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Stargazing at the Sutherland Planetarium (Tel : 078 603 0058)

Every evening, weather permitted from 20h00.  The show is about 2 hours and the rates are R130 per person.

SALT (South Africa's Largest Telescope) (Tel : 023 571 2436)

The South African Astronomical Observatory offers night stargazing tours through a 14” Celestron and 16” Meade telescopes.  Try to plan your visit for a time when the moon is small or absent altogether, for an optimal star gazing experience. 


Starting times varies from 18h00 to 20h00, depending on the season.  The tours are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and last around 90 minutes.


You can also do a day tour (Monday to Saturday 10h30 – 14h30).  This is an opportunity to look at the technology behind the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) with its giant mirror that gathers 25 times as much light as the previous largest African telescopes.

Stargazing with Jurg @ Sterland (Tel : 082 556 9589)

A stargazing session presented by Jurg Wagener can be done almost every night throughout the year.  Remember to “dress for the occasion”.  Evenings are cool to cold so in order to enjoy the program, being dressed warmly is essential. Each show last for approximately 2 hours. 

Golf

Sutherland has a soil golf course with oil greens.  This 9-hole golf course is one of a very few in South Africa.  Avid golf enthusiasts are welcome to come and enjoy a game of golf during their visit. 
To book please contact Willem de Jongh @ Tel : 079 591 7526

Blesfontein Appaloosa Stud

A mere 24km from Sutherland you will find the Blesfontein Appaloosa Stud with a mix of tame wild animals some being a meerkat and springbok.  The stud also has alpacas.

Children can enjoy pony rides while adults can enjoy game viewing on horseback.  Please book in advance and note that there is a weight limit of 90kg for riders.


For Reservations contact Marina van der Merwe Tel : 083 633 4913

4x4 Excursions

Blesfontein Guest Farm and Skurweberg Guest Farm, situated in close proximity to Sutherland, offers 4 x 4 excursions.
 
A circular route via the Tankwa takes you down the Ouberg Pass through the Tankwa National Park back to Sutherland.  This two-hour drive is a definite must if you enjoy spectacular views.
 
Another beautiful pass is the Gannaga Pass with just as spectacular views as the Ouberg Pass and a visit to the Gannaga Lodge is not to be missed.
 
For Skurweberg please contact Witjan van der Merwe Tel : 023 571 2728
For Blesfontein please contact Nicol van der Merwe Tel : 083 444 5810

Game Drives and Volcano Hike

Cheetah and Game drives are available at Rogge Cloof.  As this is a private reserve, bookings are essential and should be made directly via our Visit Sutherland office.


You can also do wine tasting at Rogge Cloof ….. their Salpeterkop Red Wine is a winner!


Rogge Cloof Estate also host guided hikes of the Salpeterkop Volcano.  Salpeterkop, the last active volcano in Africa, south of the equator, it is 1767m high and last erupted 66 million years ago, leaving a kilometre-wide lava ash field that you can still see today.       


Please contact our Visit Sutherland Office (Tel : 064 657 0693) to book a game drive, wine tasting or hike of this spectacular volcano.

Hiking

Upon visiting Sutherland you have no choice but to walk the amazing veldplant route of either 3, 6 or 12km just about 2km outside of town on the Middelfontein farm.  On route all the plants are numbered and presented in an A5-booklet with botanical names and short descriptions of each plant together with a digital photo.


Especially the 3km route is laid out that even a 2-year old can walk and enjoy it. The 12km 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.


For reservations contact Juanita at Tel : 071 491 2446

Birdwatching

The Tankwa Karoo, named after the river that runs through the area, is well known for bird watching.

The Louw Huis Museum

If you are interested in Afrikaans literature, visit the house where NP van Wyk Louw and his brother WEG Louw were born. 


NP van Wyk Louw, born 11 June 1906, was an Afrikaans poet, playwright and scholar, and the older brother of the WEG Louw (also an Afrikaans poet).  NP viewed the Afrikaans language as a bridge that connects Europe with Africa.


NP van Wyk Louw died at the age of 64 on 18 June 1970 in Johannesburg, Gauteng.


The Louw Huis Museum features artefacts, letters and photographs of some of the most famous inhabitants of Sutherland.  Sutherland families, the Louws and Esterhuyses, produced three of South Africa’s best-known Afrikaans poets : DC Esterhuyse, NP van Wyk Louw and his brother WEG Louw.  All three of the aforesaid are commemorated in this museum.


