Cullinan is a small town 30 km east of Pretoria. It is a small town along the diamond route that is heavily reliant on tourism and the mine that dominates the skyline.
It made its name with the discovery in 1905 of the world’s biggest diamond, the 3 106-carat Cullinan Diamond. The Cullinan Diamond was discovered only 9m from the surface. Huge diamonds are still occasionally found here, and although it’s unlikely you’ll find one, put an exciting one- to two-hour guided tour of a working diamond mine at the Cullinan Diamond Mine on your bucket list.
Here you can also visit the Diamond Hub, where you can view replicas of some of Cullinan’s most famous diamonds, and watch a diamond-cutting demonstration.
Oak Avenue in Cullinan, a favourite destination of tour buses and individual travellers alike and the heart of this Victorian village, is a living museum lined with giant oak trees, lovingly restored old houses, art galleries, quirky shops, cafés and old-style restaurants. A top favourite is Jan Harmsgat se Agterplaas (literally, “Jan Harmsgat’s back garden”), a garden gallery that also houses a popular barnyard theatre.
But there’s much more to do in Cullinan than shopping and the Cullinan Diamond Mine. You can also visit some original stone miners’ cottages, a beautiful old train station and the prestigious nine-hole Cullinan Golf Course.
A somewhat poignant reminder of another chapter in Cullinan’s history is the Cullinan Mystique, a 1904 historical building that is home to a collection of murals painted by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, while the Zonderwater Prison commemorates those prisoners and internees who died during their internment.
McHardy House Museum, the original 1903 home of the first mine manager, William McHardy – full of Victorian, Edwardian, art-deco and art-nouveau furniture – and the beautiful old stone St George’s Anglican Church are also well worth a visit.
If you need to get active, then brave the Adventure Zone Cullinan, where individuals, families and groups get their adrenalin surging by gorge gliding, abseiling, quad biking, trying their hand at archery, horse riding and lots more.
For a hike, birdwatching or game viewing head to Windy Brow Nature Reserve.
If you’d like to stay overnight, Cullinan has lots of charming accommodation like quaint B&Bs, guest houses and lodges.
|Country name||South Africa|