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About Barberton

Nestled in the heart of the Makhonjwa Mountain range in the De Kaap Valley, one of the oldest regions on Earth and the core of a proposed World Heritage Site, lies the quaint little town of Barberton. The ‘Gold Rush’ town of Barberton was the Johannesburg of its day in the 1800s, with people coming from far and wide to ‘strike it lucky’ on one of the many gold reefs in the area.

Barberton’s newest attraction, the Geotrail allows visitors to uncover for themselves the secrets that lie hidden in these rocks, including evidence of the first life forms visible to the naked eye. The area surrounding the town is also South Africa’s second largest biodiversity hotspot, after the Cape Floral Kingdom (in the Western Cape), making it a wildlife wonderland waiting to be explored.

Barberton’s Heritage walk is now one of the town’s key attractions, along with the various mining tours and gold panning experiences that allow tourists to get a taste of life in the Gold Rush days. However there is more to Barberton than gold. For those wanting to take in the culture of the area, Barberton’s new Township Tour is about challenging preconceived perceptions and showcasing the sense of community spirit that can be found there.

For those looking for more of an adventure, Barberton has lots to offer. Nowadays people still flock to Barberton, but it is no longer the gold that draws them, but the amazing array of tourist attractions the town has to offer. It is a really exciting area for adventure sport, particularly paragliding and microlight flying, together with numerous 4x4 mountain trails, some of which will challenge even the most experienced drivers.

Quad bike adventures that immerse one in nature and allow tourists to explore the Ghost Town of Eureka City, cycle trails for mountain bike enthusiasts and road racers as well as awesome horse riding trails. The town of Barberton and its surrounding area can be explored in almost every way imaginable.

Whether it is popular African animals tourists wish to seek or rare endemic butterflies, Barberton has it all; including over 350 species of birds which can be seen along the many birding routes, nature reserves in the area and lovely hiking trails, some of which include picnic spots. It’s no surprise that within a twelve kilometre radius of Barberton one has access to half a dozen nature and wildlife reserves. Within an hour, one can be at the Kruger National Park.

Quick Facts

Province: Mpumalanga
Country: South Africa
Address: Barberton, Mpumalanga

Why go?

- Geotrail
- Adventure sport
- Hiking
- Eureka ghost city
- Horse riding
- Birding routes
- Barberton Heritage walk

History icon


Barberton was officially declared a town in 1884 and named after Graham Barber, who with his cousins, descended on the valley and discovered one of the town’s rich gold-bearing reefs. So rich in gold that it literally sparkled!

Yet it wasn’t until the discovery of Edwin Bray’s Golden Quarry in 1885 that the town transformed from a simple mining camp to a thriving Gold Rush ‘Boom Town’ and thousands of prospectors arrived. The then Transvaal’s first stock exchange was opened along with hotels, billiard saloons and music halls attracting colourful Gold Rush characters like Cockney Liz and Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his iconic dog, Jock .

Almost as soon as the Gold Rush hit Barberton it disappeared and prospectors moved on. Many of the old buildings still stand and gold is mined from the oldest and richest gold and silver deposits in the world, trademarked as 'Ancient Precious Metals’.

Places Nearby

View everything this beautiful place has to offer

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Mountainlands Nature Reserve
Rhinoceros in the songimvelo game reserve uzudtc
Songimvelo Game Reserve