Visit to SALT - Wow, how interesting, the visitor centre is fascinating, the staff are friendly and very knowledgeable, and the visit to SALT itself is amazing, made even more amazing by visiting a smaller telescope on the site. I forgot to ask....why does the temperature drop at sunrise?
sutherland may 2015 - fully enjoyed visiting SALT as well as scenic routes. the old town feeling- wind singing through pinetrees at night and sound of windmill and of course the cold mornings. real gem in the raw
Visit SALT - Well worth a visit to SALT- its been on our bucket list and now we can tick it off. Would love to return for a night when there is a lot of snow around. Cant wait...
Patrick and Vivienne Delaney
SALT and Sterland - The tour at SALT a little disorganized however the guide was informative. Private night gazing with Jeug at his caravan / camp site Sterland a km outside Sutherland amazing! Dress warmly as very cold
Charles & Kathrine Musil's stay in Sutherland - A visit to the South African Astronomical Observatory to view the local and international astronomical facilities as well as the South African Large Telescope (SALT) was a both educating and interesting, The astronomical presentation and star gazing through 5 x 14 inch satellite linked GPS Celestron telescopes provided at the privately owned Sterland was amazing. The high powered laser used to point out the major stars, constellations and planets in the night sky was of a standard superior to that we have encountered any where in the world.
Sutherland - clearest skies in the country - Sutherland is a must for anyone that needs to get away for a weekend from the hustle & bustle of city life and enjoy some real peace & quiet. The skies are the clearest I've ever seen and the peace and serenity is unequaled anywhere. The highlight to Sutherland is both a day and night tour to the world renowned observatory. The night tour is an experience one will never forget and should almost be a pilgrimage for everyone.
My dream - I was always interestedin Astronomy and it was my dream to visit SAAO.
We thoroughly enjoyed both the night and day tours,Willem was very informative.
Viewing the stars was amazing.
People are very friendly and humble.
We had the tastiest Karoo lamb from Paulsen's butchery.
Good place to relax and take a break .
We will definitely be back .
Gem in a hard country - You can feel the ruggedness of the country. But people's hearts and attitudes are quite the opposite. Love it.
Bennie van Loggerenberg
Amazing Little Town - Friendly people, good food and the star gazing was amazing! We really had an Astronomical Time! Thank You Sutherland!
Sutherland - disappointing - Sutherland as tourist destination was very disappointing. The few tourist shops close early on Saturdays and are not open on Sundays - but then their stock is not actually worth staying open for. No restaurants open on a Sunday, except for the Hotel. The observatory is the most disappointing with a 'tour guide' that handles the tour like a school tour with text book info on the exhibitions. We did not even stay to see the telescope. The only highlight is Jurg Wagenar and his Star Gazing experience, definitely worth while. It seems like he and his family are the only ones that are trying to keep tourism alive in Sutherland.
Great - We loved this quiet Karoo town, the little shops, restaurants, old refurbished houses and the telescopes.
Super Sutherland - Quaint, quiet little village but plenty to keep one occupied for a day or two. Jurg's stargazing evenings are very worthwhile and informative, as is the SALT Observatory tour.
Peace - Beautiful peaceful town with warm welcoming people. Missed seeing stars due to humidity, but still worth the visit to town and SAAO
Marinda Janse van Rensburg
Love the cold - Has become crowded over weekends, in addition too many Pam Golding signs - inflate property prices beyond its real value.
Sutherland - The town is definitely in need of some attention. It is disturbing to see the decline of a town that has so much history about her. But in saying that, Sutherland is definitely a place to visit as this town has a lot to tell!!
Do take the time to book a tour of the church (tour guide Jannie - fantastic person with so much knowledge, put aside 2 hours at least) as well as the birth house of WEG and NP Van Wyk Louw - (Reikie the tourguide took us back in time and one can easily spend 2 - 3 hours at the house - the amount of history of those two places were astounding!
Do book a day or night tour at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO/SALT) - fascinating and interesting and definitely worth a visit! Tourguide William was very knowledgeable and interesting!
Do tip generously at the church and birth house of the Louw brothers, as they are in desperate need of funds to keep up the places!
Stargazing at night with Jurg is also highly recommended!
Karen De Kock
Worth the detour - A visit to SAAO is very informative and definitely worth the trip. Thanks to Willem, our guide.
