In 1862 the Dutch Reformed Church established Tarkastad on the farm Boschfontein. This small, typical Karoo town is situated on the banks of the Tarka River, a major tributary of the Great Fish River, against the backdrop of the Winterberg Mountains.
Adventure And Sport
Abseiling and Canoeing: There are several opportunities for abseiling and canoeing in the vicinity of the town.
Hunting: Various operators in the area offer game viewing and trophy-hunting opportunities.
Toorberg and Winterberg Hiking Trails: The two-day Toorberg and Winterberg hiking trails offer spectacular scenery and comfortable overnight facilities.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
San Rock Art at Bower’s Hope: To reach the farm, take the turn-off to Swartklei from the road to the Tsolwana Game Reserve. The rock art site is within easy walking distance from the parking site and is very accessible. Viewing is by prior appointment only.
San Rock Art at Carrickmoor Guest Farm: The farm is situated 17 km from Tarkastad on the road to Queenstown. The site features paintings of San warriors, an elephant, black snake and a man with a stick in his hand riding a horse.
San rock art at Falconridge Farm: The farm is situated approximately 55 km north of Tarkastad on the Sterkstroom road. It has two rock art sites, both with very clear and well-preserved pictures.
San rock art at Groenfontein Farm: There are two rock art sites on this farm and, although some of the paintings have been damaged, others are in quite good condition and well worth the trip.
San rock art at Hartebeesfontein Farm: Hartebeesfontein farm is situated near Groenfontein farm and approximately 63 km from Tarkastad. The site is a 6-m-long artwork with paintings of buck, giraffe and the characteristic San hunters. The dinosaur fossil, not far from this site, can also be seen.
Leyklippoortjie Farm: This farm lies on the Tarkastad/Sterkstroom road. A 200-m-walk takes you to the 1-m-long rock art site with its bright pictures.
Entertainment And Shopping
Blanco Farm Holiday Resort: Situated at the foot of the Winterberg in the Tarkastad/Queenstown district, this resort has been voted one of the ten best holiday farms in South Africa. Children are viewed as special guests and are taught to milk cows, feed pigs and groom horses, while the grown-ups have a choice of activities, such as tennis, squash, bowling and swimming.
History And Architecture
Historical Buildings: Some of the town’s noteworthy buildings include the Dutch Reformed Church and Parsonage, built soon after the town was established; the Presbyterian Church; the old watermills and inns and the old iron water hydrants and lamp standards near the municipal offices.
Military posts: The old military posts in the area are stark reminders of the alltoo-familiar history of conflict, of battles fought, of lives lost. The grave of one soldier, Lieut. Sheridan, on the farm Modderfontein, is of particular interest as he was a cousin of the famous British statesman, Winston Churchill.
Hills: Two distinctive flat-topped hills near town have been given the names Martha and Mary.