Cradock is a rugged, beautiful area and a serene but typical Karoo farming town. It is located in the Karoo portion of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, on the banks of the Great Fish River and thanks to its hot sulphur springs, the town enjoys a reputation as one of the best health resorts in the Eastern Cape.
Cadock streets are lined with Ilex Oak Trees, particularly on Dundas Street, where they have been declared a national monument.
The town was found by Sir John Cradock, governor of the Cape from 1811 to 1813, after the Frontier War of 1812 as a stronghold to secure the Eastern area of the then Cape Province. The town is regarded as the capital of the Cape Midlands and is one of the chief centres of the wool industry of the Cape. Cadock became a municipality in 1873.
The Karoo Sulphu Springs, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Olive Shreiner House Museum, the Old Water Mill, the Mountain Zebra National park, the historical Doornhoek House Museum, Van Riebeeck Karoo Garden, the Great Fish River Museum, Grassridge dam, Lake Arthur dam and Kommandodrif dam are the major landmarks in Cradock. However, in the neighboring district a few herds of mountain zebras survive which you may be lucky enough to spot or for an alternative attraction the Great Fish River Canoe Marathon is one of the sporting highlights in South Africa and well worth a visit if you are in the country at the time.
Travellers can experience the therapeutic properties of the natural sulphur spring water, with both an open air swimming pool and indoor heated pool as well as boating in Lake Arthur.
Relax by camping in the area which allows you to get closer to nature for the ultimate wilderness experience.
The best way to get around is by hiring a car which you can do at most major towns and cities as well as at the airports.
- Relax at a natural spring spa.
- Coincide your visit with the Great Fish River Canoe Marathon.
- Get a cultural fix at Cradock’s many museums.