Weekend in Sutherland - We stayed in a very lovely little place over the weekend. The only problems we had with Sutherland is as follows: the people at the butchery were the unfriendliest people I have ever dealt with. We asked for sausage and cheese sausage each with a price of R50.00; they basically threw the meat on counter and costed more than we asked for. No smiles, no friendly chats. The result, sausage was tasteless. The people kept begging for money wherever we went. SALT was fantastic. Pity the graves are not cared for, except those of the British soldiers. Overall a good experience, but the worst part of it is people are easy pray being a tourist.
Out of the way places to visit - Quiet weekend retreat.
Initially a bit of a culture shock, but a very pleasant surprise.
Definitely worth a second visit.
Sutherland - Sutherland will be a shock to the system if you arrive from a major city. However, within a short time you will hopefully get into the Karoo pace of life. Explore the gravel streets and you likely to find something you won't typically find in Cape Town. Is that not what a holiday away from home is meant to be? An attraction is SALT, 15kms outside of Sutherland. We could only get onto the hourly tour (cheaper), but probably got more out of it than the proper tour. The guide was friendly and very knowledgeable, and went out of his way to personalise our experience.
Great small town to visit any time of the year - Sutherland is known as being the coldest place in South Africa but can be very hot during the day in summer. Peaceful vistas, no air or light pollution and a rural feel bring back the longings for a time gone by. Local sheep graze in fields adjacent to the lower town. whilst a wide Main road and a very historical church make Sutherland a sleepy Karoo town. The proximity of SALT and the excellent tours they offer bring in many visitors each year.
Middle of Nowhere - Centre of the Universe - Off season Sutherland is quiet and a long way from anywhere. A charming Karoo town with an attractive church, Boer War cemetery and some genuinely good restaurants. Sleepy is the word.
Just up the hill is the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) an astronomical facility so famous that it attracts scientists and visitors from all over the World to gaze into the vast vault of Space. Awesome is the word.
Karoo and the stars! - Experience the Karoo and the stars. So different! A must!
Perfect getaway from the City - You can't get further away from the hustle and bustle of the city, than Sutherland. Surrounded by the beautiful Karoo landscape and the most amazing night sky you have ever seen.
Definitely make a trip to the SAAO (South African Astronomical Observatory and to SALT (Southern Africa Large Telescope), the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere.
SALT is awsome - Our visit to Sutherland was something I have wanted to do for a very long time as our family are 1820 settlers (Sutherland, Cawood & Hartley families). The telescope was a visit of a lifetime I would highly recommend it.
Sutherland dorpie - A peaceful dorpie, still very safe with the observatory as an added feature and salt of the earth people.
Suzette du Plessis
Beautiful little town - Sutherland is a real place with real people.
Lovely town - I loved our visit to Sutherland. It is such a quant town with a fascinating history. The tourism bureau office is well sign posted in the Main Street and they have a map of the town and all the interesting things to see and do. Do not miss arranging a visit through the church - it is beautiful and so interesting. The grave yard, the Louw museum and the old mill to name a view. I do think the towns folk could do a lot to get people to spend money in the town - people come to see the stars, SAAO and SALT and therefore have to stay in the town. Get t-shirts, mugs, key rings etc with "I survived Sutherland" on it, sell warm clothes because us city folk have no idea how cold it is!! Uplift the town. SAAO and SALT are a must visit - truly amazing experience and as for the stars - I will travel all that way to do the stars again and again and again. Bucket list visit for sure.
A small town with a lot to offer - One has to consider Sutherland as a small community and any upgrades or new ventures would need the community to be involved. We thought it a bit off-putting that you had to phone and book and pay R20 to go the church and museum. There's no tourist information bureau (or one that we could find) to advise on what is available or to make bookings or looking for something to do. But once again, one has to consider the reality of the town. It supports a small community and they seem happy with what it available. If they wanted to promote more tourism in the town (not just for SALT), they would need to encourage people to go to the museum/church by having opening times, offering events or activities - town walks, ghost walks, poetry readings, etc.
Sutherland - Sutherland was a disappointment! The town has a feeling of neglect, no character and our visit to SALT was a huge disappointment.
I can tick the box, but will definitely never go to the expense of visiting Sutherland again.
Sutherland - Should look at how Sutherland is marketed. Should be the lovers place in SA. Homes could be upgraded, and made romantic. Clusters De Hote restaurant seems to be the only place that has done anything.
Sutherland you beauty - Sutherland is a friendly town to visit and we have made some good friends there. The pace is slow so don't expect anything similar to the city; just relax and go with the flow.
Disappointment in overall area - The lack of natural sounds i.e. birds etc. was concerning
Stars - SALT is worth the while seeing.
