Why not try ceramic painting at Zulu Lulu? Picture: Clinton Moodley.
Why not try ceramic painting at Zulu Lulu? Picture: Clinton Moodley.
Frik and Lola Haupt of  Culamoya Chimes are so warm and friendly. Picture: Clinton Moodley
Frik and Lola Haupt of Culamoya Chimes are so warm and friendly. Picture: Clinton Moodley
The selection of chocolate at Chocolate Heaven.
The selection of chocolate at Chocolate Heaven.

The Midlands, set in the beautiful backdrop of KwaZulu-Natal, has proven to be one great holiday escape. Maybe it is the quiet and tranquility that it brings, the artsy accommodation venues or it being the “home away from home escape”people have come to love over the years. A simple drive to this beautiful area can turn any drab family weekend into one filled with fun, laughter and memories to last a lifetime. Here are some top things to do while in the town:

Piggly Wiggly

Where:  1 Dargle Rd Lions River 3265

Contact: 033 234 2911

If you ask anyone who has been to the Midlands about what was one of their stops, most would triumphantly say it was Piggly Wiggly. Once a small farm, Piggly Wiggly has become a one stop shop for a great experience. There are some eateries that offer breakfast and lunch options. Visit Zulu Lulu Art House that offers ceramic painting for children and adults. Visitors can select a blank pottery item from the shelf and then turn it into a masterpiece with brushes and paints available. The artworks are also amazing. There is also a second hand book shop one can get their favourite genre on a budget.

Junction Village Centre

Where: Main Rd, Nottingham Road, 3280, South Africa

Contact: 033 266 6338 or email [email protected]

Just a few kilometres down the road from Piggly Wiggly is the Junction Village Centre, near Nottingham Road. Both young and old can have fun with  16 unique shops to keep a family entertained the entire day. It was once an old dairy farm in the 1960s that converted into a restaurant. I loved Chocolate Heaven that serves amazing Belgian chocolates with proudly South African fillings. I remember meeting a family who travelled from Johannesburg for a girls only weekend. They indulged in the chocolate dipping experience that saw their hands get messy with chocolate and other condiments. I had lunch at the waffle shack and it was divine. Fresh ingredients served up on a freshly baked waffle, what’s not to like? I noticed a lot of businessmen frequently the place as they mopped up their waffles while responding to emails.

Culamoya Chimes

Where: Lidgetton, KwaZulu-Natal

Contact: 0836276195

Without giving away much, visiting Culamoya Chimes warmed by heart. The family owned business is run by husband and wife duo Frik and Lola Haupt. I have gotten a new found appreciation for chimes after getting a tour of the different chimes. The pair makes each chime differently and have names for each one.  They started in 1988 in Durban, but moved to the Midlands in 1997.

Nelson Mandela Capture site

Where:Mandela Capture Site, R103, Howick, 3290

Contact: 033 330 8195

This site commemorates the August 5 1962 incident where Nelson Mandela was arrested by police at the site. Nelson Mandela Capture Site was just a small bricked area with a plaque, but a steel structure consisting of poles creating a Mandela image and visitor’s centre was launched in 2012 to mark the 50th anniversary. The 35 metre sculpture was designed by artist Marco Cianfanelli.

Nottingham Road

Nottingham Road is known as the 'heart' of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands due to scenic spots, accommodation, adrenalin-pumping adventure sports, historic landmarks and arts and crafts. Try Fly Fishing at Kleinbosch Estate, Rejuvenate at Brookdale Day Spa or go on a Roman Baths Hike, the choice is left entirely up to you. Also a visit to the famous Nottingham Road Hotel to hear their ghost story will leave you breathless.

[email protected]