Thursday, 13 March 2014

10 things to do in and around Hillcrest

So, on a recent jog through the Internet I stumbled across this page from tripadvisor. I immediately got excited because I am a variety person. I need variety in my life and I LOVE trying new things.
This site tickled my fancy because I want to try some new things in and around Durban. And 'around Durban' means the Hillcrest area too.

The page is entitled 'Things to do in Durban' but lists a few things in our neck of woods too. It lists 52 attractions that travellers have recommended. On further inspection I don't agree with a vast majority of them but what the heck, maybe it's just me.

So I have decided to make my own list of what I would like to try this year...a few will be from the Hillcrest or Upper Highway Area, and some are in and around Durban. I live and work in Hillcrest and as wonderful as it is, it is a nice to have a change of scenery. I have tried not to include what I have already done e.g. Ushaka, markets, watching sport etc.

1. Inchanga Choo Choo
I have been wanting to do this for over a year now. On Sundays we hear the gentle 'Toot toot'  and the 'choock-o choock-o choock-o'from our garden and it is SO cute. I Just know my daughter will love it and my husband and I get a kick going back in time.
Apparently it leaves from Stoker's Arms, Kloof, and heads up to the Inchanga Museum and craft market on the last Sunday of every month. It leaves at 8:30am and tickets are R170 an adult, R130 a child (2-12 years) and for pensioners. Contact 031 303 3003.
Contact and find them on Facebook here
Visit their website here
You can book here

2. Picnic at Makaranga
I would love to picnic in the gardens of Makaranga. I have only ever been to Makaranga once. My husband took me to watch Top Gun under the stars. Read more about this here. I really hope Makaranga do that again this year. I digress. I would love to simply arrive at Makaranga and pick up my ready made picnic (I hate packing things!) and find a nice quiet spot with my favourites. I would definitely order the 'Deli Mini' and the 'Mon Petit Chouchou' for my little one.
find them on Facebook here

3. Riding Bikes along Durban's Golden Mile
I want to rent bicycles and ride from Suncoast to uShaka. I have seen quite a few little places that hire out bicycles and offer this. If anyone has a particular place they swear by PLEASE let me know. 

4. Winsome View
Winsome View is an animal farm and 'Country Bistro'. I have some friends that have been here and I am keen to try it out. Living in Hillcrest we have been to Duck 'n Deck 2 or 3 times and I am not wild about the place. For some reason this one sounds better so I am keen to try it out. They are open from 9-3pm on Tuesday-Sunday.
Contact 082 892 1615 and find them on Facebook here
Visit their website here 

5. 1000 Hills Birdpark
This is slightly more appealing for a quick 'get out the house' trip as it is much closer than Durban's Umgeni River Bird Park.
The Birdpark also has Christine's Eatery and Heidi's Antiques if the birds and reptiles get a bit much. I love a place where I can stop and have a cup of coffee and something to munch on.
It is R65 for adults and children over 10, R40 for children under 10 and R35 per Zip Line Ride. The Zip Line ride sounds interesting...I am sure my daughter would love to do that. She is a bit of a daredevil.
They are open from 9-3:30pm on Tuesday-Sunday.
Contact 031 765 6090 and find them on Facebook here
Visit their website here

6. People's Park Cafe
This is at the exquisite Moses Mabhida Stadium. I have been here before with a friend but would love to spend half a day here with my family. There is such a great variety of play equipment for the kids while you can either park off on a bench {or grass} or do something more active like Rollerblade, ride your bike, or skateboard. You can take a picnic and entrance is free! It's the people's park after all.
While I am there I want to go up the SkyCar and see Durban from above. This is R55 for an adult and R30 for children under 12.
It is open from 5am-7pm Monday-Sunday and the Cafe is open Tuesday - Sunday 7am-6pm
Contact 031 303 5719 
Visit their website here

7. The Oyster Box
We spent 5/6 months living in Lagoon Drive in Umhlanga and in this time drove past, or took walks past, the Oyster Box almost EVERY day. I have never stepped foot inside. This is very sad. I think I haven't been because I am worried my poor little card won't afford a cup of coffee there, let alone a sitting at the famous 'Oyster Box High Tea' or as they like to call it 'Traditional Afternoon Tea'. I think I also avoided trying because I didn't want to take my then 4/5 year old in there. I dream of a short stay there or some decadent tea or meal. If I ever have the chance of going to tea at the Oyster Box I will starve myself for a week a day.
Contact 031 514 5000 and find them on Facebook here
Visit their website here 

8.Groovy Balls
For years I have been wanting to get in one of those giant inflatable balls and going hurtling down a hill. I love living on the edge a bit! Little did I know that there is a place to do this just around the corner from Hillcrest. Groovy Balls can be found in Cliffdale and offers GroovyBalls, HamsterBalls, Mini GroovyBalls (for the kiddies), Off road Go-Karting, Target Shooting and Paintball. This sounds like a boys paradise!
Visit their website here for more info and pricing as there is quite a lot on offer. Like them on Facebook here.

9. Eat Out!
At some point I would like to try the following restaurants in Hillcrest: Lupa, Mozambik, Stretta, Two Acres and Bellevue Cafe {in no particular order}.

10. Hillcrest AIDS Centre
Shopping at the AIDS Centre for indigenous plants and beaded goodies. I would like to support this NPO this year. 
Visit their website here to get an idea of what they do and offer.

I plan to grow on this list. This is just the start. What do you want to try? What do you suggest?


  1. It is the beginning of July and so far I can say that I have done the following from my list:
    3. Riding Bikes along Durban's Golden Mile. We rented bikes from at shop at Moses Mabhida Stadium and rode all the way past uShaka and around the canals and back (about 10km?). We did this despite me being 20 weeks pregnant at the time and in an hour!
    9. Eat Out. We ate out at Lupa last night and LOVED it. The staff were so friendly, our waiteress was fantastic (her name is Jo) and the food was amazing!
    10. Hillcrest AIDS Centre. Read more about our visit

  2. Oh I almost forgot! We ate at Stretta earlier on this year and also enjoyed our experience there! So now we just have Bellevue, Mozambik and Two Acres to try from number 9!

  3. I wanted to send through some information regarding our store in the hopes that you may want to blog or create a feature in your publication on the activity along with any of your planned content on family/kids activities.

    With schools about to close for the year try something fun and creative these school holidays.

    Decor8's is a retail paint store based in Hillcrest. On the 1st December we launch our Paint & Play kids zone.

    We offer:
    A drop and shop service
    cafe with a full menu for those moms who need to catch up on emails or relax whilst the kiddies have some creative fun!
    The Paint & Play kids zone is fully child friendly and has full time staff to supervise the safety of children of all ages.

    It can also be booked out as a birthday party venue.

    R100 let's you paint & play (paint supplies provided)

    If you would be interested in featuring our much needed venue in the Hillcrest, Durban area please get in touch with me. See flyer attached.

    Yours in Paint,
    Vibrant Living

    1. hi to Collette from Decor8, please can i have your contact details. many thanks Judith