Set at the foothills of the northern KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg Mountains, Newcastle is located in the north west corner of the province along the Ncandu River.
The town was used as a depot by the British during both the First and Second Boer War. Newcastle functioned as a major transport junction and stopover for wagons and post chaises during the late 19th century.
Today, Newcastle is the main commercial and industrial center in northern KwaZulu-Natal and is the provinces third largest city.
As Newcastle is on the route for travellers from Gauteng to Durban, attempts are made to entice travelers to visit the scenic and historic Battlefields Route. Apart from a few hotels, there are many Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfasts providing luxurious accommodation.
Ntshingwayo Dam, located 25 km South West of Newcastle on the Ngagane River, is Newcastle’s main source of water supply. The surrounding reserve covers an area of 6 500 ha. and is managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
The 1 500 ha Game Park has a range of highveld game and bird viewing is common. The park also features the largest population of the rare Oribi in South Africa. Guided game drives are provided subject to prior arrangement with management.
Sailing, power boating, water-skiing and swimming are all popular activities on the 3 400 ha. dam. The dam is known as a fishing destination, both hobby and competition, with carp, barbel and scaly the most commonly caught.
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