BakeriesDullstroomExperiencesFoodMarketsPlaces to stayRestaurantsTravel GuidesVideos

Dullstroom is the ultimate weekend getaway!

If you live in Gauteng, you are only about 2.5 hours drive from the perfect countryside getaway and that’s just the first of MANY reasons you will love the picturesque town of Dullstroom. Once you’ve read this article and watched our video, I hope you’ll feel convicted to experience this magical town for yourself.

For the last ten years, I have been making my way to Dullstroom at least two to three times a year. The more I visit, the more I fall in love with this place and I just want more people to understand how beautiful it is, and discover all the amazing activities on offer in this charming town.

With this in mind, I hope this article helps you fall in love with Dullstroom too and entices you to visit!

A few weeks ago, I drove to Dullstroom with my team to make a short film about the town (attached to this article). I want to take you on the journey with me and show you the magic.

Let’s start with the drive from Johannesburg to Dullstroom.

The best part about this road trip is that it’s far enough that you feel like you’re truly getting away but not so long that the trip becomes a hack. The roads are in good condition and easy to navigate. You can use any car you like and once you pop a few tunes on, you’ll be there in a flash.

The closer you get to Dullstroom, the more beautiful the drive becomes.

Dullstroom Inn is a history extravaganza

After a brisk 2.5 hour drive, we immediately made our way to The Dullstroom Inn for a quick bite. We started our trip at this quaint pub because it’s Dullstroom’s oldest establishment with its genesis dating back to 1912. It was originally one of Mpumalanga‚Äôs best kept secrets for decades, until the first ever Sunday Times “Finders Keepers” prize of a million rand was hidden behind a wall in the pub in 1989.

Everything about this pub screams old school English vibes!

As we sat down and ordered some lunch, we noticed a barrel that was used for the pole sitting Guiness world record (17 March 1997), mounted next to a historical fire place that has been burning constantly for over four decades. As we took in all this rich history around us, we cracked open an ice-cold beer and I thought, this is exactly why I love to travel.

Overlooking the town of Dullstroom, Vernon Kruger broke the same Guinness World record in 2020 that he set in 1997.

Feeling like a kid again at Udderlicious Milkshake Bar

With a bit of grub in the tub, it was time for dessert which meant driving less than a kilometre to Udderlicious Milkshake Bar. I had never been here before and was totally surprised by the funky decor and the fifty different flavours of milkshakes available.

No artificial syrups are used and they make the milkshake right in front of you. I settled for a mixture of toffee and caramel, while my videographers had Turkish Delight and Bubblegum. My girlfriend didn’t have a milkshake because she says it brings all the boys to the yard ūü§£

Look at that face. I don’t know if I can ever visit Dullstroom and not come back to Udderlicious for a milkshake!

Dunkeld Estate offers you a seat on nature’s doorstep

After satisfying our sweet teeth (we all have more than one), we all decided it was time to make our way to Dunkeld Country & Equestrian Estate which is where we would be staying for the weekend.

I don’t want to discount any of the incredible places to stay in Dullstroom (and there are many gems), but for this weekend, we chose Dunkeld because it has incredibly scenic views, all kinds of animals that roam freely in the estate, and there are loads of outdoor activities available for you to partake in.

You drive for five minutes from town and suddenly you are transported to the ultimate countryside escape!

The beauty of the Dullstroom and Dunkeld combo for me is that we were able to use that first night to relax after a long week of work. There’s something so calming about lighting a fire, opening a bottle or two of red wine, and just sitting outside on your patio overlooking the most epic views with your friends.

We didn’t get too rowdy though because the next day was full of activities and we wanted our video to be amazing. As fate would have it, heavens opened throughout the night and rained nonstop. The next morning, we had to give up on the idea of a hike because all the paths were muddy.

Instead, we chose to go for a drive around Dunkeld which turned out to be a great idea because five minutes in, we unwittingly discovered a bunch of antelope and zebras roaming freely.

It’s moments like these that remind me why travel is an investment and not an expense.

Breakfast done differently at Harrie’s Pancakes

After that scintillating start to the day, we made our way to the ever popular Harrie’s Pancakes for breakfast. This is a Dullstroom institution that originated in another part of Mpumalanga 36 years ago.

