Interested in visiting the Gold Reef City Theme Park? All you need to know!

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A fun activity for families is visiting the Gold Reef City theme park in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Theme Park offers a variety of activities, thrill rides and games for small children, teenagers and adults alike. It is the perfect place to spend a day as a family. 

What Is the Gold Reef City Theme Park?

The Gold Reef City theme park is the only amusement park in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the largest theme park in South Africa and the African continent and one of Johannesburg’s most popular entertainment destinations. 

Where Is Gold Reef City Theme Park Located?

The Gold Reef City theme park is south of Johannesburg’s city centre in the suburb of Ormonde. Here is a map of the location of the park. 

You can find the Apartheid Museum next to Gold Reef City, and the two attractions share a parking area. The Gold Reef City Hotel and Casino complex is on the other side of the Gold Reef City theme park. 

Since the Gold Reef City theme park is in Johannesburg, you can use this guide for more information about the weather at the theme park.

How to Get to Gold Reef City?

There are several ways to get to Gold Reef City. 

The directions to the Gold Reef City theme park depend on where you drive from. Click here to get the most updated directions to the theme park.

Gold Reef City Theme Park Information

Here are the Gold Reef City theme park’s contact details:

To see details of special activities at Gold Reef City theme park, visit their Facebook page before you go there. 

What Is Gold Reef City’s Entrance Fee?

You can only buy tickets for Gold Reef City online. When you get to Gold Reef City theme park, you can collect your tickets at the ticketing kiosks at the main entrance to the park. Alternatively, you can purchase a ticket to the park with transport to and from Johannesburg hotels here.

If you were wondering: “what is the entrance fee to Gold Reef City” here are the entrance fees for 2022:

  • Parking: Free
  • General entrance ticket: R250 per person

There is no additional entrance fee for rides. Your ticket price includes access to all rides at the park. 

Gold Reef city theme park Pin 2

Gold Reef City Theme Park Group Bookings

Discounted rates exist for group bookings to the theme park: 

  • 1 – 50 people: R250 per person
  • 51 – 200 people: R235 per person
  • 201 – 700 people: R225 per person
  • 701 – 1,500 people: R215 per person
  • 1,501 – 2,500 people: R200 per person

Gold Reef City Theme Park Free on Your Birthday

On your birthday, you get free entrance to Gold Reef City’s theme park. To qualify, prove your identity with your identity document, birth certificate, passport or driver’s licence!

The park has some rules for getting free entrance if your birthday falls on one of the days the park is closed. If your birthday falls on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, you can visit the Gold Reef City theme park on the Sunday before your birthday to qualify for the free entrance benefit. If the park is closed on a Thursday and Friday, you must visit on the Sunday after your birthday to get the free entrance benefit. 

Although you don’t need a prior online booking if it is your birthday, your family members or friends visiting the park with you must still make their bookings in advance. Only the person with a birthday gets free entrance.

Gold Reef City Theme Park Discounts

When you’re a member of the Gold Reef City Casino’s rewards programme, you may qualify for a discount on the Gold Reef City entrance fee:

  • Gold Rewards cardholder: R225 per person
  • Platinum Rewards cardholder: R210 per person
  • Black Rewards cardholder: R200 per person

Gold Reef City Theme Park Double Deal

From time to time, Gold Reef City theme park offers specials. Currently, they have a special called Double Deal, which is R500 for two people’s entrance to Gold Reef City theme park, including meals. With the double deal, you and a partner eat one meal for free when visiting the park.

Gold Reef City Theme Park Operating Hours 2022

Gold Reef City Theme park is closed from Mondays to Wednesdays, except during the July and December school holidays.

The Gold Reef City theme park’s operating hours are:

  • Thursday to Sunday: 09:30 – 17:00
  • July and December school holidays; Tuesday to Sunday from 09:30 to 17:00
  • Open on all Public Holidays except Christmas day!

Gold Reef City Theme Park Refunds

Once you’ve purchased your online ticket to Gold Reef City’s theme park, you cannot get a refund. You can change the date of your visit if you have not redeemed your ticket yet. Remember that they may not honour date requests within 24 hours of booking. To change your date, email them at goldreef.tickets@tsogosun.com or call the Customer Care Centre on +27 (0)11 248 6800. 

Gold Reef City’s History

The Gold Reef City theme park is located on the premises of an old gold mine, Crown Mine’s shaft number 14. The park’s theme is focused on the gold rush era in Johannesburg, which started in 1886 in the Witwatersrand. Many prospectors flooded the area and shaft number 14 opened in 1887. Crown Mines shut shaft 14 down in 1971. The gold rush era led to the establishment of Johannesburg, the City of Gold or Egoli.

Who Created the Gold Reef City Theme Park?

Ben Schutte and the Krok brothers created the theme park in 1987. It started as just a mine tour, but they introduced thrilling rides. When apartheid ended in 1994, the park expanded because of the expanded market.