Sutherland - Very friendly people at this small town. The SAAO was very impressive with it's huge telescopes and the tour we had there, was of good quality. Definitely a place to visit again!
Carika Von Metzinger
Oh Sutherland - We all came to Sutherland for our first time, beautiful little town with friendly people and enough to do if you can enjoy nature and not big malls, we all enjoyed our stay, we had great food and looked at the stars with legend JURG, which done his job very well indeed, must say that in all honesty, if you do not enjoy stars,nature or food, Sutherland is probably to for you.
Dissapointed - We arrived on a Sunday and could not find anywhere to have dinner except the hotel where it was R90 per person for a braai! Decided to make our own braai but no decent meat to be found in the only open shop in town. A "stand-in" for public holidays took us on tour to salt but unfortunately he was not very knowledgeable. The only nice part of our visit was the stargazing with Jurg. A very far drive for a rather disappointing weekend.
Lisa du Plessis
bad management makes town look bad - we had snow,20mm, we had no accomodation, our booking had been given to someone else, the place is beautiful especially in the snow, we had no electricity, there are no back up generators, we got accomodation at about 8ish, for which we thank the very nice accomodating people as we had arrived at 4. we nev er got to see the stars, the telescope or the town really. we will never go back there because of the way the lady from the windhoek treated us. we were told we could not get out of the town as the pass was closed. but believe me we were not staying one more minute so we drove in one and a half metres of snow, to get the hell out of there. IT IS AMAZING HOW ONE RUDE PERSON WHO ONLY APOLOGISED AT 8ISH CAN MAKE A TOWN LOOK BAD ISNT IT
Blesfontein - Ons het di vreeslik baie geniet en het vi die eerste keer lekker uit gerus en al die diere baie geniet. Hulle diens was wonderlik en ons deel laat voel van die plaas.Sal devenitief weer gaan sonder eenige twyfel.
Nice place to be in winter! - If you want to see snow in winter, this is the place to be! Just make sure to book in one of the guesthouses without electricity and with an coal burner stove and then there is nothing to wish for more! To sit on the veranda with an warm blanket and all you see is the stars! There is no other place like Sutherland to really enjoy what we have on earth.
Johan en Hettie van Sabie.
Amazing - Amazing star gazing!
Scenic, Scientific, Starry, Sutherland - Sutherland is a quaint karoo town perhaps best known best for its star gazing. The South African Astronomical Oberservatory (SAAO) is a 15 min drive away and offers day and night tours. It is home to the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) - the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere!
The town also boasts the childhood house of Afrikaans writer N.P van Wyk Louw and a beautiful church built in 1855. Other attractions include coffee shops, restaurants and local 'watering holes'.
For those wanting to get physical there are hiking and mountain biking trails, 4x4 routes, horse riding, donkey cart rides, paintball and even a 9-hole golf course!
Unique geology and rare butterflies are also of interest, and although the region is semi desert, every year winter dusts the landscape in snow and spring brings forth a multitude of daisies. The fresh air and peace and quiet makes for a great getaway from the city.
Quiet clear air, STARS !! - Great little places to eat, nice people, STARS !!!!
Gateway to the Universe - We as a family fell in love with this little town with its dirt roads and warm people!
On the 9th of July we arrived at Sutherland, we waited 8 months for this trip! Had dinner at Rita se eetplek - what a great and cosy restaurant. We felt so welcomed!
Uncle Jurg came to fetch us at 8pm for an awesome time of Stargazing. The night sky were unbelievable clear and we could even see the planet Saturn with his rings. It was so awesome!
The next morning we were welcomed by oom Jannie, our tourguide at the church. He is an excellent tourguide!! We had a wonderful time with oom Jannie who told and showed us the rich history of Sutherland and the church from the year 1855.
That afternoon we went for a tour at SALT. WOW!!! I was amazed by this huge telescope. So beautiful! Here I was blown away by the knowledge of our friendly tour-guide.
We did not have enough time to see all the attractions.
The night before we left we had dinner at "The Perlman House" - absolutely stunning! The food was delicious! Perfect. I am so glad we chose that cosy restaurant.
Overall - Sutherland is a cold town that warms your heart!
