Queenstown, known for its roses, climate and amicable townsfolk, was founded in 1853 and named in honour of Queen Victoria. The town is an architectural treasure house full of historic British colonial buildings, built at the height of Queen Victoria’s reign. Built on the banks of the Komani River, this vibrant town, is the commercial hub for the area and is close enough to the Wild Coast and Karoo Heartland to make it a favoured stopover.

Queenstown situated at the foot of the Hangklip Mountain, not only provides breath-taking scenery, but it is also a hive of activity for the outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, bird watching, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing and canoeing. The area is full of trails for you to explore.

The Lawrence de Lange Nature Reserve, set on the slopes of the Madeira Mountain just outside Queenstown, has a number of trails worth exploring, spectacular examples of flowering plants, and an array of different antelope that include blesbok, springbok and zebra. The reserve also has incredible views from the mountain summit. The Bongola Dam that supplies the town with its water is set in the hills surrounding Queenstown and is a great day out for picnics and water sports.


Queenstown was originally intended as a military outpost and as such is designed in a central hexagon meant to serve as a protective lager for its town’s people, who fortunately never had to use it for this purpose. Miss Lock’s Shell Art Gallery, JC Marshall Gallery, Queenstown Museum, library and the Walter Everitt Sunken Garden are all worth a visit. If you are really yearning a different kind of excitement, besides all the adrenalin activities in the area, then head to Queens Casino in town and try your luck on the tables.

How to get there

Follow the R56 from Middelburg to Molteno and then via the R397 and N6 to Queenstown, (Odometer 90.2km).
Or try cutting through from Molteno to Dordrecht on the R56 and then via the R392 down to Queenstown, (Odometer 137km).
Follow the R56 from Pietermaritzburg through Elliot and then via the R410 down to Queenstown (Odermeter 584km).

Getting Around

Self-drive would be best.

Where to Stay

Besides the upmarket hotels, there are a variety of more personal and charming guest house, B&Bs, self-catering cottages and farmstays in the area worth visiting. Heritage Guest House, Maiden Head Country Lodge, Lodge Linga Longa, Aloe Grove Guest Farm, Wildschutsberg Game Farm and Lodge, Huntershill Safaris, 26 on Chamberlain Guest House, Lavender Lane Self Catering Guest House, Cozi Corner Self-Catering Accommodation, Justines Bed and Breakfast, Roydon Private Nature Reserve,Lodge,Conference And Adventure Centre, Cullinan B&B, Kelbrick's Bed and Breakfast, The Symphony Guesthouse, Cornerstone Bed and Breakfast are a few choices on offer.

Where to Eat

There is a selection of restaurants and take away joints in town. Look out for their local cafés. Besides all the national franchised names, try the Gallery Restaurant for fine dining in the evenings or visit the Queens Casino. Buffalo Springs Spur is another safe bet.


Eastern Cape: Middelburg Karoo, Cradock, Schoombee, Hofmeyr, Venterstad, Steynsburg, Burgersdorp, Molteno, Aliwal North, Queenstown, Lady Grey, Dordrecht, Indwe, Elliot, Barkly East, Rhodes, Ugie, Maclear, Mount Fletcher, Matatiele, Cedarville.
KwaZulu-Natal: Swartberg, Kokstad, Harding, Umzimkulu, Ixopo, Bulwer, Richmond, Baynesfield, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg.