WATCH | A wild treasure hunt is the best way to see this SA mining dorpie

2019-11-22 11:45 - Gabi Zietsman
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The annual sardine run provides for all creation: sharks, humans, dolphins, birds and other predatory species are provided with a meal. No one returns home empty-handed. The sheer numbers of sardines cause a feeding frenzy on the coastline.

Everyone has heard of the famous Cullinan Diamond - biggest ever mined in the world right in our own country and today all its parts sit snugly in the British Crown Jewels.

Which of course South Africa is still a bit sour about.

MAPPED: A visual guide to the Namaqua Coastal Route of the Northern Cape 

But ever wondered about the place where the diamond was mined? Just half-an-hour outside of Pretoria, Cullinan is still bringing up the big ones from deep within the earth, a hole that is actually bigger than the one in Kimberley. Unfortunately, this does mean that the town is constantly in fear of being swallowed up by it, as cave-ins tend to happen, but the locals don't seem too stressed about it.

Despite still being an active mining town, Cullinan is quite a picturesque dorpie, its heritage standing proud in the old buildings, like the McHardy House and the Premier Hotel, while also maintaining a link with the 21st century with a comfy brewery and adventure activities that makes a visit more adrenaline-filled for a museum town.

One of the best ways to explore this town - and learn its history - is with a great treasure hunt that's incredibly fun (although on a hot day might leave you in a puddle).

READ: Coastal SA dorpies you might have never heard of 

bed in mchardy house museum in cullinan

The McHardy House Museum. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman) 

Designed and implemented by Adventure Zone Cullinan, the race makes you run around the whole town, looking for clues, completing puzzles and even shooting an arrow at a target blindfolded - all to find the famous diamond (or a replica of it at least).

And everyone is in on the fun - all the locals appear to have gotten used to random strangers running around asking weird questions and directions - but they don't take too kindly to smart-asses taking replica diamonds in the gift shop (which is something that happens apparently).

Even if you don't feel like speed-racing, it's an easy stroll through the town on your own time, from the pizza eatery on the train tracks to the main gemstone shop where you can get someone something special. 

ALSO SEE: Spend 48 hours in South Africa's most charming and romantic dorpies

Here's what you should know about the Amazing Race:

  • R600 per person for around 3 hours.
  • It's tailor-made depending on the number of people, size of the groups, time-frame given and fitness levels.
  • Only for 16-year-olds and older.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and sunscreen.
  • Water drinking points are included.

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