Sutherland; the place where star dust meets earth dust - Sutherland, known as the coldest place on average in South Africa, is the jewel to be explored. Follow me on a journey that will change your mind. Winter time is synonymous to snow with Pine trees full of cones. The healthy pips get free when the pine cone breaks open and let us pick each pip one by one and becomes symbolic in the heart of a village. Sutherland is the place where star dust meets earth dust. Earth dust includes geology and rock formations. The sedimentary rocks of mudstone and sandstone are criss-crossed by dolerite dykes and sheets (volcanic). We have the last working volcano south of the equator in Africa, 66 million years ago. Although it is freezing weather on the Roggeveld, further down in the Tanqua Karoo the temperature is a healthy 10 degrees more in Winter. Due to the temperature difference, Sutherland is unique in the world of having two different plant regions only 25 km apart differing 1000 metres in altitude. That is why the farmers move their sheep from the cold Roggeveld in winter time to the warm Tanqua Karoo and back by the end of September. Asking some of the informed local people, you will find that you can see a festival of unique flowers from July to the end of October every year.
There is a guest house that mapped and listed 110 species of plants over a circular route of 145 km. This Treasure hunt alone will take you a day to complete. Just two km out of town is a 12km single track mountain bike route with lots of challenges as well as walking trails up to 15 km where plants are listed, illustrated and numbered.
In town there is also an illustrated historical walking trail booklet identifying all the old buildings with a short history. Some of the most impressive places are the old Mill house where farmers delivered their wheat with ox-wagon. The beautiful Dutch Reformed Church with its bluestone rocks neatly chiselled, the memorable Louw House Museum highlighting the corner stone of Afrikaans by these Pioneers.
Another Earth dust is the crystal clear water abundant in boreholes and fountains. Open your eyes and drink in the names. Klipfontein, Kanolfontein, Middelfontein, Blesfontein, Driefontein, Vyffontein, Rheeboksfontein, Tonteldoosfontein, Waatlemoenfontein, Klawerfontein, Jakkalsfontein, Kwaggasfontein, Palmietfontein. Seismologic, Sutherland is the most stable in the world – there are sensitive instruments at the observatory monitoring it every day.
One of the most important radio directional radar beacons on the highest mountain is located here insuring traffic control from Cape Town International Airport en route to Johannesburg.
Talking of the Star dust, you will find the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere to observe the unknown universe up to 1 billion times fainter than what the human eye can see. We are now proud to announce that what SALT sees can be regarded as the Eye looking in the sky. We now have another sense organ (the Ear) with the approval of the SKA in Carnarvon - both in the Northern Cape Province.
Locally there is a private person offering star gazing through five telescopes almost every night to explore the wonder of our creation.
Sutherland through the years brought famous literature people like the well known Poets, NP van Wyk Louw and WEG Louw receiving many awards.
Dr Henry Oliver, a world famous engineer involved in designing the Cabora Basa and Gariep Dam, spend his childhood in Sutherland. The museum hosts a wide range of literature and furniture resembling the life of these pioneers that changed the mind of the world.
At the end of Van Wyk Louw’s life, he looked over his shoulder and remarked: To grow up in a town like this and enjoy farm life is about the richest treasure what man can give to a child. For a receptive child, a child with imagination, it is an enriched life.
The Anglo Boer War in 1899 – 1901 also made its mark in the nearly completed Dutch Reformed Church was invaded by the British soldiers. Today it is a land mark with its beautiful wood works and high beams incredible formed and designed. People like them got their inspirations from the vast open, silent, peaceful country and even today singers come here to find new words – the birth of a new song. Emotional, physiological, it gives you a spiritual magnetism changing and relaxing your mind.
Sutherland gets snow about four to five times a year, mostly in winter and the visitors can one morning be surprised with a blanket of snow, as you open the curtain. As a conclusion it must be said that all in South Africa must have Sutherland on their bucket list as there is a new world waiting to be discovered to enrich you as a person.
Sutherland - A very interesting town for more than one reason, its geography, satellites, and historical. It is well worth a visit.
Great gateway - This is the best place get away from stress and to watch the stars. It is a very clean town.
Small, quiet and clean - This is a small, quiet and clean town. There are some good restaurants, and the stargazing facility at Jurg's is excellent. It is a good place for a quiet getaway.
There are some fascinating rides in the vicinity but Northern Cape administration needs to do some more upkeep on the roads, particulary Ouberg Pass.
Great town - Sutherland is a quaint town, and so very different from bigger suburbs, towns and city living. I loved the view of the sky at night. It was breathtaking!
Unique spot - A visit to SALT and stargazing are a must! But be warned, it is not advisable to go on a full moon night; we did and it spoiled some of the stargazing. We were very impressed with the SALT tour and stargazing. The staff are very knowledgeable and approachable.
Little haven in the desert - Sutherland is a little haven in the desert. The observatory is fascinating and the night tour well worth the time. The restaurant was an oasis in the town, with outstanding food and service.