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Smithfield Conference Facilities - Free State - South Africa

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Smithfield Information


The town is tucked into a horseshoe of hills, some 132 km southeast of Bloemfontein along the national road to Port Elizabeth. The Caledon River bounds Smithfield on the east and south. The district is drained by various tributaries of this river, the Vinkel and Wilgeboom Spruits being the largest. As the town lies 13 km west of the river, water has to be obtained from boreholes around the town dam.

Smithfield has a small population of approximately 4,500. It is a prosperous wool-growing district, in addition to cattle farming. Originally an important wool-growing area, in recent times its position astride major tourist routes, has lent impetus to growing tourism.

Ou Grietjie, a cannon used by the Free State in the Basuto wars, has been mounted in front of the magistrate's office. It was named after Margaret (Grietjie), wife of the gunner Robert Finlay.

The Caledon River museum is located in town. The Carmel and Beersheba missionary posts are experiencing some revival, with houses increasingly renovated.

The well-maintained local golf course dates back more than 100 years. Its facilities are open to guests, as are local tennis and bowls clubs. (portions of text adapted from pula house web site at pula-house).

Hills surrounding the town are considered well-suited to hiking, walking, horse-riding and birdwatching in relative isolation. Local secondary roads are suitable for mountain biking and some Zebra are to be found in the open savanna. | Western Cape | Eastern Cape | Northern Cape | Kwazulu-Natal | Free State | Gauteng | Limpopo Province | North West Province | Mpumalanga | Sitemap

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