The museum also highlights contributions by Sutherland citizens Datei, Pieter Jordaan, Anna Jordaan and Sir Henry Olivier.  The latter was a famous civil engineer, who specialised in hydroelectric power projects.  He worked on several large international dam projects including Gariep Dam as well as the Kariba dam.


The Louw Museum is currently under construction and closed for visitors, but do we hope to have it up and running soon and will advise accordingly.

Tour of the Dutch Reformed Church

The Dutch Reformed Church was named after the Worcester minister, Ds Henry Sutherland in 1855 and represents the reason for the town’s existence.  The church was designed by Charles Freeman and built in 1899.  The church has a beautiful architecture with pointed rough stone and a tall gable roof. 


The church was once occupied by troops and used as a fort during the Anglo Boer War which makes it an important part of the town’s heritage.  The original interior is well kept but has been restored where necessary.  The church also houses a German designed organ, kept in its original casing.


A tour of the church is an interesting visit, and can you still see graffiti in the church today, courtesy of the British Soldiers.


Consecration of the church finally took place only in April 1903 after the war ended.


Tour Schedule :
Monday to Friday : 9h00 | 12h15 | 16h30
Saturday : 9h00 | 12h15
Rate : R30 for Adults | R15 for children
 
Reservations : Please dial Darius van der Merwe Tel : 071 837 1234

Graveyards

If you are a historian or have an interest in graves of the Anglo Boer War, then the Sutherland graveyards will hold an interest for you.  The graveyards are unique for their gravestones etched using handmade sandstone tools.
 
There’s a strange phenomenon in the Anglo Boer War graveyard : Two graves for one man, David Barnett, who drowned in a flash flood in 1901.  His comrades buried him but when the Anglo Boer War ended, the British gave him a military cross, which was placed on a second grave with the same name.
 
There is also a Jewish graveyard.  Sutherland was a town where many Jewish businessmen set up shop in the early 1900’s.  One of these businessmen were Barnett Perlman, who died in the 1918 flu pandemic, just eight days after he refused to lend a stretcher to a family for a funeral because he was afraid that he might get infected.  (Sometimes you just cannot dodge fate, no matter how careful you are).

Restaurants & Bars

Sutherland produces some of the best Karoo Lamb in the country, so visiting a couple of Sutherland restaurants seems an obvious thing to do.  The town currently has 4 restaurants :
 
Boorgat Bar & Restaurant in Jubilee Street  : The decor is a MUST see!  This Restaurant with a bar area has a fabulous menu, from Lamb Shank, Lamb Curry, Calamari, and for sure the best pizzas in town.  There is also a nice outside area to sit during the warmer summer days with a playground for the children. 
Contact Dolla for Reservations : Tel 023 571 1340 | Cell : 079 828 7867
 
The Blue Moon in the Main Road:  Come and experience Jannie’s amazing cooking skills.  The restaurant offers traditional karoo cuisine.
Contact Jannie Degenaar : Tel 082 962 0416
 
Ou Meule next to the OK Foodstore : As the name says, the “Old Mill” in town was converted by Chrisna and Kobus Rossouw.  The restaurant has an extensive menu to choose from. 
Contact Chrisna Rossouw : Tel 076 313 5803
 
The Whitehouse Inn : Nice outside area, fully licensed bar area.  Great steaks!
Contact Ian Rossouw : Tel 083 357 6537

Sutherland Planetarium

Your one stop space shop : The Universe is just a click away! 
 
Sutherland Planetarium is the only privately owned digital planetarium in South Africa.  The 30-seater Planetarium is located on the main road in the centre of town and is open 7 days a week showcasing a wide range of full-dome films for the enjoyment of the whole family
 
The Planetarium also has a new Astro Amphitheatre for evening star gazing shows.  Bring your smart phone to do your own Astro Photography
 
Planetarium shows are daily from 09h00 – 17h00 every hour on the hour.  The rate is R80 for adults and R50 for children under 13.
 
Stargazing at the Astro Amphitheatre from 20h00 and the rate is R130 per person
 
For reservations : Tel 078 603 0058

Shops

Die Trommel

Located in the main road, the shop sells a variety of items i.e soups, jams, wool etc.


Strawberry Moon

Located on the corner of the R356 (Fraserburg Road and Jubilee Street), the Strawberry Moon sells freshly baked cake and tarts daily. 

Historic Houses

Put on a comfortable pair of shoes and wander the streets with your camera from dusk to dawn for great shots of old grey-stone houses with lacy Victorian stoeps.  Some of the houses are a bit weathered and ramshackle but this wabi sabi (Japanese acceptance of transience and imperfection) makes for much more interesting photos than prim and pristine buildings. 