Harrie received the original pancake recipe from an elderly lady living in Graskop. He set to work and experimented and adjusted the recipe till he achieved the perfect texture, thickness, and flavour.

The end result is that we got to order pancakes like chicken and mushroom with cashew nuts, dutch style pancakes with bacon bits baked into the batter and topped with cheddar cheese, and the more traditional cinnamon and sugar pancakes.

If you’re like my one videographer, you are craving a more traditional breakfast, that option is available as well. The toasted sandwiches are pretty amazing too. All in all, you can’t go wrong at Harrie’s.

Are you hungry yet? That chicken and mushroom pancake with cashew nuts with delicious!

Did you say largest whiskey selection in Southern Hemisphere?

With the rain still pouring down, we made our way to Wild About Whiskey which is just a few hundred meters up the main road. A few weeks before when we asked people on social media for suggestions, everyone and their dog said we had to come here for a whiskey tasting.

Wild About Whiskey opened their bar in 2006 with about a dozen whiskeys and have slowly built up the menu to over one thousand whiskies from all over the world (and continue to add to it). They now boast the largest whiskey selection in the Southern Hemisphere. To be fair, they had me at “whiskey”.

Let’s just say we had the best time at Wild About Whiskey!

It’s obviously really hard to describe the whiskey tasting experience other than to say that we had a great time. The lady that served us was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. The best compliment I could give this place is that I would go back again the next time, but partake in a different whiskey tasting.

And just so you know, they also stock a range of gins, brandies and other spirits, as well as a small range of wines, craft beers, and coffee.

TIME to put the food and drinks aside

Besides having the largest whiskey selection in the Southern Hemisphere, Dullstroom is also home to The Clock Shop which opened its door back in 2007 with 30 fun clocks, and today boasts the largest selection of clocks in one shop in the Southern Hemisphere.

It’s hard to showcase the vast array of clocks in the shop because they fill multiple rooms but the owners were kind enough to give us a short tour of the shop and most of the time pieces come from all over the world. Some of the Grandfather clocks in the shop were even made in the 18th century!

This is one of six rooms filled with clocks

Let the Saturday festivities begin!

There is so much to do in Dullstroom and we were ultimately in town to shoot this tour guide video about the town. This meant moving to the next two stops with haste. First, a quick stop at Anvil Brewhouse to try out some of their award winning beers which definitely didn’t disappoint.

Theo De Beer founded the Anvil Brewhouse in 2010, with 10 years brewing experience behind him before that. With a name like that, you can’t help but think it was a calling. Named Anvil because Theo’s father was a latter-day blacksmith, which is why the Anvil Brewhouse team like to call Theo and his protégé and now brewmaster Christo Holtzhausen, Beersmiths.

It turns out, one of our videographers (Jonathan) is a master beer sip model!

Our next stop was The Poacher which is a longstanding pub in Dullstroom. The Springboks were playing against Italy in the rugby and we figured this would be the perfect vibe to watch with the locals.

In the end, I don’t think there was a better place to watch the game. It didn’t hurt that the Boks absolutely thrashed the Italians so everyone was in a great mood as we celebrated each and every point we scored with high fives a beers. One thing I love about The Poacher is that they allow small doggies inside!

That old school pub feel is just so cool.

Mrs Simpsons is a must visit. It’s that simple.

Our final stop on this adventurous Saturday led us to Mrs. Simpsons which is arguably Dullstroom’s restaurant of choice. Owned and run by Bryan Wolmarans and Stephen De Meyer, the next few hours turned out to be the top highlight of our trip to Dullstroom.

Mrs. Simpsons has become quite famous, not only for the d√©cor and ambience but for the excellent cuisine served. The seafood pasta I had that night surely rates as one of the best I’ve had anywhere in the world. But the absolute highlight are the owners themselves.

Scenes from the end of the night at Mrs. Simpsons!

Bryan and Stephen are the most warm and friendly people you will ever meet. I had written to them a few weeks before to book (you won’t get in without a booking) and asked if we could bring our cameras with us as we were making this video. When we arrived, both of them were on top form. They are both incredibly funny and they know how to look after you in a way that makes you want to come back again the next night and the next (and the next).

