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Why did we hand pick De Oude Huize?

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  • Beautifully renovated historic property dating back to 1860
  • Vintage car tour of Harrismith with your knowledgeable host can be arranged
  • The rooms are characterfully and opulently decorated with period pieces

De Oude Huize

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 12 years and older

In Harrismith


-28.2663, 29.1232


When Hennie and Sandra Cronje first encountered the 140-year-old house at De Oude Huize, it was extremely dilapidated. Huge cracks, shaky foundations and chipped old paint didn’t stop the Cronjes falling in love with the property, however, and the couple traded the lights of the city, moved to Harrismith and went about restoring the house into a rustic masterpiece.

Today, De Oude Huize offers luxury accommodation in rooms that provide a living reminder of the olden days. Adorned with antique furniture, large cast-iron baths and Oregon pine floors, the guest rooms reflect opulent olde-worlde country living while providing comforting amenities such as fireplaces, complimentary sherry and soft gowns.

When the Cronjes began decorating the huge guest rooms in the style of yesteryear, they didn’t have a crystal clear idea of what the end product would be, but each room slowly began to develop its true character, and the couple lovingly named them to reflect this. 

From the brass bedsteads to the furniture, paintings and light fittings, Generations and Traditions provides numerous points of antique interest for guests to enjoy. A chaise longue at the foot of the Queen-size, floral patterned bed accentuates this grand sense of history.

Wisdom and Folly’s King-size bed has a huge patterned headboard matching the room’s comfy armchairs, and a third guest can make use of the day bed. 

True to its name, Great Escape is a private suite that offers a stoep: a perfect setting for birdwatchers. Tasteful splashes of bright colour add a sense of fun to the historical atmosphere created by the leather headboard and antique artwork. This full en-suite room also has a day bed. 

Possibly the most interesting of the rooms, Thornton Bibliothèque has a mind-boggling collection of about 1000 books. The bedroom and bathroom are open plan. Being located in the attic, the room is very light and airy, but guests should take note that it is not particularly suitable for those with walking difficulties.

The biting Harrismith winter is warded off by fireplaces in the first three rooms, and heaters and electric blankets in all the rooms will keep you perfectly cosy. Looking out of the windows, your view showcases the landscaped garden and the Platberg mountain, one of Harrismith’s most recognisable landmarks.

At mealtimes, Sandra and Hennie get personally involved in tending to their guests, with Sandra cooking up the cuisine and Hennie serving some delicious wines to complement the country fair.

A special attraction at De Oude Huize is the vintage car tour, in which guests are taken through the historic Harrismith in a restored, sky-blue Chevrolet driven by the very knowledgeable Hennie. Some of the historical attractions include the town hall and the eight-seater Llandaff Oratory, recognised as the smallest church in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hitting the road in your own car will take you to some of the area’s other attractions and activities, which range from golf, to trout fishing, picnics next to the Wilge River, hiking up Platberg and watersports in the azure blue waters of Sterkfontein Dam.

Rates & Summary

Generations and Traditions

Sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
En-suite bath and shower
Garden and mountain views

Wisdom and Folly

Sleeps 3 in King-size bed and daybed
En-suite bath and hand shower
Garden view

Great Escape

Sleeps 3 in King-size bed and daybed
En-suite bath and shower
Garden view

Thornton Bibliothèque

Sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
Open-plan bathroom with bath and shower
Located in the attic
Garden view


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Continental and cooked breakfasts included


Children over the age of 12 years are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

De Oude Huize Yard is an historic property in Harrismith with a heritage stretching back to 1860. De Oude Huize is exceptionally proud of its history, taking guests on a nostalgic trip back to the roots of its colourful heritage. By prior arrangement, the guesthouse offers visitors a unique chance to take a guided tour of historic Harrismith in a vintage Chevy. The guest house is located in a secluded setting with landscaped gardens and views over the iconic Platberg mountain.


  • Beautifully renovated historic property dating back to 1860
  • Vintage car tour of Harrismith with your knowledgeable host can be arranged
  • The rooms are characterfully and opulently decorated with period pieces

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, golf clubs, fly fishing gear, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

All roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Historic Chevy tour

Nearby: fly fishing, watersports, hiking, golf course, picnics, historical attractions, arts and crafts, township tours, Llandaff Oratory.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Heater included
  • Electric blanket included
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Iron and ironing board available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Limited alcohol license


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Solar and electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Limited wheelchair friendliness
  • Not child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 500m
  • Nearest fuel within 1km


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted




Thabo Mofutsanyana

Free State


The northern and eastern sections of the Free State, commonly referred to as the “eastern Free State”, nudge up against the borders of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Officially the region is called Thabo Mofutsanayana.  Mofutsanyana, born in QwaQwa, was a leading light of both the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party until his death in 1995.

