Sutherland, Upper Karoo

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Sutherland, Upper Karoo

The Astronomical Observatory 14 km outside Sutherland

Once you've booked your accommodation in Sutherland, explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Sutherland.

Mention the town of Sutherland and most people will know that this is the place people go to look at the skies. And they would be right. Almost 120 kilometres due north of Matjiesfontein in the Roggeveld of the Karoo, Sutherland is a space of clear, dark night skies. It's where one can marvel at the star scapes that sweep the outer limits, and where astronomers come to use the telescopes of the South African Astronomical Observatory.

But Sutherland's awe inspiring skies are but one of the attractions for visiting. It's in the middle of nowhere - obviously or those night skies wouldn't be what they are - which means people visit here to escape from everything, and it's also one of the coldest towns in the country (other than Bufffelsfontein) with frequent snow falls during winter, the looming Roggeveld Mountains bedecked in snow.

Sutherland is also close to the sites of unique corbel houses. Corbel houses are only found in this region in and around the towns of Fraserburg, Williston and Carnarvon. They look something like stone beehives and were built from flat stones common to the area where wood was not available.

Wheat chaff and sand were mixed with water to use as 'cement' or a binding material, or whenever farmers in the area could, they used the sand from ant hills as it apparently has unbelievable binding properties. Usually the corbel home had but one door, a window, and a domed roof with openings in the top, which could be covered when it rained.

And if you're interested, to the south of Sutherland is an eroded volcano by the name of Salpeterkop. But if you've come to Sutherland, chances are that all you want to do is kick back, look at the stars, and brood on how often you can escape the city.

Additional Reading
If you are planning a trip to Sutherland you may find this article useful: "Sutherland, the coldest town in South Africa".

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Featured Attractions in (or near) Sutherland

Ouberg Pass

Lying in the Northern Cape the Ouberg Pass descends into the town of Sutherland, the coldest town in the country and home to the biggest single optical telescope (SALT) in the southern hemisphere. Usually one reaches Sutherland via the Verlatekloof Pass. But the Ouberg Pass into the town offers a rather euphoric ... more information

Tankwa Karoo National Park

The 80 000 hectare Tankwa Karoo National Park, proclaimed in 1986 and still in a development stage, is at present in a veld recovery phase and it will be some time before the original vegetation re-establishes itself. Even so, after the occasional shower, the park erupts into a dazzling display of flowering ... more information

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Things To Do in Sutherland

Sutherland Musuems, Memorials and Monuments

Where: Sutherland
How much (per person): Price on request

A memorial to the Voortrekkers, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Great Trek is located at the entrance to town. Louw Hous ... more information

Stargazing at Sterland

Where: Sutherland
How much (per person): Price on request

Sterland, just outside of Sutherland has stargazing sessions every night, with the cold air providing excellent viewing of the Milky Way. T ... more information

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Restaurants in Sutherland

Cluster d' Hote

Where: Sutherland

Tantalize your taste buds at the Cluster d’ Hote Restaurant in Sutherland and enjoy sumptuous meals that will entice you to return. Try the wood fired pizza with incredible toppings, such as bacon, ... more information

Perlman House Pub & Restaurant

Where: Sutherland

Perlman House Pub and Restaurant, situated in the main road of Sutherland in a historic 19th century “Dorpshuis” started business in 2007. Since then we have built a solid reputation for service, pric ... more information

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On Holiday in Sutherland

Sutherland Attractions
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Sutherland - A Visitors Perspective
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Also see Things To Do in Upper Karoo or check out Things To Do in Northern Cape to view activities by category, including watersports, sightseeing activities, arts & crafts and many, many more.

On you'll find plenty of South Africa accommodation options. We've also listed nearby activities for any town or city in which you plan to stay. And the big bonus is that you deal directly with the venues - no fees involved. With eight world heritage sites, a multitude of game reserves and national parks, over 1350 ha of national botanical gardens, and exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, South Africa offers the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Enjoy your stay in Sutherland!
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