Simply put, Mrs. Simpsons is a full-blown dining experience. When you visit Dullstroom, your trip won’t be complete without a visit to their restaurant. By the end of the night, we were drinking Vodka shots with them while they entertained us with all sorts of stories that come with owning a restaurant like theirs for twenty years. Even as I write this, I have a smile on my face and I can’t wait to go back.

Burgers can be breakfast the way cauliflower can be a pizza base!

Sunday morning has arrived and the weather has once again turned dark, gloomy, and misty. Plans for a hike have been shelved due to poor visibility but that doesn’t stop us from adventuring to Cpirit for a burger. Yes, you don’t always have to consume bacon and eggs in order for it to be constituted as breakfast. Besides, calories don’t count when you’re on a road trip.

What’s really cool at Cpirit is that repurposed black shipping containers have been turned into a trendy country style food court, inspired by the vibes of a food market. We also heard their burgers are to die for so we had to come see what the fuss is all about. 90min later and we all agree that these are the best burgers we’ve had on our trip.

Birds of Prey tour gave us a much needed perspective reminder

When we told people we were making a video about Dullstroom, many people suggested we visit the Dullstroom Bird of Prey Centre. This isn’t something I had ever considered on previous trips but I’m so glad my team and I made the effort to see what it’s all about.

Their vision is to be a world-class, flagship, self-sustaining wildlife hospital, rehabilitation centre, and education facility that cares for indigenous animals and makes a difference in the conservation of our beautiful heritage through education.

It’s impossible to explain everything we saw in the hour and a half that we were there, which is why you absolutely have to visit when you make your way to Dullstroom. I will say that the volunteers that we met really helped us understand the importance of Birds of Prey, and how they help maintain an ecological balance through the work they do.

All in all, you’re in for quite an experience when you visit and you really do walk away with a new perspective. The added bonus is that most humans rarely interact with the kinds of birds that you encounter at Birds of Prey, so it’s quite a refreshing and unique experience.

Sundays are the perfect day for a waffle

It’s not like we needed more food but since calories don’t count when we’re filming Like a Tourist content, I surprised the team by taking them to Waffle & Co. No one objected so I definitely scored a few extra brownie points. To add, the waffles were absolutely delicious.

If you think it’s only kids that will love this place, you’re sorely mistaken!

Our final stop: Highland Gate Golf & Trout Estate

And so our Dullstroom getaway weekend was coming to a close. Our last stop on the trip was a VERY beautiful drive from Dullstroom to the Highland Gate. That 20km drive was so enchanting that I didn’t want it to end, but twenty minutes later we arrived at this esteemed estate, and we were so blown away by the well manicured gardens and the beautifully designed clubhouse.

This gives you a small idea of how magnificent Highland Gate truly is!

Although we didn’t have time to play a round of golf or enough space to fit in another meal, we figured we’d have one last drink on the terrace to celebrate the most amazing weekend.

If you are into golf, the proximity of Highland Gate to Dullstroom is a real win, and the high-end design of the clubhouse is equally enticing. In summer, the views of the golf course and rolling hills from the terrace are breathtaking. In winter, the cozy feel inside the clubhouse (fireplace included) coupled with an eclectic food menu makes you feel at home. Add in mountain biking trails, hiking trails, trout fishing, bird watching, and tennis courts, and all your desires are fulfilled.

This is the road from Highland Gate back to Joburg. I’m sure you feel sorry for us.

As sad as we were that our Dullstroom weekend had come to an end, the team and I drove home with such excitement because we couldn’t wait to edit this video and write this article.

The reason we started Like a Tourist can be summed up in this one weekend. We absolutely love adventuring all over South Africa because we think this is the most beautiful country on earth, and we decided to document local adventures like these in hope that we could inspire other South Africans to act like tourists in their own country.

I will end this article the way I started it. Dullstroom is a truly wonderful town and I hope this article and video gives you some indication of what we’re talking about, but the real magic happens when you experience it for yourself.

DISCLAIMER: We paid our way throughout our trip to Dullstroom and none of the places mentioned in the article and video influenced what we had to say about them. We do have a brand partnership with KLM South Africa who assists us in creating this content and KIA supplied us with a car for the trip.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button