In a glorious valley below majestic mountains, the lovely country town of Barberton is an old place in many respects. In the modern era, the settlement was home to the first Stock Exchange in South Africa during the Gold Rush of the late 1880s, however, its the mountains that surround it, which are amongst the oldest rock formations in the world.
The Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail – a 40km long self-drive trail into the Makhonjwa Mountains bordering Swaziland. A dozen attractively landscaped geological laybys and viewpoints have been built, illustrating how the earth evolved from a lifeless, hot steaming planet, to an environment that supports life. UNESCO is currently considering proclaiming the area a World Heritage Site.
- Some of the oldest gold in the world lies in the hills so it is only right that the town should be the home of the First Stock Exchange in South Africa.
- The Nelshoogte Pass is a magnificently beautiful road between Barberton and Badplaas en route westwards out of the region.
- Numerous spectacular overnight- and day-trails loop along the high mountaintops
- The Barberton town museum is one of the finest such establishments in the country.
- 4X4 Trails to some of the abandoned mining settlements from the early gold mining era of the late 1800’s
- There is a statue of Jock of the Bushveld outside the town hall
- Gold mine tours can be arranged. Panning continues through the year at Digger’s Retreat near Low’s Creek
- The Barberton daisy is endemic to the region – a small red flower which dots the hills around the town
- The now disused Havelock Mine cableway, at 21 km long, is the longest aerial cableway outside Europe
- And if you really want a thrill, try paragliding in some of the oldest scenery on earth