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Originally a staging post for transport riders, Pinetown was laid out as a village in 1849 and named after the lieutenant-governor of Natal, Benjamin Pine. The town grew as an industrial centre, however, today the area is attracting young families looking to reside on the outskirts of the big city, in this case Durban in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Pinetown is a thriving centre unto itself with an independent magistrate’s court, several university campuses and schools and major medical facilities. The town is located on an elevated ridge and escapes the hot temperatures and humidity so prevalent along this section of the coast.
The main highway between Durban and Johannesburg runs through Pinetown. Only a 15 minute drive from Durban, Pinetown is a good choice as a stopover for those seeking a quieter stay.
Top 6 reasons to visit Pinetown
1. There is no shortage of shopping facilities in Pinetown and the Pine Crest Centre has over 80 stores to provide retail therapy, while other smaller strip malls such as Pine Walk and Knowles Super Spar offer all necessities.
2. You are so close to the Indian Ocean, set aside a day and visit the coastline to appreciate Durban’s classic beaches. The seawater is warm, the swimming beaches are protected by shark nets and all are patrolled by lifesavers. There are a number of excellent big wave surfing spots too.
3. Feeling the need to get active? Pinetown has a trim park off Merrifield road and a tennis club nearby. Lahee Park has a cricket pitch and half-size Olympic swimming pool.
4. Take a walk through the serene and well-laid out Sarnia Japanese Gardens. Tea garden on the premises and wide open manicured lawn to enjoy a picnic under shady trees.
5. Visit the Ceramic Craft Studio in nearby Queensburgh to purchase crafts or buy a DIY craft kit to attempt the art yourself. The studio owner gives lesson in ceramic painting and using mosaics.
6. Two nature reserves are located on either side of Pinetown; the 52ha North Park Nature Reserve has a section of riverine forest along the picturesque uMhlahazana River with plentiful birdlife, while the 110ha New Germany Nature Reserve houses several small mammals, good hiking trails and an interesting aviary open to the public.
The nearest airport is King Shaka International Airport, 45km from Pinetown. There many car rental agencies in Pinetown, Durban city centre and at King Shaka airport to hire a vehicle, or you could order a rental online. Several shuttle service companies operate out of Durban and the airport for travel to and from Pinetown. Uber also operates in Durban.
Did you know?
Pinetown was the site of a concentration camp for women and children during the South African War.
The Comrades Marathon, a 90km ultramarathon, takes place annually between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The race passes Field’s Hill in Pinetown, known to runners as a tough section of the route that surprises with a few false crests.
Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion Chad le Clos is a Pinetown resident.