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It was a very different picture when we opened our doors in 2011.  The property needed a lot of attention and dramatic all-round revamps.  


12 years on and we have grown into a well-known and popular stop over for good reason, this is a special place with a view that goes on and on and on. Sometimes when standing on the edge of the property you will literally be above the clouds.

A home away from home for our fisherman who have been caught hook...line...and sinker, by the yellow fishing off the property in Driekloof dam. 


We have all had one goal in mind: offering our guests a comfortable, affordable and all-around exceptional accommodation. Windmill Farm covers every aspect of your stay: central location, cosy beds, delicious food and superb services. 

Our staff who have all been with us since 2011 work hard alongside with dedication and support to make your stay one that will see you return again and again.

Enjoy the view!


Craig Janse Van Rensburg


So much history here at
Windmill Farm...

Some interesting history about windmill farm and the Old Sandstone Farmhouse.


This picture was taken 120 years ago



This photo below was taken in 2018 in the same place, the bunker is still there today.
















Walk up passed cottage 8 along the edge towards the mowed path going down the hill to find it.

“Tension between the Transvaal and Britain escalated to such an extent in the early spring of 1899, that the Free State forces were put on standby by the Volksraad. The telegram for the call up of commando’s reached Harrismith on Sunday on 2 October 1899. The north eastern half of the states commando’s were instructed to gather near Harrismith to cover the Natal-front. The rest on the western border on the Cape front.

Here, the commando’s were dispatched to guard the many passes that lead into Natal. Bethlehem commando were sent to Oliviershoek. Heilbron to the next door Bezuidenhoudts Pass and Kroonstad to Tintwa. The two biggest commando’s were sent to Van Reenen, Winburg and Harrismith where the railway line made it the most likely point of conflict.

 All these commando’s camped a fair distance away from the passes (Heilbron 16 km from Bezuidenhoudts), whilst a vanguard were on the top of pass.  This guard and hundreds of agterryers were instructed to prepare fortifications to defend the pass in unlikely case of an invasion from the British soldiers in Dundee and Ladysmith (on the main railway line to Transvaal).   

 The preferred option was digging a trench, as was done at Tintwa and Oliviershoek, whilst rocks were stacked at Bezuidenhoudts were it was impossible to dig.

The Tintwa-trench on Bets du Toits Groenkloof is still visible, if not as pronounced as the one on your property. A unique picture of the Kroonstad laager at Tintwa.

War was declared on 11 October, but the commando’s stayed in position until the 21st, when they invaded Natal. Kroonstad and Heilbron descended at Bezuidenhoudt.

 The Boer command very humanely allowed the Harrismith English burghers (two thirds majority English in this quaint little English village) to remain in the Free State and not face their home country over the barrel of a mauser. They were sent to Oliviershoek to ‘guard’ the pass where they stayed until the end of the Natal campaign in March of 1900.

There was one very interesting (and humorous) incident in the guerrilla phase of the war when Loxton’s Horse (the Forty Thieves) and a Yeomanry detachment confronted one of the three Harrismith commando’s, this one commanded by Jacobsz, from the trench on Windmill Farm.”

*courtesy of Leon Strachan



This homestead, situated on the crest of Oliviershoek Pass on remnant of Windmill Farm, overlooking the majestic Northern Drakensberg, was built by Otto Zunckel in 1936.In 1850 Rev. Karl Zunckel from the Berlin Missionary Society arrived to join Rev. C.W. Posselt and W. Guldenpfenning at the Emmaus mission station.  They were the first whites to settle amongst the aMangwane tribe at the foothills of the central Drakensberg. Now, for the first time in the 19th century the name Zunckel was associated with the Drakensberg.  No one has done more to open up this mountain region, and for the Drakensberg hotel industry than the Zunckel family.  Rev. Karl Zunckel’s son, Wilhelm, farmed at the foothills of the Drakensberg for many years.  Wilhelm had several children one of which was the famous Otto Zunckel. 

Otto never entered school and was tutored by his parents and became a prominent figure in the hotel industry

–building & running the Royal Natal National Park hotel and Cathkin Peak hotel. He was also largely responsible for building many of the roads into the berg in the early days.


Rev. Karl Zunckel, the original pioneer died in 1899.  Otto, his grandson, retired from the hotel industry in 1936, and bought a farm on the summit of Oliviershoek pass where he lived with his wife Mathilda and their 3 sons (Walter, Gerald, Udo) and one daughter, Ruth.


Otto died here in 1947 and his wife three months later in a motor accident.

​In the early 1950's the house was sold to Dr and Mrs Dunning – the famous heroic Doreen Dunning who ferried aircraft from South Africa to Egypt during the World War II. Dr Dunning ran his country practice from a sandstone building just behind the main homestead. An enterprising family, the Dunnings also ran a dairy and a general dealers store. They had 2 sons, Richard & Simon & a daughter.

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