleeps 4 in its 2 bedrooms. The main bedroom features a double bed while the second room a bunk bed. There is a small kitchenette and access to the ablution block is only a 5-7 meters away
The name of this one says it all - it's a backpacker spot. It's literally just a place to sleep for the night. There is a communal kitchenette and easy access to the nearby ablution block. This venue also features a big braai area, a pack of braai wood, camping chairs and three bunk beds per room.
As for the tents, you can take your pick from the four- and six-sleeper on the property. They're both charming and are completely self-contained and self-catering, each with it’s own en-suite bathroom.
There best part about being at Rustig is exploring the property, and what better way to do this than by doing a hiking, going on a game drive or testing out the off road biking trails (just remember to BYOB - bring your own bike!).
Since we didn't have bikes, we decided to try out one of the hiking trails on the farm. There are three trails varying in difficulty available for farm guests and day visitors:
Olivenhout Hiking Trail – 3km - The Yellow Trail
Witstinkhout Hiking Trail – 5km - The Red Trail
Karee Hiking Trail – 13km - The Green Trail
The Witstinkhout Hiking Trail was lovely, offering amazing views of the property and the Magaliesberg Mountains. Once we got to the "top" of the trail, there was a massive and oh-so beautiful "cave" (for a lack of a better word). We took a long rest there before descending back down to the Farmhouse. Just don't forget to take a cap, sunscreen, comfortable hiking shoes and a couple of litres of water with you.
There's a 13km overnight hiking trail for those brave and adventurous at heart. It's perfect if you're interested in an off-the-grid experience. There's no hot water and no electricity. Only what you've packed in your rucksack and the equipment you bring. Click here for more information about this.
They also offers a Book-a-Braai package for all of their all staying guests, hikers and day visitors. If you completed the 13km hike and want to enjoy a scenic braai afterwards, there may not be enough time for this before Rustig's closing time. But, the Book-a-Braai offering ensures that your braai is ready and waiting when you complete your hike at about 15:00. It’s also the perfect for outdoor relaxation without worrying about the task of preparing and braaing, as it’s all done for you.
Rustig is Gauteng’s best kept secret when it comes to the perfect countryside wedding venue. They have everything you need to pull off the wedding of your dreams without a hitch. The location offers magnificent views, a five-star wedding hall with an expansive veranda overlooking a beautiful terrace garden as well as fine dining catering on offer. Rustig provides couples with affordable sophistication in the countryside. The idyllic grounds are perfect for beautiful photos. There are wonderful packages available to make your experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. Weddings at Rustig offers:
Rustig is also ideal for conferences, corporate functions and team builds. The hall transforms into an ideal work environment including cinema style seating and conference equipment. You can arrange any function imaginable, including:
For more information about this stunning countryside escape, visit their website at www.rustig.co.za.
You can contact them on 079 490 2690 or [email protected].
Whether you have a love for the wilderness or are simply craving a little bit of adventure, the picturesque Saddle Creek Adventure Ranch offers their guests just the thing to get their adrenaline pumping. This family run business provides visitors of all ages a fun-filled day out they will never forget. From team building escapades and exciting outdoor functions to a relaxing day at the spa as well as a wide selection of nearby attractions, lodges and hotels to explore, there's something for everyone and every occasion.
If you're wondering what sorts of adventures you can expect at Saddle Creek, just think along the lines of horseback riding, thrilling quad biking through the bush, exciting go-karting ideal for the whole family, and action archery that's sure to have you feeling as cool and skilled as the legendary Robin Hood! But that's just mentioning a few experiences, there's plenty more where that came from! Now let's get onto the bit that you want to know: what adventures and packages does Saddle Creek offer.
Archery is one of the few remaining ancient arts practiced today. Not only will it make you feel like you should be part of the Hunger Games, but it is something that you should experience at least once in your lifetime. Visit Saddle Creek and try your hand at it! Also, if you shoot a star, you'll win a prize! This is an ideal adventure activity for families (please note: children need to be 10 years or older to participate) and team builds. Click here to find out more.
