We first visited Nieuwoudtville many years ago when we stopped for fuel there en route home to Kwazulu Natal. From the outside, there was nothing unusual about the Protea Motors Garage - just a normal little dorpie filling station. I wandered around the forecourt while the petrol attendant laboured away with the filling nozzle and the duel fuel tanks of the Landy we were driving then. An old 50cc motorcycle hanging in a window caught my eye. I went inside. More bikes - all manner of them - BMW's, Hondas, Zundaps, Triumphs and more, stacked one against another in the large workshop. I got chatting to the owner: "Do you deal in motorbikes", I asked? "No, mostly I just buy them...", was the rather taciturn reply.
So, in August, while looking for flowers and riding our ebikes with friends Bruce and Sharon, we stopped at Protea Motors to fill up the cars and take a peek at the bikes. They were still there, a little dusty but, clearly, still loved! Our mission on the trip though, was not motorbikes but rather the wonderful flowers that occur in early spring every year in the area. And eBike riding - of course eBike riding! We found the flowers too - millions of them! So we parked the cars at the info centre at the local NG Church, unloaded the bikes and headed for the Hantam Botanical Gardens where, we'd heard, the flowers were particularly good.
The South African National Biodiversity Institute, on their website, describes the gardens thus: "The Garden comprises a vast area of over 6000 ha which includes representative patches of Nieuwoudtville Shale Renosterveld, Nieuwoudtville-Roggeveld Dolorite Renosterveld and Hantam Succulent Karoo. Nine different trails can be followed covering the variety of habitats and soil types which make this Garden so unique and different". Mmmmm. I tell you what does make this botanical garden really unique and different is that you can cycle your way along the paths and trails. And how splendidly wonderful that was! Imagine it, flowers, more flowers than you can imagine, and there you are peddling away with friends, stopping every now and then to marvel, shoot pics and chat. It just doesn't get any better!
Our destination that day was not Nieuwoudtville but further south towards the Cederberg and we were on a bit of a deadline, so we headed back to the cars in town. If you are there in flower season (usually August and September) it's a "must do" and, in any case, it makes for a nice easy ride to go and have a look at some Nieuwoudtville Shale Renosterveld, Nieuwoudtville-Roggeveld Dolorite Renosterveld and Hantam Succulent Karoo!
Route Distance: 15 km although this could be more depending on how many of the trails and paths you ride at the Gardens.
Route conditions: All the roads are good gravel and the paths and trails easy riding - nothing technical or demanding.
Nieuwoudtville Parking: S31° 22.335' E19° 07.089'
Click here to see more of our mountain biking photographs.