The Northern and Eastern regions are bordered in the north by the Vaal River and in the east by the Drakensberg mountain range. This region produces a major portion of South Africa’s maize crop. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is situated in the region. This park is renowned for its natural beauty and takes its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the sandstone cliffs of the park.
Bethlehem is situated just to the north of the Golden Gate. The name Bethlehem means "house of bread" which is appropriate as the town is situated in the heart of South Africa's wheat growing area which produces a large percentage of South Africa's maize and wheat.
The town of Deneysville owes its existence to the construction of the Vaal Dam which was completed in 1938. The Vaal Dam is the main source of water for the Witwatersrand region of Gauteng. Deneysville is a popular venue for water sports enthusiasts, housing four yacht clubs as well as boat building and boat repairs services. Established in 1849, Harrismith is situated on the border between Free State and KwaZulu Natal. Harrismith gets its name from Sir Harry Smith who was a governor of what is now known as the Free State. Harrismith is known for the large flat topped mountain, the Platberg, which sits just behind the town. The town also features many reminders of the Anglo-Boer wars.
To the south lies the small town of Hobhouse on the banks of the Leeu River. The town is named after Emily Hobhouse, the famous Anglo-Boer War concentration camp heroine. To the north of Hobhouse is the agricultural town of Ladybrand which was founded in 1867. Ladybrand sits at the base of the Platberg ridge and is a significant administrative town in the wheat and sunflower belt of the Free State. The town lies just a few kilometers from the Caledon Bridge which forms the main border post between South Africa and Lesotho.
Kroonstad is believed to be named after a horse, Kroon, which belonged to the famous Boer leader Sarel Cilliers. Kroonstad is an important centre for the production of maize, wheat, meat, sunflowers, dairy products and wool.
Information on towns in the Northern and Eastern Region
Bethlehem, Clarens, Ficksburg, Fouriesburg, Harrismith, Kroonstad, Ladybrand, Parys, Sasolburg, Senekal, Vredefort