Virginia is a Gold mining town on the Sand River, 145 km north-west of Bloemfontein. It was laid out in 1954 and is administered by a village management board. The name was carved on a boulder on the farm Merriespruit by two American surveyors in 1890, and was subsequently taken over by the railway siding in 1892 and by the town. Here is situated the largest sulphuric acid plant in the Southern Hemisphere, producing 350 tons per day.
- Ventersburg 40 km’s on the R73
- Welkom 20 km’s via the R73
- Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve is 80 km’s away
- Kroonstad is located 95 km’s travelling on the N1 but there are shorter Rural routes.
- Bloemfontien 130 km’s south on to R30
VIRGINIA’S HEART OF GOLD
A beautiful town with a strong gold mining heritage, Virginia is the home of the famous Virginia Jewellery School (tel: 057 904 4364). Visitors can also enjoy boating, fishing and water-skiing on the Sand River, or hiking and bird watching along the river banks. The nearby Tikwe Lodge Nature Drive offers 40 species of buck, zebras and giraffes, as well as cruises along the Sand River. The Tikwe Lodge Park features monthly craft markets and the adjoining Virginia Game Reserve allows a look at the elusive smaller buck species. Virginia also boasts the place where the ring was made that was featured in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Despite its rapid progress following the gold discoveries of the 1940s, the town has remained a beautiful, tranquil town enhanced by lovely gardens.
The Sand River, on which the town is set, is ideal for boating, water-skiing, fishing and swimming. A hiking trail along its banks is much frequented by bird-watchers.
The 18-hole Sand River Golf Course possesses a central lake.
Trails such as the Hammerkop and Paradise Flycatcher Trails will allow you to experience the wonderful bird life of the area.
There are several horse riding schools in the town that are ready to accommodate riders both young and old.
Virginia is situated on the migratory route and many rare varieties of birds fly into and flourish in the town and its surroundings.
Guest Houses, resorts and Holiday Farms
Lekker Rus is situated just outside the town and has a caravan park, restaurant and boating trips. Elizamor, “Die Ou Huis” and “Boer en Brit” also offer accommodation and true Free State hospitality.
Harmonie Farmhouse and Riverside Resort
The resort has a caravan park and angling facilities. The original farmhouse was burnt down during the Anglo-Boer War and later rebuilt.
Sand River Resort
This resort has bungalows and a caravan park along a 10 km long stretch of the Sand River and is popular among stressed-out visitors. The area is also a nature sanctuary.
Tikwe River Lodge and Conference Centre
Tikwe River Lodge and Conference Center is a 30-unit luxury en-suite lodge, nestled on the banks of the Sand river, centrally situated in the heart of the Free State, outside the Goldfields town of Virginia. It offers a holiday destination, Game Lodge and Game Farm. The property measures approximately 141,0301 ha and consists of a game reserve, measuring approximately 55,3056ha, natural grazing measuring approximately 54,8032ha and a lodge on the remainder of the property. The exterior line fencing of the game reserve section is of six foot high game proof fencing.
The river extends on the other side of the property and presents breathtaking views over the water and is offers good fishing opportunities. Other attractions include a large swimming pool, a quad trail, amusement park and a river boat. There are regular sightings of zebra, springbok, lechwe, gemsbok and wildebeest.
The contact numbers are tel: (057) 212 3306 and fax 057 – 212 5059.
The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the website is www.tikwe.co.za.
Virginia Game Reserve and Park
The Virginia Game Reserve houses a large number of small species of antelope. It is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with many water birds and guinea fowl.
The tourism raft on the Sand River seats about 50 people and is available for cruises and a variety of other activities.
Education in Virginia
SCHOOLS IN VIRGINIA
- Harmony Primary School
Address: PO Box 1188, Virginia
Tel: 057- 2172009
- Harmony High School
Address: 44 Vondeling Road, Virginia
- Hentie Cilliers Secondary School
Address: Cnr Dahlia & Duiker streets, Virginia
- Ikaheng Public School
Address: 75 Makoko Drive, Eureka Park
- Lakeview Primary School
Address: 38 Valley Drive South
- Mamelllo Secondary School
Address: 1391 Musa Street, Meloding
- Reatlehile Secondary School
Address: 749 Mabitleng Rd, Eureka Park
Tel: 057- 2151567