The stone Dutch Reformed Church on the main road has a remarkably interesting history.  Built in 1899 the church was supposed to be consecrated in October 1900, but a diphtheria epidemic meant it had to be postponed.  By then the Anglo Boer war had come to the Roggeveld and martial law was declared.  In September 1901 the minister had to hand over the keys of the church to the British soldiers to be used as a fort and barracks.

The Louw Museum is currently being repaired and do we hope to get it open for Visitors in due course.

The residence of Dr Henry Olivier can also be viewed and is currently owned by Marne Marais, owner of Die Heks se Huis.  This house was built in 1905 by Ds. G J Viviers who's initials are still engraved in the garden gate.

Snow

Sutherland is fiercely cold in winter and the coldest place in the country with night-time temperatures in the winter well below freezing.  On 12 July 2003 it reached  -16.4 degrees, the coldest in 33 years.


The area gets snow several times each winter, so if you want to see the snow-covered landscape and experience warm Karoo hospitality while huddling around a log fire, keep your eye on the snow reports.  Be quick though as the accommodation gets snapped up very quickly when it snows.

Self-Drives

Sutherland is an excellent base to explore the wild and rugged countryside of the Roggeveld plateau and the many mountain passes that link the town to the surrounding lowland areas.

 
Probably the most well-known of the mountain passes, Verlatekloof Pass, is situated on the R354 south towards Matjiesfontein.  The Verlatekloof Pass dips suddenly off the high plateau at an altitude of 1570 metres and takes the traveller through the gorge and closely follows the course of a stream that is fed by the melting snow in winter.  The road emerges into a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and mountains and reaches the gravel branch road (R356) to Ceres 39 kilometres from Sutherland.


A little known, yet magnificent circular drive, linking Sutherland and Laingsburg encompasses the Rooiberg and Komsberg Passes.  This route will involve a full day’s travel but will reward with magnificent scenery.  The route commences about four kilometres south of Sutherland on the R354 turning east onto a gravel road towards Merweville. The road continues across the flat and almost featureless Roggeveld Plateau before a superb vista of mountains and long views across the Great Karoo.  Be prepared for the opening and closing of numerous farm gates.  You will however be rewarded with some of the most spectacular mountain scenery and the incredibly special tranquillity of the Karoo as you stop your vehicle to savour the breath-taking views.


Another spectacular circular drive encompasses the magnificent Ouberg and Gannaga Passes that link the high Roggeveld Plateau to the Tankwa Karoo National Park situated in the great valley of the Ceres Karoo.  Just south of Sutherland there is a turn to the west that leads through rich sheep farming land to the western edge of the Roggeveld plateau some 45km from Sutherland.  From here the Ouberg Pass descends the steep slopes of the Roggeveld Mountains offering some of the most sensational views to be found in the Karoo with views of the Cederberg Mountains.  At the bottom of the pass you will reach a junction signposted left Calvinia and right to Middelpos.  Turn towards Middelpos and follow the road into a cut off valley within a fold of the Roggeveld Mountains.  This road then ascends the Gannaga Pass, which boasts magnificently dressed stone construction dating from the nineteenth century.  From the top of the Gannaga Pass the road traverses the high plateau.  Please ensure that you stop at the Gannaga Lodge for a great lunch and spectacular views, whereafter you will continue about 28km, reaching the tiny village of Middelpos from where the R354 leads back to Sutherland some 79km away.

Tjol se Gat

Tjol & Jacqui Herbst purchased the farm in 2014 and opened Tjol se Gat, an off the beaten track pub situated in the Verlatekloof Pass, 20km before the town of Sutherland.  The building was the old toll house (a small house by a toll gate where money was collected from road users) which was in use until December 1907. 

Tjol se Gat now has a caravan park as well as a small cottage that can sleep 2 people.

When en route to Sutherland, do yourself the favour to stop in for a libation and some great stories. 

You will walk in as a visitor, but you will for sure walk out as a friend.  For sure an unforgettable experience.

Tjol can be reached via whatsapp # 078 425 3077

Hokaai Padstal

Hokaai Padstal in die Verlatekloof - 23km voor Sutherland. Beslis 'n plek om te stop vir lekker Karoo Produkte!!!
Die Padstal verkoop huisgemaakte pasteie, biltong, droewors en konfyte. Daar is ook heerlike tuisgebakte beskuit en koekies uit die Sutherland distrik.
Hul hou ook die volgende produkte aan wat in die Karoo gemaak word en Pure Suid-Afrika is:
Velprodukte / Skaapvelle / Skaapwol boots
Seep en ander badprodukte
Pistachios
Speserye
Rou Heuning