Saddle Creek Adventures boasts and takes pride in their family of well-conditioned, happy horses. These lovely creatures are all ready and waiting to take you and your family on an unforgettable horse riding experience in the countryside, every day of the week. There's nothing more relaxing that enjoying the fresh wilderness air and taking in the magnificent mountain scenery while exploring various bush trails. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned rider, their horses are calm, obedient and well-trained, ensuring you'll feel comfortable and safe during your trail. Before your ride, trained and friendly staff will match you to the right horse, explain the basic commands, then accompany and guide the ride. The horse riding weight limit is 100kg. Click here for more information and booking.
What is the one activity that just screams adventure? Well, we'd have to say quad biking! There's nothing more exciting than exploring the outdoors by racing along quad trails, feeling the wind against your face and getting a little bit dirty (nothing wrong with getting a tad dusty every now and then). Saddle Creek have mini quads and fully automatic 150cc quads, suitable for all ages – from kiddies to adults. Click here for more information and to book.
Speaking of racing about in the outdoors, you and your friends and family will also have the opportunity to enjoy a bit of go-karting at Saddle Creek as well! You can either just arrive and drive or book for an epic Grand Prix package that's perfect for a little bit of friendly competition to see who crosses the finish line first. You'll have a blast racing around their extra-long outdoor dirt track, complete with plenty of corners and straight sections to challenge you’re driving skills. Click here for more information and to book now.
If you're looking for one of the best views of the breathtaking Magalies River Valley, why not book an exciting Hot Air Balloon Safari? Saddle Creek Adventure Ranch offers two different hot air ballooning experiences that's sure to leave you feeling amazed. Take your pick from the Hot Air Balloon Safari with Champagne & Buffet Breakfast (a one-hour balloon flight, finishing off with a five-star buffet breakfast, costing R3 075* per person) or the Hot Air Balloon Safari with Buffet Breakfast, 30-minute Quad Bike Trail & 30-minute Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage (total duration is 3 hours, cost is R3 985* per person). The thrill is indescribable as you see the world from a completely different viewpoint. Click here for more information and to book.
Test your aim and shooting skills with a round of Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting at Saddle Creek. Get ready, aim, watch for the disk released from a launcher, then fire the modified shotgun high tech infrared laser at the target. A score board will generate the shotgun bang whenever the trigger is pulled. If you hit the target, the sound of a cracking clay disk will be made over the score board to let you know you got it. This fun activity is suitable for participants from 10 years and older. Pre-booking and deposit is essential.
And the fun and adventure just keeps coming! They also offer exciting kiddies activities to ensure that your visit is the perfect outing that includes the entire family, from the young to the young at heart. Also, you have the opportunity to experience a scenic 40-minute helicopter flight over the Magalies Mountain range. There are a few packages available for you to choose from. And last but certainly not least, if you just want to relax after a long day of thrills, then be sure to take a look at their selection of spa treatment packages that's sure to delight.
As if all of their action-packed activities weren't enough, they also have a selection of picnic packages, adventure combos, conference packages, group function and team building offers available. Click on your desired link below to see what they have available:
For more information about Saddle Creek Adventure Ranch, visit www.saddlecreekadventures.co.za.
You can also contact them on 079 467 9906 or [email protected].
All images from Saddle Creek Adventure Ranch.
When planning your hiking adventure anywhere in Gauteng, be sure to prepare and pack these essentials to take along with you. Rather be over prepared than under prepared!
Out in Hekpoort, Rustig Farm offers hiking trails that are perfect for all experience and fitness levels. The sites and trails themselves are well worth the 90 minute drive from the city! Due to the lockdown regulations, you'll need to book your hiking adventures well in advance so they can regulate their numbers. There are three different hiking trails available on the property – the Olivenhout Hiking Trail (3km, easy route ideal for beginners, takes about an hour to complete); the Witstinkhout Hiking Trail (5km, medium difficulty, takes about three hours to complete); and the Karee Hiking Trail (13km, challenging route, and takes five to six hours to complete).
