The Millwood Walk is a short walk is made extra special as it offers an insight into the discovery of gold and the subsequent gold rush. You are deep in the hills and it’s difficult to imagine the miners and the village (complete with hotels) that they established here where now you only see lush green vegetation.
Getting there: take the N2 out of Knysna in the George direction, cross the lagoon and continue up the hill. Take the Rheenendal turn-off to the right, continuing along this road for 12.5 km until you reach the Bibby’s Hoek / Goudveld / Millwood turn-off to the right just past Rheenendal. Follow the dirt road for 4 km until you reach the access gate and pay point, then continue up the dirt road for another 8km passing Krisjan-se-Nek.
GPS Coordinates: -33.888612, 22.995602
Difficulty: good gravel roads for most of the way; the trip down to the mine shafts is steep and potentially slippery in wet conditions
Permits: R20 adults; R10 children
Park in the parking lot at Mother Holly’s Tea Garden.
This area was the scene of the gold rush in Knysna, and some of the shafts and works of the Bendigo Mine have been restored along with a substantial amount of machinery.
There is a small reservoir near the end of the loop which I may have fallen into and splashed around in to cool off.
We made short detour to visit the graveyard which is unfortunately in a severe state of neglect. Reading the gravestones it is interesting to note the age of death was often very low. Hard times. There is a gravestone bearing the name “Osborne” which is of course one of the characters in Dalene Matthee’s books and one is left to wonder if the two men are the same.
We had tea at Mother Holly’s and enjoyed browsing the museum and learning some of the history of the area.