Hillcrest's Golden Highway

Private Property South Africa
Anne Schauffer

It’s common knowledge that those who don’t migrate north, head west, many for the Upper Highway suburb of Hillcrest and its part-country, part-urban lifestyle. It ticks the gumboots, space and roaring fire boxes as much as it does the shopping, sense of community, and great schools.

A major drawcard is the diverse range of residential estates strung along Inanda Road. Of course - now the stuff of legends – Hillcrest’s accelerated growth outstripped its infrastructure, and Inanda Road became headache highway. As the link road between Waterfall and Hillcrest - and a major access road to everywhere – it’s been a steamy topic.

Today, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, as landscaping and lighting is being installed, surfaces tarred, and this green belt’s reputation as a great place to live, is up where it belongs. According to the contractors, this dual roadway will be complete by September.

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In recent years, the region’s retail landscape has taken off, with the arrival of the brand-new mega Watercrest Mall at Waterfall. Living here - whether you’re retired at Le Domaine, or raising a family in Cotswold Downs – you’ve had very few reasons to travel beyond the suburb. Now, following the global trend of less-time-on-the-road-the-better, the Watercrest Mall’s provision of entertainment with six Ster Kinekor movies (a first for the region), has sealed the deal - the final reason not to leave the suburb.

Anchored by all the desirable branded players, the glamorous 44,000m2 mall (with future expansion plans for another 20,000m2) has over 120 retail stores (and a few thousand new jobs). Built at a capital cost of some R700m its high-end one-stop retail offering is expected to plug the leak of shoppers from the area and meet the needs of the LSM 9 - 10 plus shoppers from catchment areas.

Just as Johannesburg and Pretoria - once two separate entities with distinctly different identities - shift closer and closer, so too Hillcrest and Waterfall. As five-star development along Inanda Road continues unabated, with green and spacious estates, little and large, golfing and equestrian, it’s clearly Hillcrest’s golden highway. Ride your horse, coffee with friends, a round of golf, bird watch, mountain bike...all within your own property, over the fence or five minutes away? Who’d want it any other way?

As always happens, when upmarket developments make their mark on an area, the address becomes sought after. Inanda Road’s a case in point.

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Country cosmopolitan
Nestled in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Hillcrest has a slightly cooler and less humid climate than other parts of Durban. It’s a family-friendly suburb, with many private schools, parks and kid-friendly restaurants. Estate living is very common, with many estates boasting well-kept golf courses. Built amongst rolling hills, houses have magnificent views of the valley and lush, surrounding hills. Just 30 minutes from Durban city centre, Hillcrest is away from the hustle and bustle. The area has a great sense of community, and a mix of country and cosmopolitan lifestyles.