Cost: R65 per person for the 3km and 5km trails. Kids under 12 are R30 per child. R75 per person for the longer trails.
The 275-hectare Modderfontein Nature Reserve is just the place if you're looking to stretch those legs and enjoy nature. The reserve boasts amazing birdlife around its three large dams, perfect for bird watching. Be sure to keep an eye out for Fish Eagles and Long Crested Eagles. Hikers can take their pick between the reserve's 8.3km hiking trail or one of the shorter walks. There's also a 10km, 18km, 32km and 42km mountain-biking route for those keen on taking their bikes out for a spin. However, keep in mind that a max of four people per group are allowed. Due to the lockdown regulations, no leisure activities such as fishing and picnicking are allowed (yet). The reserve is open daily from 06:00 to 18:00. No bookings are required.
Cost: For hiking and running: R30 per person, R15 per child. Cycling: R50 per person, R30 per child.
The Hennops Trails, 30km from Pretoria and Fourways, offers nature lovers and hikers four different trails setting out from Hadeda Camp – the 1.5km River Trail, 2.5km Dassie Trail, 5km Zebra Trail and 10km Krokodilberg Trail. No bookings are required. There are also some exciting en-route features along the way, such as the two suspension bridges, old dolomite mines and a cable car running across a river. You'll also see an underground cave where “Pruimpie” lived as well as traces of old settlements. Let's not forget to mention the natural features too, like the indigenous trees along the river, gorges and plateau areas. On weekends, hiking starts at 07:00. All trails must start before 14:00. On weekdays, hiking starts at 08:00 and all trails must start before 13:00. All trails close at 17:00.
Cost: Entrance is R80 per person and R40 per child. Pre-school aged children get free entry.
Spend the day at Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge in Muldersdrift. Located on the 1 500-hectare Cradle Moon Conservancy, the game lodge offers visitors over 50km of mountain biking and running trails. Don't have a bike of your own? Not a problem, they also offer bike hire! Click here to take a look at their various trails. The trails are open to public everyday of the week, from 08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday and 07:00 to 17:00 over the weekend. No booking are required for a day hike. And you're looking for a bite to eat after your exciting hike, the lodge's restaurant is open for pizza and burger takeaways.
Cost: Activity rates are R50 per person for hikers and cyclists. For bike hire, cost is R200 per bike.
Gather family and friends, take a short road trip close to Hekpoort in Magaliesburg and spend the afternoon trekking the Sable Ranch trails. Hikers have a choice between the 8km, 10km and 12km trails, which will take you through farmlands and rocky paths, until you reach the plateau which offers stunning views. The ranch only allows a maximum of 50 hikers per day, so ensure you book your spots well in advance to avoid disappointment. Also, groups will be staggered as a precaution during the pandemic, but you're allowed to hike with the people who arrived with you in the same car. Just a tip: call the ranch ahead to check if hunting will be taking place on the day you want to visit. As a safety precaution, trails are shortened on hunting days.
Cost: Tariff is R70 per adult and R30 per child.
Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.
What Is It?
Enjoy a weekend out in the country at this awesome farm-style festival! The beautiful Rustig farm, situated in Magaliesberg, will be bringing you some of South Africa’s greatest artists at the Rustig Farm Style Music Fest, taking place this April. The lineup includes well-renowned Afrikaans artists such as Snotkop, Robbie Wessels, Refentse and Bok van Blerk. This live concert is the first of its kind to be hosted at Rustig. Other than the great music lineup, historical background and scenic views, guests will also get to treat their taste buds to real farm-style treats, with anything and everything from braai vleis, rice and curry to freshly-baked pancakes, all prepared by the locals. It's a lovely day out for all ages. Tickets are limited so get yours ASAP.
When Is It?
Saturday, 13 April 2019 from 14:00 for 15:00 – 19:00.
Where Is It?
