Less than 20 years ago, North Riding was a rural area consisting of smallholdings occupied by horse riding centres and surrounded by white post fences. These smallholdings have since given way to secure residential developments comprising neat rows of stylish cluster homes and open parkland, and with shopping malls and other conveniences close by.
North Riding is included in the northern suburb of Randburg in Johannesburg, a mere 13km from the Sandton commercial district and 25km from the international conference facilities of Midrand. It’s also within easy driving distance of the wide open spaces further north where paddocks still dominate.
North Riding’s elevated location means that the air is dryer – the climate is classified as semi-arid – with an average year round temperature of 16° Celsius. The area experiences summer rainfalls.
Top 8 reasons to visit North Riding
1. Johannesburg is a 24-hour city, well-known for its vibrant nightlife. Spend an evening revelling in the club scene along 7th Street in Melville. Call Uber to get you home.
2. Hop on the N1 Western Bypass highway and head to Johannesburg South where the best Portuguese restaurants are found. The area has a long Portuguese immigrant history and locals flock here to appreciate the traditional food on offer.
3. Take a stroll through the Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary at Delta Park to view the 190 birds recorded in the sanctuary. Bird hides are located alongside two dams for easy viewing. The brightly coloured kingfisher is found here, as is the ungainly hamerkop.
4. The Honeydew Equestrian Centre offers horse riding lessons with a SANEF qualified instructor. The facility has a floodlit arena.
5. Visit Gold Reef City, an entertainment complex with casino, theme park, first class hotel, cinemas and some of the finest restaurants. Try the Shaft of Terror at the theme park but be prepared for the g-forces, greater than a Formula 1 car under breaking!
6. Golfers are welcome to a round of golf on the 18-hole park course at Jackal Creek Golf Estate. The clubhouse has a restaurant and bar overlooking the 18th hole.
7. Travel to the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in Soweto to see the fascinating carvings created by this traditional healer. Also at the centre is the Oppenheimer Tower built from bricks recovered from demolished homes during the 1950 forced removals.
8. Watch a game of top flight soccer at the FNB Stadium – otherwise known as Soccer City – to find out the meaning of the word Laduma and the big fuss surrounding the vuvuzela.
OR Tambo International Airport is 45km from North Riding and for domestic flights, Lanseria Airport is 16km away. The nearest Gautrain (express rail service) station is at West Street in Sandton, 14km from North Riding. A vehicle can be hired at car rental agencies stationed at the airport and in Sandton or book a rental directly online. There are a number of metered taxi and shuttle service companies operating in Sandton, otherwise register with Uber and order a ride via your mobile phone.
Did you know?
Visitors to Johannesburg during the summer are often confronted by the Parktown Prawn, a giant king cricket that has been known to cause grown men to scream. The cricket is completely harmless and is of great benefit to homeowners as they control snails and attract large birds to gardens. Its large mandibles, long antennas, vile smell and hissing when threatened, make it appear fearsome.
Miriam Makeba, one of South Africa’s best known singers, sang alongside Harry Belafonte Jnr at John F. Kennedy's birthday party held at Madison Square Garden in 1962. She passed away in 2008 in Italy. She was a resident of North Riding.