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Matjiesfontein Outpost

Time Travel at Matjiesfontein

You will step back in time when you visit Matjiesfontein, founded in 1884 by, the Scottish railway man, James Douglas Logan. He arrived (age 20) in South Africa by mere accident when his ship was wrecked in Simon’s Bay (now known as Simonstown).

In 1968 David Rawdon bought the entire town (in recommendation by his mother)  with the vision to turn the town into his own, high colonial-style village. 

During World War II this quaint little Victorian town was known for selling piping hot soup to passing train passengers. It was an outpost of the British empire.

Matjiesfontein Post Office
Matjiesfontein Post Office
Matjiesfontein Street View
Matjiesfontein Street View

David Rawdon restored the entire town to have it declared a national monument in 1978.

After David Rawdon’s death in 2010, and still single at the age of 86, his last will and testament provided for his carer, and a trust to manage the town.

Matjiesfontein Accommodation
Matjiesfontein Accommodation
Matjiesfontein Fire Truck
Matjiesfontein Fire Truck

Things to do

  • Hikes
  • Bicycle rides
  • Long walks
  • Visit the Coffee House
  • Have breakfast at Laird’s Arms Pub
  • Enjoy dinner at the Lord Miler Hotel.
  • Visit the Transport Museum which is all about vintage transport.
  • Visit the Marie Rawdon Museum
  • Learn about Matjiesfontein’s history on the London Double Decker Bus
Matjiesfontein Lord Arms Pub South Africa
Lord Arms Pub
Matjiesfontein Village
Matjiesfontein Village
Matjiesfontein Lord Arms Pub
Lord Arms Pub
Matjiesfontein Station
Matjiesfontein Station

Weather guide

  • June / July are the coldest months reaching highs of about 18 degrees Celcius. The night time temperatures go down to about 2 degrees Celcius.
  • January / February are the warmest months reaching highs of about 22 degrees Celcius. The night time temperatures go down to about 16 degrees Celcius.

For up to date weather information head to Accuweather.

Tourism office

Telephone: +27(0)23 561 3011


Afrikaans, English


ZAR – South African Rand

How to get to Matjiesfontein

  • By Train:  You may want to book with Shosholoza Meyl (+27 (0)11 774 4555 to leave from Cape Town train station. It’s about a five-hour train ride of which the Hex River Valley will be a treat to view. Relax with some low key refreshments, or enjoy an Amarula!
  • Rovos Rail makes a 2-hour stop at this hidden gem every Sunday morning and every Monday evening.
  • By Air: There is a small landing strip for helicopters only. 
  • By Bus: Bus operators, such as TransLux Express and Greyhound, service the route frequently.
  • By Car: A drive from Cape Town is about 2h50min.

Nearest airport

Cape Town International, about 236 km ( about 300 miles) from Matjiesfontein.

Where to stay in Matjiesfontein

Lord Milner Hotel ***

If you’re looking for old-world charm but still enjoy modern conveniences, then Lord Milner Hotel has a room for you.