Our goal is to provide an environment where you can take a deep breath of freedom from your daily concerns.
Loose yourself in our breath taking views, become deeply introspective, find your lost self or exhilarate
with the adrenalin of outdoor activities.
Press pause, techno detox, slow down and reconnect to source. You time. Family time or time for romance.
Regroup, regather and take a moment to find your inner peace.
A call to come back to earth, back to your Mother, Nature.
Old Mill Drift is a 665 ha organic guest farm on the Caledon River. Enclosed into the majestic Maluti Mountains by 14 km of Caledon River, an equally magnetic landscape filled with natural springs and pools, waterfalls, three dams and forests in parts.
A horse farm with a herd of wild horses in our mountains, a small Warmblood stud, a band of motley ponies to delight the kids and a herd of endangered Spanish donkeys.
The farm’s water, supplied by three natural springs, naturally filtered by permeating through the sandstone mountains is rich in minerals and trace elements and among the finest you can drink.
Previously harvested here, a variety of organically certified herbs such as licudia surcia, rosehip, pelargonium, helecresium, wild mint and rosemary, which was exported to the near and far markets of the world.
The towns located on the foothills of this Free State region are embraced by rich histories. Many tribes and cultures over the decades have left their footprints here – from the San people capturing hunting scenes on cave walls, to the influences of European settlers.
The farm was first surveyed in 1860 on the instructions of President Paul Kruger. The first white man to farm the land was Jon Hull. In 1913, he received a crown grant from King George V of Great Britain for the role he played in the Anglo Boer War and was gifted the farm.
You will still find the original keystone carved into the sandstone of the original home which was built by Colonel Hull over 120 years ago.
Originally only accessible via Lesotho, the access road to South Africa was built in 1973. Later the tarred road was built by the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme.
The Old Mill
Colonel Hull built the farm’s watermill, driven by paddle, on the Caledon River but the original mill structure was destroyed in a flood. It was rebuilt a safe distance from the river in 1953; first powered by steam, then tractor and finally by electricity.
Imported from England, the mill is a triple roller Turner wheat mill. Maize had to be pre-crushed to
fit the mill.
Used by the Basotho’s to grind their maize and corn due to it’s close proximity to the Lesotho border. Special arrangement was made for the Basothos’ and they were exempt from paying duty or border fees to cross into South Africa to mill their maize.
The Trading Post is probably almost as old as the Old Mill, and used to service the surrounding 7 villages across the Lesotho border. Villagers would purchase basic necessities and mill or sell their maize, wool and mohair. Later the South African Government made it illegal for the Lesotho people to cross the Caledon (which marks the border between Lesotho and South Africa), which resulted in the closure of the Trading Store. Access to the trading store was between two barbed wire fences leading from the river to the store. The road and drift between the barbed wire was the original and only access road to the farm.
The Stud Farm
Our rolling hills with natural veld grasses and water rich in minerals are sure to strengthen the bones and gladden the hearts of our beautiful equines. We are a small Warmblood Stud, breeding world class sport horses. Our stock are all from imported European bloodlines. Our focus is on breeding athletes for top level dressage, but our small band of broodmares have impeccable lines to also breed showjumpers, which could also produce world class eventers. Due to our cold winters we are fortunate that the area is free from dreaded AHS.
Horse spelling is available to outsiders.
Established in 2014, McCarthy Horseboxes (Pty) Ltd trades as Horseboxes.
We restore, service and supply used horseboxes to the equine industry. Come for the weekend and purchase a reliable trailer or BYO for a service whilst enjoying a weekend of tranquillity or action or fun filled visit to Clarens.
Real Rights Development
We are in the process of a “sectional title” type of development. If you are interested in any business opportunities, this presents the option to reside on the farm.
The farm’s water supply comes from four natural springs, fed from deep within the earth’s core. Rich in minerals and trace elements it is most suitable for bottling.
Permaculture and Aquaculture
Water rights to pump from the Caledon to irrigate already obtained.
594 ha of pristine grazing land available for rental.
Crop and vegetable farming.
Brewery, Restaurant and Catering
The mill, steeped in history and ambience is sure to be a drawcard for the overflow of guests who visit Clarens in search of a new experience.
School group facilitation
Retreats and Workshops
If you are an entrepreneur looking for a partner with ethical practices please contact us.
– Afiski Snow Skiing
– Fertility Cave
– Golden Gate National Park
– Katze Dam
Clarens is a mere 27km from Old Mill Drift. Explore this character village against a backdrop of beautiful mountain ranges. With an array of art galleries, delectable cuisines and handmade crafts, Clarens is well-deserving of its name “The Jewel of the Free State”.
“I had the privilege of growing up on a farm and those memories will live with me forever. I would like families to share the same experiences I had – memories they will cherish for years to come. I dream to see young children return to Old Mill Drift when they have families of their own, to build new childhood memories with their children; catching their first fish, careening into the river from an impromptu made river slide from materials gathered from the river, and hearing the mountains echo back shrieks of joy.” –