Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Galleries and Museums
Pinetown (5.6 km from Cowies Hill)
The Fat Tuesday Gallery is dedicated to providing an exhibition space for visual artists. The gallery is strongly focused on acting as a platform for both emerging and established photographers. There is an eclectic mix of various paintings, photographs, and ceramics that will entice people with different tastes and interests.
There are also various funky items on display such as retro clocks, wind-up toys and re-worked images of pop culture. Visitors can browse through the large collection of books, home decor, and various pieces of original art. The gallery is open on weekdays and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm.
Galleries and Museums
Westville (5.7 km from Cowies Hill)
Named after Jonas Bergtheil, this museum is situated in the leafy suburb of Westville midway between Durban and Pinetown.
Much of the museum is housed in Westville’s oldest building featuring massive stone walls and hand-hewn timber floorboards. The park like surrounds add an atmosphere of tranquility.
Exhibits mostly focus on the first German settlers that Jonas Bergtheil brought to Natal as director of the Natal Cotton Company and their associations with the settlements of Westville, Claremont and New Germany.
Visiting hours are 8:30 – 16:00 Monday to Friday, 8:00 – 12:00 Saturdays. Closed Sundays and Public Holidays. Entrance is free.
Westville (6.8 km from Cowies Hill)
Just a five-minute drive from Durban on the N3, The Pavilion Shopping Centre provides a premier shopping and entertainment experience. Something of a Durban fashionista hot spot, the mall merges fun, food and fashion under one roof and there’s plenty to keep you busy.Offering over 230 shops and more than 40 restaurants, the centre has one of the widest choices in KwaZulu-Natal. With 14 jewellery outlets, it’s the perfect place to pick out gifts and curios for loved ones.And there’s no end of entertainment to keep kids amused at the Amusement Area, skate park and 12 cinemas. Over 6 000 covered and open parking bays have direct access to the centre and are protected by state of the art security.So whether you're looking for a cool place to escape Durban’s hot summer or you have to watch the latest movie after a good Indian or Italian dinner, the Pavilion is an obvious choice in the greater Durban area.
Kloof (7.7 km from Cowies Hill)
Offering numerous scenic walks and viewpoints, Krantzkloof Nature Reserve is a haven for twitchers and jaded urbanites right in the heart of the suburb of Kloof.
The spectacular Kloof Gorge is part of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, and is one of the few places in Durban where Knysna Turaco can be found, along with a number of forest birds and the magnificent crowned eagle.
The attractive Everton Conservancy is also part of the Kloof area, and to crown these ecological attractions – the spectacular Valley of 1 000 Hills Tourism Experience starts in Kloof.
A magnet for eco-tourists, Kloof is also a welcome retreat for business executives visiting the nearby industrial areas of Pinetown and Hammarsdale.
Krantzkloof Nature Reserve is open from 6am to 6pm daily. Entrance is free excepting for a small fee charged at the Kloof Falls picnic site on weekends.
Please ensure that you are familiar with your hiking route prior to departure, as it is fairly easy to get lost in the gorge.
Guided walks take place on the first and third Sunday of each month at 8am. Cost is R30 per person and booking is essential for these walks. The walks leave from the main picnic site in Kloof Falls road.
Should you require further information about any of the walks or trails telephone the Officer in Charge: (0)31 764 3515.
Westcliff (Durban) (10.2 km from Cowies Hill)
Leave your shoes at the door and walk into a colourful Hindu sanctuary. The spacecraft-like exterior belies the opulent interior of marble tiles, gold-tinted windows, crystal chandeliers and lavish decorations. Ceiling frescoes and statuettes pay tribute to the divine couple, Radha and Krishna.
Entrance is free and people of all faiths are welcome to spend time here meditating, praying or just to soak up the contemplative atmosphere while wandering around the lush garden and peaceful environment.
Underneath the temple is a wonderful restaurant run by devotees serving scrumptious vegetarian fare to eat there or take away.
+27 (0) 31 403 3328
Mountain Biking Trails
Hillcrest (10.8 km from Cowies Hill)
Grab your bike and hit the trails in the magnificent Giba Gorge. Situated just outside Pinetown off the N3, Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park offers a range of awesome mountain biking trails, a BMX track, and a restaurant – all boasting magnificent views of the stunning Giba valley.
Crestholme (11 km from Cowies Hill)
Situated near Crestholme on the edge of the Valley of Thousand Hills is Muddy Paws Farm, a little herb and lavender farm with more to offer than meets the eye.
Here you can spend time amongst the farm animals or in the herb display garden, select herbs in the nursery, pick your own lavender, and purchase herb products and crafts in the shop.
Also on site is Insight Art Gallery, with affordable photographic and original artwork by local artists. And there’s Huberto's famous ice cream!
Hillcrest (12.7 km from Cowies Hill)
The Heritage Market provides a unique shopping experience in the Hillcrest area. As Durban shopping centres go, the outdoor atmosphere of "The Heritage" stands alone. Situated in the 1000 Hills Tourism route, Heritage Market caters for the whole family, locals and tourists. Shopping at the Heritage caters for all interests, with shops ranging from jewellery, health, beauty, clothing, sporting and convenience stores to specialist stores not found in your average mall. The Heritage Market offers you the trendiest restaurants, décor shops, and a wide range of entertainment. Apart from restaurants, coffee shops, regular live music and markets, the Heritage Market boasts the Highway area’s first supper club, the Heritage Supper Theatre. Need to know? Trading hours:Monday - Friday: 9 am - 4.30pmSaturday: 9 am - 4 pmSunday: 9 am - 3 pmPublic Holidays: 9am - 3 pmClosed - Christmas Day and New Year's DayOptional Trading - Good Friday and Family Day*Please note: Service shops and restaurants may operate outside of these hours. Ample parking for over 700 free parking spaces is available for patrons.
