The principle town of the Karoo Heartland Route and an important agricultural centre, Cradock boasts fine architecture and a number of important monuments and museums (including the Olive Schreiner House, home of the writer of the classic, ‘Story of an African Farm’).
The area was considered strategically important by the early 19th century settlers, and this heritage is reflected in many of the well-preserved buildings - including the old parsonage (1849), which today houses the Great Fish River Museum, a fascinating showplace of settler culture.
A more recent view is provided by the epitaphs on the tombs in the Linglihle Graveyard, final resting place of a number of people who lost their lives in the struggle against apartheid. The wide, fertile plain and its surrounding mountains offer many attractions for nature lovers.
Nearby Lake Arthur is a popular water sports venue; the Great Fish River is home to the country’s biggest annual canoe marathon and provides exciting paddling and tubing during most of the year.
The Mountain Zebra National Park is a favourite for game viewing, birding and scenic drives. The sulphur hot springs of the Cradock Spa have been a popular drawcard almost since the town was founded.