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The small town of Sutherland lies in the western Roggeveld Mountains of the Karoo. It is the perfect destination from which to explore the Upper Karoo, including other small town s such as Calvinia
A visit to Sutherland is something everyone should undertake at least once. It doesn’t matter if you visit in the summer time or during the freezing winters, this little town is popular for its starlit nights, warm hospitality, snowy winters and dramatic landscapes.
If you looking to marvel at the clearest, dark and star filled night skies then Sutherland should be your first choice, even the professionals agree. This sleepy town is home to the South African Astronomical Society and astronomers come from all over the country to use the telescopes at the Observatory. This location was chosen because of its good weather, semi-desert setting and absence of pollution and light and is known to be one of the best star-viewing destinations in the southern hemisphere.
Sutherland is more than just a true life painting of “Starry Night” and visitors come here to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life and to enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful landscape and outdoor activities the area has to offer. During the winter months Sutherland is known for being one of the coldest places in the country, with frequent snowfalls providing a different kind of scenery.
Accommodation in this friendly town can be found in quaint Guest Farms, B&B’s or a Village Inn.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Tankwa Karoo National Park
- SALT – Southern African Large Telescope
- Ouberg Pass
- Sutherland Louw House Museum
- Sutherland NG Kerk
- The Sutherlands Graveyards
- Hantam National Botanical Gardens
- Akkerendam Nature Reserve
Sutherland receives approximately 169mm of rain annually with the majority of its rainfall occurring during the winter months. The coldest temperature during winter has been recorded as -6˚C.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 12˚C and 31˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between -2˚C and 12˚C.
April – Tankwa Birding Bonanza: Bird enthusiasts, beginners and experts, have a friendly competition to test their knowledge against others at this annual event at the Tankwa Karoo National Park.
August – Hantam Meat Festival, Calvinia: A real meat lovers treat where all variations are available for tasting from lamb chops and stews to curries, braaivleis and kebabs. The brave can even try a lamb’s head or tail. Less meaty options on offer are music concert, street party, vintage car rallies, marathons and the beauty pageant. Event takes place over two days.
September – Williston Winter Festival: The festival concentrates on showcasing the interesting and unique talents and customs of the Karoo. Famous bands, dancers, stalls and good food!
Originally the small community formed part of the Worcester district whose religious well-being fell under Dominee Henry Sutherland. After time, the Dutch Reformed Church bought the De List farm and held their first church meeting in 1855 thus establishing the town of Sutherland which took its name from Henry Sutherland.
Life here centered around the Dutch Reformed Church and sheep farming and today the region continues to be a strong livestock farming area.
Sutherland is the birthplace of two well-known South African Poets, WEG Louw and NP Van Wyk and today the local Museum bears their name.
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