Mooi River is part of the popular Midlands Meander self-drive arts and crafts route. It is also home to the country’s racing community and prior arrangements can be made to visit one of the many prestigious studs and training establishments, the most prestigious of which is Summerhill (Tel +27 33 2632818). Gourmands will enjoy Hartford House, the self-styled ‘home of good conversation, fine wine and classic horses’, an award-winning hotel and restaurant. [Tel: +27 33 263 2713.]
The Rhode House Museum presents a variety of local historical exhibits depicting formative activities of the area such as polo, Zulu beadwork and dairy farming. [Tel +27 33 2632194.]
Mooi River, 160km from Durban (Mooi means ‘pretty’ in Afrikaans), had a bit of an identity crisis as it was originally named Lawrenceville after an Irish farmer in the 1800s. The Voortrekkers then moved in and renamed it Mooi River. Essentially a farming and textile centre, everything about the town centres around the river and the activities it provides. Fly fishing, boating, canoeing and tubing are all popular. Upstream, 25km from town, the Mooi River Falls are fantastic when the river is in flood.