Things to Do
Cradled in a crook of the Sundays River, to the approaching traveler, Graaff -Reinet seems like a verdant oasis in the stark surrounding landscape.
Graaff-Reinet is home to more National Monuments than any other town or city in South Africa. Round every corner a piece of our history is revealed to interested visitors.
A short stroll down Cradock Street will reveal more than 50 of these historic homes. Take a walk down Parsonage Street in the center of town – on the western end is the seat of the former Dutch authority of the Cape (Drostdy Hotel), while facing it at the eastern end lies the erstwhile ecclesiastical power.
Or visit Reinet House, which forms part of a museum complex of four historic buildings.
The imposing stone structure of the Grootkerk at the northern end of Church Street overlooks the commercial hub of the town.
Karoo Nature Reserve: Which is a mecca for hikers, photographers and students of flora and fauna. Included in this reserve is the famous and awe-inspiring Valley of Desolation as well as the peak Uitkyk, from which paragliding enthusiasts from all over the world come to share the thermals of the vast Karoo skies with the resident Black Eagles.
The Drostdy: Once the headquarters of the town's first magistrate, designed by Louis Thibault and completed in 1806.
Dutch Reformed Church: Designed to resemble the neo-Gotic lines of England's Salisbury Cathedral, this is considered to be the finest church of its kind in the country.
Hester Rupert Art Museum : A former oefeningshuis (activity center), school and mission church, this building was once saved from demolition by the Rembrandt Corporation and was named after the mother of Anton Rupert, head of the corporation.
Huguenot Monument : Marking the arrival of the French Huguenots of South Africa, who form an indelible part of history.
Independence Plaque: A plaque opposite the Drostdy, commemorating the town's brief spell as a republic in the late 18th Century.
Jan Rupert Center: Originally a mission church an now a spinning and weaving industry. Includes a neo-Gothic London Missionary church and a factory from where products are sold.
The 'Kruithuis': A gunpowder magazine built on a hill by local merchants in 1853.
Old Jail: The banks of the Sunday River were the site chosen for this jail, built in 1861. Among the jail's many inmates was Anna Rabie, the last South African woman to be publicly executed.
Old Library Museum Costume collection, reproductions of San artwork, art exhibit, photographic collection and fossil collection.
Pyramid A memorial on Magazine Hill to the forming of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
St James Church : This beautiful 1850 building is the oldest original church still in use in the town.
Van Ryneveld Dam: Part of the Valley of Desolation, this Dam is famed for its rich bird life, including many duck, cormorant and flamingoes among its inhabitants.
War Memorial : A great bronze victory peace angel in the mayor's garden; dedicated to local citizens, including Die middellandse Regiment who lost their lives in WWII.