TRUP – Visitors Introduction

Is the Park open to the public?

Yes, there are two main access points. The TRUP gate is on Station Road Extension corner Liesbeek Parkway and Oude Molen access is off Alexandra Road (opposite Pinelands Railway Station).

The Park is open 7 days a week between sunup and sundown. (best be out before dark)

Access from Oude Molen across to Station Road extension is available by going thru security on bike or foot.

Valkenberg is only open on business.


What activities would I be able to enjoy in the Park?

Annual TRUP Day

Guided tours of the Astronomical Observatory

Birding at wetlands.

River walks.

Organised sports at Malta Park, Hartleyvale and golf at the River Club and the Women’s driving range(Maitland Garden Village Entrance).

Farm village, organic gardening, arts, crafts, Heritage and Eco-tourism at Oude Molen Entrance


What proclaimed Provincial Heritage sites are within the Park?

Valkenberg Homestead manor house (1830), now the Courtyard Hotel complex.

The Valkenberg hospital with its inter-linking courtyards (1899)

The Observatory (1827)

The Nieuwe Molen mill (1701)

The Oude Molen farmhouse complex which is a National Monument. (1657)


What is the cultural history of the Park?

TRUP exhibits a layering of history spanning 360 years. The area was used for farming activities by the Free Burghers from 1657. Several windmills were erected along the Black River including the Oude and Nieuwe Molen erected between 1657-1800. Portion of Valkenberg was sold in 1827 to establish the Royal Observatory. In 1881 Sir William Porter bequeathed funds to establish a reformatory, this became a mental asylum in 1899 which eventually led to the development of Valkenberg psychiatric hospital.

In 1885 King Cetswayo was kept captive as a state guest at Oude Molen Farmstead while awaiting transfer to England to meet Queen Victoria. In 1901 a military hospital was developed where the Alexandra Institution is today. Maitland Garden Village was developed in the 1930’s based on Ebenezer Howard’s Planning Principles. In the 1950’s large areas of the wetland were filled in to accommodate the major freeway developments of Settlers Way, Black River and Liesbeek Parkway.

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