Rustig, 36 Hekpoort, Hartebeestpoort, Magaliesburg, Gauteng.
How Much Is It?
Early bird tickets are R 250 per adult and children over 12. To purchase tickets, email [email protected].
Two children under the age of 12 will be admitted for FREE, per family.
If you bring more than two children under 12, the additional children will be charged R125 each.
The early bird tickets special ends on the 28 February 2019.
Please note: tickets are limited, so make sure that you get yours now.
From 01 March 2019, tickets will cost R300 per adult and for children over 12.
For More Information
Also, follow them on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest offers, events and and more.
Saddle Creek Adventures boasts a collection of horses, quad bikes, go-karts and action archery. As a nearby attraction to the numerous lodges and hotels in the area, this fun-filled ranch is set to provide an exhilarating adventure away from the concrete jungle.
Arrive and drive or book for an epic Grand Prix package and show your friends what you're made of. Go off-road and dare to be different. Whether you are a Go-Karting pro that thrives on adrenaline and the thrill of being first across the finish line, or have never been behind the wheel of these machines, Saddle Creek's extra-long outdoor dirt track (1Km in length) is sure to get you hooked.
Saddle Creek takes pride in their well-conditioned horses. Take an unforgettable horse ride through the countryside, complete with beautiful mountain scenery. Rides go out every day on calm, obedient and well-trained trail horses that will not run away with you. Beginners, children, families and experienced riders are all welcome. Trained and enthusiastic staff accompany all rides and will ensure that you are matched to the right horse, and that the basic commands are explained to you.
Hot Air Ballooning
Get ready for your 60-minute balloon flight – be sure to pack the camera... or have your Instagram finger warmed up! The thrill is indescribable as you see the world from a completely different viewpoint. Enjoy the most amazing landscape, while hovering gently above the tree tops of the beautiful Magalies River Valley.
Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting
As you raise your iron sights to the sky, a disk is released from a launcher and the action begins! Participants then test their shooting skills by firing a modified shotgun's high-tech infrared laser at the target, making it fun and safe for all ages. A score board generates the shotgun “bang” whenever the trigger is pulled. This is the very best in interactive activities and highly recommended for groups and teams, as well as individual bookings. Regardless of age or skill, you will train your trigger finger and compete on a level playing field with this fun and safe laser twist on clay pigeon shooting. Throughout the activity, team members are constantly rotating and having a go. Everyone gets to cheer, and the looks on people’s faces when they make a direct hit are priceless. Victory relies on skill, a little bit of luck and heaps of fun!
And Many More...
Yup, there's no shortage of things to do at Saddle Creek. Other activities include spa treatments, quad biking, archery, helicopter rides and tonnes of things that cater to the little ones, such as pony and mini quad rides.
Somewhere along the Magaliesberg mountain range, there's a little spot filled with magic and fantasy. Goblin's Cove is a goblin themed restaurant and weddings and functions venue. It has a "once upon a time" vibe to it... like something out of a Hans Christian Andersen dream come true.
Locked behind a beautiful valley, the restaurant is the perfect spot to grab a great lunch. The restaurant also has a picnic menu which should be taken advantage of. Quirky little goblin statues can be found in and around the compound. Their specials menu sings a sweet song: pastrami on rye with honey mustard sauce, served with potato crisps, and chicken tortilla served with potato crisps. The pizza oven is constantly burning and Goblin's Cove rocks a build-your-own pizza approach to the whole shebang. Plus, there's a kiddies menu too.
Goblin's Cove is a great getaway from it all and is perfect for first dates and lazy days with the family. Book in advance because they are quite popular. It's about an hour's drive from Johannesburg – it's a road trip but not quite a road trip, so don't worry about packing sandwiches... maybe just make sure the car's full of juice because it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere although Hekpoort is around the corner from there. We implore you to pay Goblin's Cove a visit... and don't forget to take tons of photos!
By Shawn Greyling
Have you been to Goblin's Cove? Tell us all about it in the comments section below. Share this with a mate or three and make a plan to check it out.