Monday, December 1, 2008

DAY TRIP TO RIVIERA-ON-VAAL

This is an easy short trip by Helicopter (50 Nautical miles from Grand Central) to the Vaal River and a great destination for young and old alike.

The helipad is in the far corner of the golf club car park. It has faint yellow H markings, but no windsock. The pilot can easily check the trees or flags in front of the hotel, on the golf course or at the river frontage for wind indication. The wind seemed gusty and unpredictable on the day of our visit, blowing from the river towards the parking area making an approach from the golf course side impossible. There are electrical power lines and pylons on the other side of the road adjacent to this car park. They look closer on first approach than they really are !

The landing is confined on three sides with the only escape route towards the river. Even this needs to be considered carefully because of high mast lighting that is used to light up the mashie course. We selected an approach from the South, keeping the power lines on our left and accepting a crosswind from our right. It took us three attempts to get everything to look just right so don't expect it to work first time.

You need to call ahead to the Hotel Manager for permission to land. (Tel 016-420-1300) They can then arrange for you to be taken by golf cart to the main hotel. If you have no luggage it is an easy walk on a fine day.

The hotel is right on the banks of the river and offers a variety of options and activities.

  • Outdoor cafe for light meals
  • A full service restaurant with buffet lunch every second Sunday which is highly recommended
  • A floating restaurant (Le Petit Verdot) used for special events and monthly spitbraai outings along the river
  • Range of deluxe rooms and suites for overnight stays
  • Childrens activities most Sundays, such as jumping castle and pony rides.

Information Summary:
  • Website reference
    www.rivieraonvaal.co.za
  • Reservations: Call 0861-967-485 for Zorgvliet hotel central reservations
  • Landing Permission: Call 016-420-1300 Hotel Manager
  • Coordinates: S26 40.5 E27 56.3
  • 50nm one way
  • We booked 1.4hr on the charter hobbs for the round trip.
  • We routed west of FAVV towards Sebokeng. We contacted Vereeniging tower and were cleared to Riviera-on-Vaal. Also watch out for the restricted area east of the river.
Googlemaps:
You can see the LZ near the top of the map, marked with a white square. The faint yellow H is inside the square.



View Larger Map

1 comment:

Doug said...

Nice idea, well described - just need a helicopter.