Gauteng DestinationsNewlands, Pretoria
Set in the eastern suburbs of Pretoria, Newlands lies just on the other side of the N1 from Waterkloof Ridge, neighbour to Garsfontein, Faerie Glen and Constantia Park. It is a pretty little suburb with wide, leafy streets, close to large shopping malls like Menlyn Shopping Centre.
This older, more established part of Pretoria is very accessible. The N1, Lynnwood Road, and the R21, which takes one to O.R. Tambo Airport, are all close by making access to Johannesburg, Midrand and Centurion particularly easy. Tourist greats, like the Voortrekker Monument, the National Botanical Gardens, the Pioneer Museum in Silverton, and the Union Building are all within twenty minutes' drive of Newlands, and green weekend escapes are aplenty.
The famous sandstone building that is the Union Building, designed by Herbert Baker, was originally to house the entire public service for the then Union of South Africa, its horse-shoe shape a link between two wings, which represent the Boer and the English part of the population. Today the beautiful building serves as the residence of the presidency and his government, and parliament spends winter here (understandably given the wet cold in Cape Town!). At night it is a feature when lit up.
The Voortrekker Monument, set within its own reserve, is also a relic of the past. Perched on the top of Monument Hill, with incredible views over the city, it honours the founders of the former South African Republic and is a reminder of the courage and determination of the Voortrekkers - Dutch and Afrikaans pioneers who 'trekked ahead', leaving the Cape Colony for the interior during the 1830s and 1840s.
Close to Newlands is the Groenkloof Nature Reserve, the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve and the Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, ideal for daily strolls or weekend escapes.