The Matjiesfontein Bucket List

Posted on Tue July 17, 2018.

The ultimate guide to exploring Matjiesfontein.

Matjiesfontein - a quaint and self-contained village at the fringe of the Great Karoo that is rich in history and old world charm. This gem of a town will take you back to the 1800’s with its splendid historical buildings and stories from the Victorian era.

Besides a journey back in time, Matjiesfontein also offers a host of exciting and adventurous activities to complement your stay – The Matjiesfontein Bucket List. From an informative, historical bus tour to mountain biking in the vast open Karoo, you’ll have plenty of new memories to take home. How many activities can you tick off The Bucket List?

Mountain Biking:

Our 20km mountain biking trail is the newest addition to Matjiesfontein’s activities. Ride along the sweeping untouched landscape of the Great Karoo, where you will be treated to beautiful views of the Witteberg mountains (bicycles are available at reception).

Tennis with a view:

Matjiesfontein has a tennis court available for guests, surrounded by beautiful views of the Karoo. Rackets and tennis balls are available at reception for an intense workout or a friendly game.


Situated behind the Lord Milner Hotel is our swimming pool, set in sprawling green gardens. Known to be the “coldest swimming pool in Africa”, it will certainly cool you down and makes it one for The Bucket List. Take a dip in those warm summer months or, if you don’t want to brave the cold, sit back and relax on our sun loungers and soak up the beautiful surroundings.

Red Bus Tour:

Take a historical tour around Matjiesfontein in an old red double-decker London bus with town guide and entertainer, John Theunissen, or Johnny as he’s fondly known. Not only will you experience the shortest bus tour known to man, Johnny will keep you in high spirits with his witty charm, Nelson Mandela impressions and hilarious one-liners: “Vat hom Fluffy”, as he delves into the town’s amazing history.

The Pub:

Step into the popular Laird’s Arms Pub at Matjiesfontein where Johnny, the local town entertainer, will impress you with his delightful singing and piano playing skills, making this one of the fan favourites for The Bucket List. Appreciate the live music whilst  enjoying a leisurely drink or pub lunch. In winter, we light the fire to ensure you keep warm and cosy on those chilly days.

The Coffee Shop:

Walking into the town’s coffee shop is taking a step back in time – lovely waitrons, dressed in traditional Victorian attire, welcome you to sit down and enjoy a tasty breakfast or lunch and a delicious cup of well-known Truth coffee, made by our skilled baristas.

The Yellow Room:

Relax and put your feet up with a good book or enjoy sipping on the perfect cup of English tea in the Yellow room – you might even be joined by the famous ghosts, Kate and Lady Milner. Tea party, anyone?

Star Gazing:

Being situated in the Great Karoo region, Matjiesfontein has one of the clearest skies in the Southern hemisphere, offering a spectacular star gazing experience on the old cricket pitch where the first match between SA and England took place, in 1891. By day, enjoy a friendly game of cricket on this historical piece of land; by night, allow the day’s thoughts to float away whilst admiring the twinkle of the starry night sky.


Take a stroll through our Transport Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of vintage cars that date back from the 1930s through to the 1960s. Be sure to also visit the Marie Rawdon Museum, which showcases the largest private artefacts and memorabilia collection from the Anglo-Boer War, in the world.