WORDS: EMILY SHAW IMAGES: TER HOLLMANN, SUPPLIED
Initially developed as a mining town, Modderfontein is now a peaceful, green suburb ideal for families and for entrepreneurs to use as a base for their craft beer, farmers’ market produce or gastronomic business.
Homes here vary from starter houses and apartments to free-standing houses and plots, some costing upwards of R10m. Recent development and investment has seen a spike in modern construction but many of the buildings in central Modderfontein are historic and retain a charming old-world feel.
Another drawcard for this little town is safety. Lifestyle estates and boomed areas are on the rise, providing a strong community atmosphere that’s both welcoming and protected. Add the proximity to gorgeous outdoor recreational spaces, and you have a real winner for families and those looking to retire to the country.
Out and about
Pop over to Oakes Brewery for gourmet coffee and a parkrun special breakfast on a Saturday. Grab a corner seat outside, order and enjoy an hour or two alone with a podcast or book. Errands and a bit of window-shopping can be enjoyed at nearby Greenstone Shopping Centre and if you do happen to have the little ones with you, there’s a great indoor play area where they can let off some steam.
Collect a few friends and hit Stoneridge Centre for Paint Nite with Sarah Snyman, among other exciting craft-related social events the mall hosts each month. 33 High Street Restaurant, which is set below famous oak trees, offers two kitchens – the Portuguese Kitchen and the WoodFire Kitchen. Here you can indulge in peri-peri chicken or the signature “bubble bread” pizza bases, loaded with unusual topping combinations.
Don’t let the small-town feel of Modderfontein fool you – there are some great schools here for the kids should you decide to lay down some roots. Infinite Schools Modderfontein Montessori caters to children all the way from 12 months right through high school. Should a specific religious setting be a priority, Heritage Christian College provides a great base.
Modderfontein Academy is another option; an internationally recognised British curriculum ensures your child’s education is on par with a global standard. This institution looks after kids from Grade 0 to high school AS levels.
Neighbouring suburbs like Linbro Park and Edenvale also have a selection of good schools and are conveniently close enough for the school drop to be part of the commute. The King’s School balance academia, sport and cultural activities as well as technology to support their students and is easily accessible from the N3.
The main reason many people choose Modderfontein is for its access to the great outdoors. Runners and cyclists, walkers and dog-owners all love the Modderfontein Reserve, the second biggest private park in Joburg. With 275ha of indigenous flora, wide open spaces, grassy hills and plenty of dams and forests, it’s an escape that fills the lungs and the hearts.
The 5km parkrun takes place here, as well as guided walks by conservation experts. You’re also able to braai at stations on the banks of the Fish Eagle Dam. The reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife including zebra and jackals, fish eagles and long-crested eagles. Aerial forest park activities are available through Go Ape South Africa nearby. These courses are made of platforms and bridges and test skill and agility while building teamwork skills among kids, partners and colleagues.
Golfers fear not, as you’re able to join the Modderfontein Golf Club. Tree-lined fairways and a parkland setting make this course truly beautiful – each of the 18 holes has its own unique feature and water is in play throughout the course. The clubhouse offers a venue for functions and caters for weddings and corporate days, which have become popular in this serene setting.
Pop into Modderfontein – whether for a weekend or for good – and you’ll be rewarded with a rich sense of nature and peace, a wealth of activities to keep everyone occupied, and the resonance of an older, calmer way of living.