WORDS: EMILY SHAW IMAGES: TER HOLLMANN

If you’re looking for leafy, tree-lined streets, comfortable stand-alone homes, secure estates and enough of the spruit to give the neighbourhood a greater sense of breadth, Olivedale is it.

Business director Clinton Middleton has lived in the suburb for four years and believes the property there is excellent value for money. “It’s close to my work but also a stone’s throw from shopping centres and Golden Harvest Park, which is great for kids,” Clinton says.

Property

A good mix of housing options, sectional titles and complexes allows you a wide variety of investment options. Mainly favoured by families, the ambience here is peaceful, comfortable and many clutches of houses have their own mini-community feel, with kids playing together on Sunday afternoons in the quiet streets and even a few neighbourly braais.

“Being close to the N1 helps a lot with access to different areas as well, making getting to work, getting kids to school, visiting friends and family, and even going away a lot quicker and easier.”

Freestanding homes here are often more spacious – but at a competitive price – than options in neighbouring suburbs North Riding and Sharonlea. With many homes boasting more than three bedrooms and a large swimming pool being almost a prerequisite for the area, Olivedale appears to be geared for real South African outdoor living.

Schools

There are great choices in the area – specifically if you’re interested in quality public education.

Littlies can attend one of many preschools, like Little Flock Pre-Primary, Everywood Pre-Primary, Summerfield Nursery School, Toddies Preschool and Creche and The Lap, which promises a “dream home away from home”.

Primary schools include Sharonlea Primary, Bryanston Primary and Bryandale which all have great reputations for their foundation phase education.

Teens can choose between Rand Park High School, North Riding High School, Kings College Schools as well as Fourways High and Bryanston High, which are a little further afield.

Explore

On the weekend, Middleton favours the Saturday morning parkrun at Golden Harvest Park. You’ll also find his family topping up the larder at Northgate or All Saints Centre.

“There’s a great family-owned store called Freshouse Market close by that has a bakery and supports small farmers who produce meat and vegetables.”

If you’re looking for something a little different to do on a weekend as a team-builder or as a family, Drum Tribe is an invigorating, interactive drumming experience, with gumboot dance lessons and marimba band performances.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, strap on a pair of skates and take to the ice at Northgate Ice Arena. Filled with kids and teens and set to loud music, it’s a great, blood-pumping alternative to a Friday night movie.

Staying in for the evening is also covered with a delicious (and budget-kind) Chinese dish from Lucky Wok, which has reviews citing it as the best, authentic Chinese in Joburg. If you’re keen on dining out, Café del Sol is a winner for a private evening for two or a more celebratory meal with friends.

A really lovely way to stimulate kids on weekends and holidays (and give yourself a little down-time!) are the programmes run at Olivedale Library. Story hour is a lovely way to instil a passion for reading in your little ones and often the library will host performances and shows as well.

Golfers have a few options about, with Jackal Creek and Bryanston Country Club in comfortable driving distance and of course the disciplined among us will find the Virgin Active well placed for early morning starts.

For families looking for convenient commuting, great schools, space for growth and a high standard of living at a fabulous price, Olivedale should be right up there on the consideration list.

Olivedale has been voted one of the most secure suburbs in Joburg. It’s also close to my work and is excellent value for money. CLINTON MIDDLETON, RESIDENT

EXPERIENCE

  • Northgate Ice Rink: date night or kids birthday parties: sorted
  • The Secret Garden: let the kids run wild across gorgeous lawns while you order lunch
  • Golden Harvest Park: dog walking, fishing, geese-watching and even some wedding photography – it’s all happening in this pretty park

EAT

  • Café del Sol: rated one of Joburg’s top restaurants on Zomato
  • Doppio Zero: your post parkrun cappuccino treat
  • Lucky Wok: excellent Chinese takeout at a great price

CONVENIENCE