Pam Golding Properties reports that its affordable residential property prices, warm hospitality and opportunities for healthy outdoor living make it an ideal country retreat for those who want to escape the rat race.
PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg, says residential property in Caledon ranges from around R400 000 for starter apartments to R750 000 for standard cottages, and R1 million to R2.5 million for larger family homes. Vacant land is also affordably priced, and one can obtain a large plot of over 1500sqm for under R500 000. “This represents excellent value for money,” she says, “especially when one considers the convenient location, just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and the scenic beauty of a town set in the midst of craggy mountains and rolling wheat-fields. It is the ideal place for retirees and young families, or those who would prefer to work from home or via a remote office.”
PGP’s area manager for the eastern Overberg, Le Roux van der Merwe, says Caledon has traditionally been a farming community, with many residents either actively engaged in agricultural activities or employed in associated industries. Major employers in the town include SAB’s Southern Associated Maltsters, the largest malt-producing plant in the southern hemisphere, as well as Overberg Agri and the Caledon Hotel, Casino and Spa.
The hotel complex incorporates the famous mineral springs, six of them thermal and one cool, which collectively pump up just under one million litres of water per day. “The springs made the town famous,” says van der Merwe, “and the first variation of a spa for visitors to enjoy their curative benefits was erected as early as the 1710’s. But it was only in 1810 that the farming community had grown to sufficient size to establish a proper town with a drostdy (magistrate’s seat) and church. Although the area was originally called ‘Klein Swarte Berg’, the town was named Caledon in honour of the British governor at the time.”
Today, Caledon is home to some 13 000 people and still boasts a number of Victorian-era homes and historic buildings, many of them beautifully restored. There is a burgeoning hospitality industry and even some vineyards, while major farming crops include wheat, barley, canola and fruit. Surrounded by the scenic Klein Swartberg mountains, the town has a world-renowned wildflower garden, a lake for fly-fishing and any number of routes for hiking, mountain-biking or simply rambling. Families can enrol their children in a choice of pre-primary, primary and high schools, and a local community hospital offers medical care. More extensive private medical and educational facilities are accessible in Hermanus, just 20 minutes’ drive from the town.