Geographically, this region bucks a trend. While most of the Free State is flat, the eastern reaches tower up as the Drakensberg and the Malotis come into play. The landscape climbs and soars, leaving impressive cliffs and buttresses of sandstone, and hidden caves in its wake.

Nowhere is the scene more striking that at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park near the village of Clarens. The maze of sculptured rock formations here is almost too much to absorb.  Sunset colours the cliffs in shades of ochre, hence the reference to gold in the name of the park.

These higher altitudes, of course, do wonders for the eastern Free State air, which is crisp, clean and bracing, conducive to a feeling of good health.

Clarens is one of the villages that lie in the foothills of the Malotis. With its mountainous surrounds, it is said to be reminiscent of the Swiss village of Clarens, where President Paul Kruger lived out his exile.

A town of sandstone buildings set amidst farmland, it has undergone something of a reincarnation in recent years as an artists’ colony. Just three hours or so from Gauteng’s big cities, weekenders come down to roam its galleries and craft shops.

The principal town in this region is Bethlehem. Once again sandstone buildings are characteristic of the town, which is the centre of a farming community that produces the lion’s share of South Africa’s wheat crop.

It has both built and natural attractions, including a flat-water slalom course for canoeists on the Ash River. Bethlehem is also the location of an annual national hot-air balloon championship.

Also set against an imposing Maloti backdrop is Ficksburg, renowned for its annual Cherry Festival in summer. A gateway to Lesotho and its Katse Dam, the town’s environs offer much in the way of adventure activity, such as 4x4 trails, quad-biking, abseiling, trout-fishing and game-viewing.

Other Thabo Mofutsanyane towns are Arlington, Clocolan, Fouriesburg, Harrismith, Kestell, Lindley, Marquard, Memel, Paul Roux, Petrus Steyn, Phuthaditjhaba, Reitz, Rosendal, Senekal, Vrede and Warden.

Look out for

Golden Gate Highlands National Park – This park is a theatre of natural, towering sandstone formations, named “golden” for their colour at sunset.  At that time of day, the best place to appreciate the beauty is the highest point in the park, Ribbokkop.  The former QwaQwa National Park was incorporated into Golden Gate in 2005.  Horseriding is a popular outdoor pursuit in the park, which is valued for its plant, animal and bird life.  A number of accommodation options are available.

Basotho Cultural Village –  South Sotho architecture, arts and crafts, herbal medicinal remedies and cuisine can be explored at the Basotho Cultural Village near Phuthaditjhaba.  Song and dance folklore shows can also be enjoyed.

The Sentinel – Also near Phuthaditjhaba, it is the access point for a series of trails that lead hikers to the rear of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre and some of the country’s most magnificent scenery.  Geographical features to view are The Sentinel, Devil’s Tooth, the Eastern Buttress and the Tugela Falls.

Discovering cherries, Ficksburg  - The annual Cherry Festival in Ficksburg takes place in November.  It is a three-day event that attracts thousands and entertains with fun activities such as horse- and camel-rides.  Cherry farm tours, however, take place throughout the cherry season, which is in October and November.  Locally made cherry liqueurs, brandies and schnapps should be tasted to complete the experience.

Clarens – A host of things to do and see in Clarens includes the Artist Amble, a route of galleries open to the public; rock art on Schaapplaats Farm; sandstone formations such as Mushroom Rock and Titanic Rock; dinosaur fossils at Sue’s Zoo; fly-fishing as well as bass- and river-fishing; hiking and horse-riding.

Sterkfontein Dam, Harrismith – The third largest dam in South Africa, the Sterkfontein Dam is a popular venue for water sports and angling.  Predating the Lesotho Highlands project, the water that fills the dam is pumped up from KwaZulu-Natal.  It is then released into the Wilge River, from where it flows into the Vaal Dam.    The Sterkfontein Dam’s banks are surrounded by a nature reserve where strange rock formations are just as interesting to view as buck and raptors.  Camping and chalet accommodation is available, as well as hiking trails.

Salpeterkrans – At Fouriesburg you will find Salpeterkrans, one of the largest sandstone overhangs in the southern hemisphere, shaped by wind erosion.  It not surprising that it is considered a sacred site where ancestral worship and fertility rites take place.

Rosendal – like the town of Clarens, Rosendal is known for its arty vibe. There are numerous art galleries in and around town, as well as quaint shops and restaurants. The Meerkatkolonie Art Gallery is a must. Rosendal is a popular weekend getaway destination for those who live in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

When to go

To Do

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