Many well-known artists, antique dealers and craftsmen have made the northern Free State town of Parys their home. Enjoy berry picking, beer and ‘mampoer’ tasting, art displays, shopping galore, tranquil spas, cheetah interaction and plenty of outdoor fun on land and water.
The name of this town is the Afrikaans version of “Paris”. It is believed that a German land surveyor who participated in the Siege of Paris had given the town this name because the Vaal River reminded him of Paris on the River Seine. The town was laid out in 1876. The Gold Island, Woody Island and Groot Island are three islands in the Vaal River that are important tourist attractions. Parys, has retained the “magical charm” of small town atmosphere with all the amenities and luxuries of a modern city.
Parys will certainly entertain the whole family with all its outdoor activities. The three islands offer various things to do to excite every tourist. The Golf Island is a very popular attraction because it was built in 1919 across a suspension bridge. This unique 9-hole golf course is a definite must-see.
Other things to do in Parys include the following:
• A unique attraction in Parys, the suspension bridge, was built in 1918 to connect Golf Island to the town.
• The current Town Hall was built in the 1930s in the typical Art Deco Style, after the original town Hall was destroyed by a fire.
• Parys is in the 5 km buffer zone of the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site. The oldest and largest crater on earth, the Vredefort Dome was caused when a massive meteorite struck the earth 2,000 million years ago. The force of the impact caused the rock layers to ‘bend’, resulting in a semi-circular ring of mountains that are home to abundant bird and plant life – and the world’s only pink granite. Both Parys and Vredefort are located within the Vredefort Dome’s original impact area.
• Another key Tourism landmark is the Smilin Thru Resort, originally named after the B52 Bomber the first owner of the resort flew in World War 2. The Smilin Thru Resort is the best fishing spot on the Vaal River and is infamous for the Black Carp.
• Abseiling, rock climbing, river rafting, quad biking, archery, paintball – Parys Adventures
• Hot air ballooning www.hotairballooningsa.co.za
• Bon Aff Berry Farm – Join a guided tour through the orchard and indulge on over 80 varieties of succulent berries at your own pace. A special container is provided to everyone wishing to pick berries for take away.
• Parys on the Vaal (Shops and art work)
• Cheetah Interaction – Dell Cheetah Centre – Tel: 082 691 5537
|Country name||South Africa|