Strategically placed in 1854 at the junction of three provinces, Viljoensdorp (as it was originally named), was natural destination and departure point for travellers travelling between Port Natal-Durban, Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (now the Transvaal) and Johannesburg. The regionís name then changed top Waterfall River Township because of the Ncandu River that runs through the town. It finally became Newcastle when it was established as the fourth town in Natal. Today, Newcastle is the largest town and the third largest urban centre in KwaZulu-Natal.
Apart from Newcastle being an entrepreneurís haven with proper infrastructure in place and access to numerous recreational facilities in a secure and family oriented environment, it is also an important South African tourist destination. Outdoor adventures such as hiking, 4x4 trails, mountain biking and fishing are readily available. The 1000 hectare Chelmsford Nature Reserve just outside the town is renowned for carp and bass fishing. The reserve is also home to the rhino, wildebeest, zebra, blesbok and springbok together with a wide array of bird species such as the Egyptian and Spur winged goose and spoonbill. For the adrenaline junkies; sailing, power boating and water-skiing is also available. For the young at heart however, Newcastle provides an exciting and eventful nightlife with a wide variety of hotspots including Club Escape, one of the regionís premier nightclubs which offers unrivalled entertainment and regularly hosts famous South African Djs and artists. The 100 million rand Century Casino, Spa & Hotel is a recent addition to the impressive Newcastle portfolio. Other places of interest include the Carnegie Art Gallery, where major South African artists as well as local artists are represented, Fort Amiel Museum, which is a typical Victorian frontier fort and the Armoury, a unique Hindu temple.
A Newcastle visit is a worthwhile, all round experience that should be enjoyed by all.