Pearston lies in the Karoo Heartland, a small town with only one main road and true Karoo hospitality! The town originally lay on the wagon route between Cape Town and Somerset East, with the challenging Bruintjieshoogte Pass (Browns Height Pass) lying between the two towns.
The peaceful hamlet, immortalised in the book “The Plains of the Camdeboo” by Eve Palmer, personifies the Karoo where the scenery is characterised by mountains and koppies in the distance across an endless expanse of Karoo plains. Pearston offers wide open spaces, star gazing and wonderful nature reserves with hiking, walking and mountain biking trails. The town forms part of the Blue Crane Route which follows the R63 from Pearson through Somerset East to Cookhouse which provides excellent bird watching opportunities in the area.
Pearston the town, doesn’t offer much in terms of “things to do” however, a few days stay will be required to visit the points of interest in the surrounding towns such as Graaff Reniet, Somerset East and Cradock which are a short drive away and come complete with a few cultural and historical attractions and activities worth taking a day trip for.
You will have to travel a bit if you want to cover all the popular places. The small town of Nieu Bethesda is just a little further than Graaff Reniet and is definitely worth taking a drive out to even if it is just to visit the Owl House Museum or to take a tour out with the Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre.
Pearston accommodation options include a hotel, convenient self-catering units in the main street, and farm stays.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see nearby,
- St Andrews Anglican Church
- Bosberg Nature Reserve
- Bruinjieshoogte Pass
- Camdeboo Nature Reserve
- Hiking & Walking Trails
- Drive the Blue Crane Route
- Valley of Desolation
- Slachter’s Nek Exhibition, Somerset East
- Bedford Golf Course, Bedford
Pearson receives approximately 358 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during Autumn and Winter.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 17˚C.
As with many small Karoo towns, Pearston had its origins as a parish of the Dutch Reformed Church.
Before the beautiful Dutch Reformed Church was built, back in 1850 worshippers would gather under the shade of the large pear tree on the farm Rustenburg, owned by Casper Lotter. The Pastor from Somerset East would travel the 48 km’s to celebrate Mass each week. This was not always an easy trip during the middle of the hot Karoo summers or cold winters and in 1858 a notice to establish the village was published in the Kerkbode, the official publication of the Dutch Reformed Church.
Although the pear tree was significant, was it so significant that the settlement was later called Pearston? The answer is no, the village was in fact named after the much loved and respected Reverend John Pears, a dedicated English teacher who later preached in the Dutch Reformed Church and dedicated much of his life to the local community.
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