Hillcrest is an area on the outskirts of Durban, the biggest city in KwaZulu Natal. Like many areas on the outskirts of cities (such as Simon's Town in Cape Town or Bedfordview in Johannesburg), when Hillcrest was first developed, it was an independent town with its own municipality and town board.
It was initially established way back in 1895, on what was the main road between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The idea was for it to be a farming or 'weekend' town. However, in 1996 it lost its independence and now falls under the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (in other words it became part of the Durban conurbation). It is located to the north west of Durban's central business district and is connected to the R103 and M13 roads, both of which connect to the N3, the national road which takes you from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.
Hillcrest today is a nice middle to upper income suburb of Durban which enjoys a similar warm, sub-tropical climate to Durban. Being a few kilometres from the sea though, the landscape is very different becoming greener and less flat. It is more similar to Pietermaritzburg, the gateway to the famous Natal Midlands, than to the main city of Durban.
A fantastic site, much closer to Hillcrest than Pietermaritzburg, is the Valley of 1000 Hills, arguably one of KwaZulu Natal's most breath-taking attractions. Here, seemingly endless hills roll towards the great Umgeni River. Another interesting place to visit is the 1000 Hills Bird Park, with its walk-through aviaries, filled with colourful birds showing off their quirky antics.
The Shongweni Farmers Market is another nearby attraction, with fresh produce for sale and a great place to enjoy a Saturday morning coffee while perched on a hay bale.
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Hillcrest wow!!!! beautiful area, full of nature, easy to move around. It's not a complicated cluster place...
- Mothusi Machaba
Well, its Hillcrest. Getting there is a pain. Getting out sucks. At least its quiet.
- Gerhard Krause
Stunning hidden gem. Beautiful area
- Russel Moss
- Ian Scott
Hillcrest is so nice, many shops of all varieties. Food one could pick and choose. the farmers market on Saturday was an experience not to be missed. the people are friendly and helpful.
- Petrus Heyneke