KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Alexandra Park
Alexandra Park is one of the green belts which contributes to Pietermaritzburg’s reputation as “The Garden City”. The park was established in 1863 and named after Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII.
Where? Park Avenue (off Chief Albert Luthuli Street), Pietermaritzburg, 3201
When? Open daily.
Who? +27 (0)33 392-3509
The 85 hectare park is bounded by the Msunduzi River, along which the famous canoe marathon runs.
Alexandra Park is a hive of activity during summer evenings when many can be seen strolling, jogging or cycling through the jacaranda lined gardens, which include rockeries, azaleas and a magnificent rose garden. The Chinese looking pavilion, or bandstand, was established in 1898, and light meals may be enjoyed in what is today a national monument.
Various markets are held in the park throughout the year, with the most regular being the weekly Saturday Farmers’ Market, and monthly Sunday Oval market. The Farmers’ Market was originally established in 1991 with just 12 stalls, and is now a bustling 86 stalls and hosted in the park itself. But you’d best be an early riser to get to buy your breads, cheeses, veggies and meats since the market runs from 06h00 until 10h00.
The Oval Craft Market is hosted on a Sunday at the adjacent cricket oval, which is the headquarters of the KwaZulu Natal Inland Cricket Union. Art in the Park and Cars in the Park, a wonderful display of vintage cars, are another two annual highlights of the park’s calendar, with 2009 having hosted the 47th Art in the Park. Picnic and braai facilities are available in the park, together with swimming and soccer areas.