Gold Reef City Theme Park Rides

To do the thrill rides at Gold Reef City theme park, you must be at least 1.3 meters tall. For some rides, children under the height requirement can do the ride as long as an adult accompanies them.

Thrill Rides

The adventurous ride at the theme park includes: 

  • Raging River Rapids: The only ride restricted to children under 1.1 meters. It’s a scenic ride through several caves and old waterfalls while skimming on raging rapids.
  • The Jozi Express: This ride moves you across treetops and mine dumps with stunning views of Johannesburg and its city centre. 
  • Runaway train: This train increases your adrenaline by speeding down the train tracks of Thunder Mountain. 
  • Tower of Terror: This terrifying ride takes you up slowly before you drop 50 meters at a speed of approximately 100 km/hour into an open mine shaft. Not for the faint-hearted!
  • Dreamboat: This is not a leisurely boat ride! The boat swings higher and higher until you experience it flying at a 180-degree angle. 
  • Golden Loop: Another rollercoaster ride! This one speeds up to 85 km/hour in 3 seconds before taking you through a loop and back. 
  • Anaconda: The Anaconda is one of the most popular rides at Gold Reef City theme park. Although the ride is short, you slither along various twists and turns at high speeds – just like an Anaconda. 
  • The High-Flying Maverick: If you’ve ever wanted to pilot a plane, this is the ride for you. This ride is all about speed, twists and turns! 
  • The log ride: At first, you float along gently before climbing Thunder mountain, accelerating, turning and dropping. You will get wet with this ride.

Not all rides are open every day. If there is a specific ride you want to try, rather phone ahead to make sure it is working when you want to visit.

Rides for The Less Adventurous Visitors

The theme park offers slower, more relaxing rides for those who are not thrill-seekers. These rides include:

  • Giant wheel: This is the largest Ferris wheel in South Africa and features 21 gondolas. It moves at a speed of 11 km/hour.
  • Mermaid: Beautiful coral shells spinning and turning on the ocean floor. 
  • Lazy boats: Slowly and gently float along in a boat while enjoying the jungle around the stream. Beware of getting wet! 
The Giant Wheel at Gold Reef City theme park
The Giant Wheel at Gold Reef City theme park

Rides for Small Children

The kiddies area has some slower and safer rides for toddlers, including 

  • bumper cars
  • spinning tea cups and saucers 
  • the golden wave – spinning baskets lifting in the air
  • balloon wheel, a mini Ferris wheel 
  • the pit stop where kids can try driving a cute little car
  • shongololo – a rollercoaster for the little ones
  • a carousel ride with horses.

Did you know? South Africans call giant, green centipedes Shongolos.

Gold Reef City Theme Park Activities

You can find a map of the rides and activities in the Gold Reef City theme park here. If you’re not into thrilling rides, Gold Reef City still has many other activities to take part in, including:

Walking through Gold Reef City theme park
Walking through Gold Reef City theme park
Adventure Mini Golf
Adventure Mini Golf

Turtle Creek Adventure Mini Golf or Putt-Putt

This is a fun activity for the whole family. The golf course is next to a waterfall and near the adventure rides in the park. It offers a few surprises with hidden hiding spots for your ball. This is an activity that costs R20 per person.

Farmyard

Kids love animals, so visiting the Farm Yard is a must-visit for families. There are various farm animals, including donkeys, sheep and goats. 

Ride the Fun Train

If you’ve never been on a steam train, you must not miss this experience. There are two stations in the Gold Reef City theme park. One is near the main entrance, and the other is near the kiddies’ rides. 

Visit Memories for Vintage Clothing and Portraits

Another fun family activity is dressing up in vintage clothing and taking a family photo. You can choose from various outfits and settings, such as wedding photos, family photography or old fashion photo studio. Memories can also restore your old family photos.

Gold Reef City’s Science Exploratory

Entrance to the Science Exploratory
Entrance to the Science Exploratory
Science Exploratory at Gold Reef City theme park
Science Exploratory at Gold Reef City theme park

You can take part in fun and interactive science experiments at the Science Exploratory. Learn new things while having fun with science. 

Museums Inside Gold Reef City Theme Park

You’ll love visiting the theme park if you’re a history buff. There are several historic buildings and experiences to visit at the theme park.

Underground Mine Tour

You can spend the day learning about Johannesburg’s mining history by doing an authentic underground mine experience while seeing a live gold pour. You can purchase your ticket for the Gold Reef City underground tour when you collect your ticket at the entrance of the park. You’ll get a special armband indicating that you’ve paid the fee for the gold mine tour. 

The mineshaft for the underground mine tour

The Gold Reef City gold mine tour takes place between 9:30 and 16:00 on the days the park is open. As part of the underground mine tour, you will go 75 metres down an open mine shaft to experience the cold air in the mine and touch the rocky surface below. 

The experience includes you sieving through water and pebbles to have a gold-panning experience looking for your own nuggets of gold. 

Train Museum

The park also has a unique train museum with one of the world’s last bullion coaches. Before it was retired, the bullion coach carried gold between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban from 1911 to 1967. It contains sleeping quarters, bathroom and kitchen facilities. 

