What a great day! I went with a friend to go explore Cullinan for the day and we had an absolute blast. Cullinan is a charming little mining town about an hour and a half north-east of Joburg (past Pretoria and the Zambesi off ramp) and is famous for the Cullinan diamond; the biggest ever diamond to be discovered in the world – over 3000 carats!! You can go there by Friends of the rail which is a steam train running from Pretoria but as we haven’t been there before we decided to go by car which was good as we got to see more than we would have had we done this by foot once there and also there were some rain showers in the afternoon.
There are a few tours available if you want to go see the mine, learn how they mine diamonds and see the Big Hole. Some of the tours are up to 4 ½ hours so we decided to skip it and explore the town ourselves. There is a lookout point to see the Big Hole which is four times as big as the Kimberly Big Hole and twice as deep. The view wasn’t great so you probably would have to go on a tour to get the real sense of its size. The town is cute and mostly consists of houses built out of rock or tin with a rich history dating back to the turn of the twentieth century. Most houses and businesses have kept in the style of a traditional mining community and also take pride in their gardens and art work which can be seen throughout the town.
We stopped at Harrie’s pancakes and shared a savoury and sweet pancake which was absolutely divine. Harrie’s pancakes is also in Dullstroom, Graskop and Hout Bay and never disappoints. I love their bobotie pancake! The main street (Oak avenue) offers a tourist centre, lots of beautiful and alluring restaurants, art studios, jewellery shops and museums. The town also has some quaint churches and picturesque guest houses especially those near Hys Rex that overlook the Roodeplaat dam. If you want to go back in time then this town is a must.