Geography and History
Sutherland is situated in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Known as the “Gateway to the universe” ....... Sutherland is the Land of snow and stars. To get to Sutherland, take the tar road from Cape Town - turn off at Matjiesfontein, the famous English Karoo town with its splendid museum, then another 110 km and you reach Sutherland famous for its Observatory and crisp, pure fresh air !
The town was established in 1855 with everything focused around the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1872 there were 19 houses, with a community of 138.
Today it is mainly a sheep farming area.
Sutherland is well known as the coldest place in the Republic and having the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere....... a telescope so powerful that one could see a candle flame on the moon.
Another interesting fact about Sutherland is that the growing of tulips in South Africa was pioneered by Rev M B Brink right here. In 1925 he arrived in Sutherland during a snowstorm. Having studied for several years in Holland, he immediately realised the climate in Sutherland was similar to Holland, therefore ideal for growing tulips! It can be said that he made the Dutch tulip also a well known South African flower. Today tulips are mainly cultivated in Sutherland to produce bulbs for the market.
There are two large shops in town as well as a café, one service station, 2 butcheries, farmers Coop, two schools and one bank (Standard Bank). All basic products can be bought locally. The newspaper of the day is only available in the late afternoon due to the distance from the cities.
When visiting Sutherland you do not have any choice but to walk the amazing veldplant route of either 3- or 12 km just about two kilometers outside town. On route all the plants are numbered and presented in an A5-booklet with botanical names and short description of each plant together with a digital photo.
Especially the 3 km route is so laid out that even a two-year old can walk and enjoy it. The booklet also presents a numerical as well as alphabetical index of the plants. The most ideal time where the most flowers are in bloom is August to October.
The 12 km walk is more strenuous and one needs time to walk and enjoy it. This same route is also the mountain bike trail and can be enjoyed by old and young.
We have an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts and yoke pin coarse provide the sport activities.
The average minimum temperature is 3°C throughout the year and the average maximum is 20,5º C.
Accommodation in Sutherland includes Guest houses, B&B's, Self Catering and farm stays.
Photos courtesy of Sutherland Tourism.
|Sutherland Tourism Office Information|