Bulwer (13.4 km from Cowies Hill)
The Marutswa Forest Project started in 2004 and aims to promote the conservation of Bulwer's unique biodiversity. The indigenous forest is managed by Ezemvelo Wildlife and offers three forest trails all varying in intensity. All the trails start at the visitors centre and end along the same route.
The contour trail is suitable for anyone and is the easiest trail as it is completely flat. Visitors will first pass through the rehabilitation section before entering the forest. The trail is approximately 1275 m with boardwalks and steps along the way. The walk ends on the grasslands with distant views over the rural landscape.
The tanglewood detour is slightly steeper as it branches off the contour path up a slope for about to 10 to 15 m before adjoining with the contour path again.
The terrace traverse is the steepest trail. It rises up through the grasslands before entering the forest at the base of the scree slopes. It then trails along the terrace before sloping down through giant boulders to join the tanglewood detour.
Musgrave (14 km from Cowies Hill)
Situated on the eastern slopes of the Berea ridge, Durban Botanic Gardens is renowned for the rarest original specimen of a plant in the world – a cycad named Encephalartos woodii.
Initially the garden grew experimental tropical crops but today the extensive offerings include the herbarium, orchid house, cycad collection, a garden for the blind and a tea garden.
Along with an extensive collection of South African cycad species, a highlight is the Orchid House, best viewed during spring.
Guided tours are on offer but it’s essential to book well in advance. The charity tea garden is open from 09:30 – 16:15 daily.
Umgeni Park (14.8 km from Cowies Hill)
Get in touch with your wild side with the luminous feathered inhabitants of Umgeni River Bird Park.
Tumbling waterfalls, lush semi-tropical vegetation, lively birds singing and squawking, walk-through aviaries and open paddocks contribute to make this a renowned bird paradise.
View dazzling macaws, parading flamingoes, stately cranes, and comical toucans. And you’ll see loads more – witness how some of the world’s rarest birds live and breed.
Make your way to the 'baby room' viewing window and follow the activity in the nursery where plump little chicks are reared by loving foster-parents.
Don't miss the Free flight Bird Show with critically endangered species like the Wattled Crane, owls, storks, hornbills and a Cape Vulture in free unrestricted flight. It's highly educational but also loads of fun.
Free flight Bird Shows take place at 11am and 2pm every day.
Greyville (14.9 km from Cowies Hill)
She's pear-shaped but a winner! The Greyville Racecourse surrounds the Royal Durban Golf Club's Championship course, which provides a picture of green grass and foliage throughout the year framed in the background by the many hotels of Durban's Golden Mile. This right-handed track has a circumference of 2 800 metres, and a run-in of 500 metres and no straight for sprints.
Unusual features are the golf course in the centre of the track, the Drill Hall which obscures the 1600 metre start and two subways. The construction of these subways resulted in the course having an uphill section from the 2 400 metre post up to the 1 800 metre position, thereafter a gentle downward slope for about 800 metres, followed by an uphill section from the 1000 metre mark into the straight. In 1996, history was made when it became the first track in the country to successfully install floodlights, enabling the course to accommodate night racing at all its midweek meetings.
Durban Central (15.7 km from Cowies Hill)
Ever dreamt of sashaying in a sari, getting tattooed with henna or tucking into an ‘atomic bomb’ curry? Satisfy your yearning for burning and a lot more at Durban’s oldest market.
Venture down to the Victoria Street Market on the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets in Durban Central and step into a sensory Afro-Indian world. Here the smell of incense and spices pervades the atmosphere where over 180 traders sell their produce. You will find all manner of delightful food and spices including a fish market.
Durban’s Indian community is the largest outside of India and has influenced the character of the city immensely. Operating since 1870, Victoria Street Market still offers a dizzying whirl of colour, aromas, vibrant fabrics and the cheerful noise of bartering. Shoppers can purchase silk saris, scarves, jewellery, woven baskets, beaded and carved curios, Asian ceramics and even cheap Chinese products.
Further down is the clothing mecca of Grey Street (Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street), where you will find typical Indian architecture, narrow lanes, colonnades over pavements and an array of fabric shops.
Open Monday to Saturday 08:00 – 18:00; Sunday and public holidays 10:00 – 16:00.
+27 (0) 31 306 4021.
Galleries and Museums
Durban Beachfront (15.8 km from Cowies Hill)
Built right on Catalina flying boats' Control Tower on Wilson's Wharf, Catalina Theatre's theme and decor reflect the ambience of a creative and dramatic flying machine!
Catalina Theatre is the dream of Durban thespian, director, producer and performing arts personality, Themi Venturas. New productions are staged every two to three weeks and vary from comedy and the classics to drama and rock music.
At Catalina there is a seat in the house to suit every artistic taste and personality. Bar staff are funky, the drinks are cold and the harbour view is breath taking. Say no more!
Durban (15.9 km from Cowies Hill)
With its incomparable harbour views, Wilson's Wharf is Durban's trendiest fusion of fun food, top shows and crafts, blended with the rustic interface of a boating marina and working slipways.
The waterfront has something for everyone, from a fast-food court to restaurants providing funky food and fine dining, from cuisine from the four corners of the globe to an oyster bar, and from harbour cruise dining to a cosy coffee bar or festive pub atmosphere.
Shops contain a wide range of quality crafts and speciality items for the discerning shopper, while the 165-seat intimate Catalina Theatre brings top shows to Durban's only stage with bay vistas.
The Marina offers deep-sea fishing charters daily, or visitors may take their pick of the catch-of-the-day from a full range of seafood at the wharf-side fresh fish market.