Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.





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  1. #1
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    Default Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.

    Wanting to take Swambo to the coast next week (21-24/3) but don't want to go to Durban so Richard's Bay it is.
    We're considering taking the N3 / R34 to Vrede-Memel-Utrecht-Vryheid-Melmoth-Richard's Bay. Has anyone driven this road in the last few months - is it OK? Also thinking of coming back the N2-N17 (Piet Retief-Bethal) route so would appreciate any comment on that route too.

    What would you say are the top few attractions in Richard's Bay (and close surrounds) other than the waterfront and beach area. Google helps BUT prefer to hear Forum comments / tips / secret places etc.
    Many thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.

    We did the route from Vryheid to Melmoth and Richardsbay a few months ago and i just don't like that road. Skip the Utrecht-Vryheid portion, go through Newcastle to Dundee and then through Nqutu and Babanango to Melmoth, much prettier drive and far less traffic and potholes.

    My preferred route (from Ladysmith) is to go through Colenso - Weenen - Meuden - Greytown, then turn after Mzulwini and again after St Christopher and then onto the R102 through Gingindlovu, where you want to join the N2 after that. Keep an eye out for livestock and don't be on the R74 in the dark or dawn/dusk, I've had enough near misses that I just plan the drive so I'm on that portion once the sun has properly risen.

    Getting in and out of Empangeni on the R34 to Melmoth is too much of a test of patience for me...

    Travelling through Pongola is an exercise I leave to others. Make sure everything is locked and out of the way of prying eyes.
    Last edited by petermoffat; 2019/03/15 at 11:24 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Badger View Post
    Wanting to take Swambo to the coast next week (21-24/3) but don't want to go to Durban so Richard's Bay it is.
    We're considering taking the N3 / R34 to Vrede-Memel-Utrecht-Vryheid-Melmoth-Richard's Bay. Has anyone driven this road in the last few months - is it OK? Also thinking of coming back the N2-N17 (Piet Retief-Bethal) route so would appreciate any comment on that route too.

    What would you say are the top few attractions in Richard's Bay (and close surrounds) other than the waterfront and beach area. Google helps BUT prefer to hear Forum comments / tips / secret places etc.
    Many thanks!
    The road from Newcastle to Vryheid isn't great, but not the worst I've seen either. The section from vryheid to Melmoth I actually quite enjoy, it's only closer to Empangeni where it can get a bit busy.

    As for attractions in Richards Bay, there is no better person to ask than Riaan van Wyk here on the forum.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.

    Hello Badger. Quite a bit to see and do in the general vicinity here, it depends what you like doing though.

    My missus is on leave then and she'll gladly take you on a tour of the harbour and area, even a day trip to Hluhluwe/ Mfolozi if you so like. Sure she won't mind. I'll join after work.

    Where will you be staying?
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.

    If you are taking a boat then Richards bay is great. Also close by(ish) is st Lucia, cape Vidal, umfolozi.

    Lots of nice places in the area.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.

    Hi Badger,
    I've driven both the N3 and the N2 regularly.
    The N3 is a bit more relaxing being double lane mostly, plenty speed cameras and traffic cops. In general it is a longer drive 8.5hrsand more tolls, where as N2 is about 7hrs. Pongola and surrounds is a pita at night especially on weekends- many locals in towns and livestock-take it slow.

    The Vryheid/Melmoth route- very scenic but single lanes mostly and the Melmoth pass can by a issue with trucks etc- heaven forbid if there is an accident on the pass.
    Traffic police like trapping there as well.

    Nqutu- is more isolated, with plenty of bends- avoid at night time and keep a sharp eye for livestock.

    Plenty to do in the Bay. Small boat will be magic in the bay, plenty action on light tackle.

    Game reserves-
    St Lucia is an hour away, travel through reserve to Cape Vidal, also worth a visit.
    Mfolozi little bit further-IIRC they have big 5
    Dlinza aerial boardwalk is worth a mention

    A guided local tour as mentioned, will be something special.
    Just remember your hat, sunscreen and sonbrille. Our UV is not friendly.
    Cheers

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Jhb to Richard's Bay: Route? Relaxation? Your tips please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bospatrollie2 View Post
    Hi Badger,
    I've driven both the N3 and the N2 regularly.
    The N3 is a bit more relaxing being double lane mostly, plenty speed cameras and traffic cops. In general it is a longer drive 8.5hrsand more tolls, where as N2 is about 7hrs. Pongola and surrounds is a pita at night especially on weekends- many locals in towns and livestock-take it slow.

    The Vryheid/Melmoth route- very scenic but single lanes mostly and the Melmoth pass can by a issue with trucks etc- heaven forbid if there is an accident on the pass.
    Traffic police like trapping there as well.

    Nqutu- is more isolated, with plenty of bends- avoid at night time and keep a sharp eye for livestock.

    Plenty to do in the Bay. Small boat will be magic in the bay, plenty action on light tackle.

    Game reserves-
    St Lucia is an hour away, travel through reserve to Cape Vidal, also worth a visit.
    Mfolozi little bit further-IIRC they have big 5
    Dlinza aerial boardwalk is worth a mention

    A guided local tour as mentioned, will be something special.
    Just remember your hat, sunscreen and sonbrille. Our UV is not friendly.
    Cheers
    I wouldn't recommend the Nquthu/ Babanago road either for someone just travelling through to get somewhere. Things happen that delays one and to hit that road after dark with all the usual mist is nothing but a nightmare on steroids.
    Last edited by Riaan van Wyk; 2019/03/19 at 08:58 PM.
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