Northcliff Ridge. 24-10-2011

In all my years of living in Johannesburg I have never been up Northcliff Ridge (aka Aasvoëlkop), although it has been on the back of my mind since I started taking pics on the West Rand. You can see it quite well as you go down Golf Club Terrace, although the hill at Quellerina tends to dominate the view as well.

Northcliff Ridge from Fairlands.

View taken from 14th Avenue area towards Norfthcliffe. (1500x498)

View taken from 14th Avenue area towards Norfthcliff. (1500×498)

I had originally planned to do the trip on the Sunday before, but changed my mind and set my GPS to the closest place I could find to the water tower and off I went. I was grateful for the GPS because getting up there is a real twist and turn route. At times I felt like I was heading away from it instead of getting there. Eventually “arriving at destination on left” was heard and I had arrived at the base of the 1939 built water tower, some adept parking and a short climb and I was on the ridge. Out of curiosity, Northcliff Ridge is the second highest koppie in Johannesburg (1807m) while Observatory Ridge where the Indian Army Memorial is , is the highest at 1808m.  
The view is spectacular, especially out towards Muldersdrift area, sadly though, only a portion of the ridge is accessible because the ever encroaching developments are slowly cutting away and restricting the view from here. I was not able to see South East towards Johannesburg from there with any real clear view, but had managed a view on my way to the top of the ridge at an open area of road.  Being Jacaranda season the tree canopy is spread with purple and its only here that you can really get a feel for just how many trees there are in the Johannesburg forest.
Jacarandas in all direction. Looking towards Fairlands

Jacarandas in all direction. Looking towards Fairlands

Looking East towards Sandton area

If I looked out towards the West Rand I was able to see the area where Golf Club Terrace comes down and where you can see this particular spot from. 
To get a real feel of the view, I did make some panoramic images of the view. They are not perfect but do give you some idea of what I saw (all open in a new tab/window)
Beyers Naude looking North. 1494x538

Beyers Naude looking North. 1494×538

Looking slightly southeast towards JHB 1494x445

Looking slightly southeast towards JHB 1494×445

Looking towards Hillfox and Weltevredenpark 1491×386

Looking slightly North of Sandton 1492×409

Looking downwards towards the base of the Koppie 1830×506

Looking up towards Northcliff Ridge 1491×373

Be wary, the files sizes are large. What amazes me is how much potential this has as a tourist attraction, if you compare it with The Peak in Hong Kong we could do so much more, but as usual these sites just don’t make it to the tourists, it is always assumed they just want to see shopping malls and Sandton. Of course the bad reputation that the koppie has does not help either.
Then it was time to try find my way home, again with a GPS or I would still probably be driving around. Unfortunately my car wasn’t too impressed with our destination and I had some problems with it on my way home. But, all in all the trip was worth it. My next destination is the Quellerina area, but I doubt if you could even get close to the top of it. I will see how it goes. All I do know is, it has been a scorcher of a day, and venturing out there is not a great idea.
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