Museum Houses

Other museums include the historical mine or heritage houses that depict life in the early 1900s in Johannesburg. The museum houses in the park include the Oosthuizen House museum, which is the perfectly restored family home of Emily Oosthuizen. Emily and her family moved to South Africa during the gold rush in South Africa. When you visit the house, you can see how they lived, went to school and enjoyed music lessons. 

Olthaver House - Child's room
Olthaver House – Child’s room
School in the Ootshuizen House Museum at the Gold Reef City theme park
School in the Oosthuizen House Museum at the Gold Reef City theme park

Another museum house is the Olthaver House, the original Mine Manager’s residence. This house has an authentic bioscope showing what life was like during the gold rush era in South Africa. 

Crush Museum

The Crush Museum displays photographs showing visitors how the miners lived and worked in the 1800s. 

The Gold Reef City Heritage Tour

To make the most of your time at the theme park, consider doing the Heritage tour with an experienced guide. Your tour guide will take you to three museum houses, do the underground mine tour and witness the gold pouring.

Games at the Gold Reef City Amusement Park

Throughout the park, you can find stalls offering a variety of games, from catching a frog, popping a balloon or throwing balls into bottles or other vessels. If you are successful, you get a cute, soft toy! The games are fun; you can pay for these using cash or a credit card.

4D Movies

The 4D movie experience must not be missed! The experience will stimulate all your senses with sensory elements, such as water squirts, gusts of wind and leg ticklers. The seats are hydraulic and move around. You’ll feel like you are part of the movie you’re watching!

Other Facilities at The Gold Reef City Amusement Park

The Gold Reef City Store
The Gold Reef City Store
The chapel at the Gold Reef City theme park
The chapel at the Gold Reef City theme park

The theme park also offers several other facilities: 

  • Parties: You can have a kiddies party here. Imagine how the kids will enjoy all the rides and activities the park offers.
  • Wedding venue: You can plan your wedding in the romantic chapel in the park that dates back to 1879 when the first wedding took place in the chapel. 
  • Team building: You and your colleagues can build team spirit while doing a treasure hunt in the park or experiencing the thrilling rides together. Click here for more information.
  • Unique souvenirs: They will automatically take your photo while you ride the Anaconda, Tower of Terror, Jozi Express, Shongololo, Raging River Rapids and The Log Ride. You can immediately buy a printed photo and even get a download link to your digital photo. You can have your photo printed on a key ring, fridge magnet or thermal mug.
  • Other souvenirs: The 4D Theatre Gift shop sells various souvenirs, from toys to clothing. 

Places to Eat

You won’t go hungry at the theme park as there are many restaurants and food stalls to choose from, including a Wimpy, Panarotti’s, Barney Restaurant and Bar. Fast food options include Sausage Saloon, Chip & Dip and Mochachos. 

Little shops sell snacks like cotton candy, sodas, and candy. There is a lovely little ice cream stall near the central train station, but you can find ice cream shops throughout the park. 

Tips for Visiting the Gold Reef City Theme Park

The Gold Reef City theme park Pin 1

To enjoy your time at the theme park fully, get there early to avoid queues and to have enough time to enjoy the rides and other activities at the park. 

You may not take food into the park. The security staff searches all bags before you enter, and they will confiscate any food you have with you.

Remember to take sunscreen, sunglasses and a sun hat to protect you from the hot African sun. 

If you plan on going on thrill rides, take a secure bag with you to keep your valuables safe while you’re on the ride.

Things to Do Near the Gold Reef City Theme Park

Other activities you can experience near the theme park include:

Take a Helicopter Ride

Helicopter rides at Gold Reef City
Helicopter rides at Gold Reef City

Another unique experience is doing a scenic helicopter ride. Four people can do a flight together. The helicopter ride prices vary depending on your choice of flight. Your flight options vary from just the theme park to Johannesburg’s city centre, Soweto, or an adventure ride. 

The operating hours are weekends and public holidays only, between 11:00 and 17:00, and are subject to suitable weather.

Visit the Gold Reef City Casino

The Gold Reef City Casino is next to the theme park. It is open 24 hours and offers gamblers slot machines, tables, and other gaming options. There is a movie theatre, a theatre for shows and many restaurants to choose from.

Experience the Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, is the first museum focusing on this topic. The museum provides details about the rise and fall of apartheid. Here you can book a half-day tour of the Apartheid Museum.

Visit Soweto

Another good way to spend a day exploring Johannesburg’s attractions is to book a day tour combining a visit to the theme park and Soweto. Do this here!

Visit the theme park as part of the sightseeing bus stops

The theme park is one of the stops on the Johannesburg sightseeing bus. There are many other stops to try, such as the Johannesburg Zoo, when you do the tour on the bus.

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Sabs | South Africa Travel Blog

By Sabs

Editor of the South Africa Travel Blog that focuses on travel to South Africa, including destinations, attractions, accommodation, food & drink.