Roughly thirty kilometres outside of Pretoria, and 100 kilometres from Johannesburg lies the charming little town of Cullinan. The town, which is named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, has a long diamond mining history and today is South Africa's third largest diamond producer. Despite mining developments around the little settlement, Cullinan has hung on to its olde world charm, making it a favourite destination for curious travellers.
Sir Thomas Cullinan was the first person to deduce the location of the Cullinan Kimberlite, and bought the appropriate land as soon as it became available. His deductions were spot on and the first open-pit diamond mine opened in 1903. In 1905 the Cullinan Diamond was found and with 3106 carats and weighing 621 grams, it is to this day one of the largest diamonds ever found. Not surprisingly, the town sprung up to support the mine, and neither has looked back since.
Today Cullinan is a quaint town, and Oak Street in the centre of town is a living museum. The street is lined with original Edwardian houses, complete with little fences and gardens. There are a number of notable old buildings too which include the Nedbank building and the Cullinan Hospital.
A number of more traditional museums are also to be found in the town, which focus on the history of Cullinan and a more general history of diamond mining in South Africa.
Cullinan is a lovely place to while away a day or two, strolling up and down the streets and absorbing the atmosphere of a town firmly planted in the early 1900's. For the more adventurous, the mountainous terrain around the town is good for abseiling, gorge-gliding and horse-riding.
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Great little town. Will definitely be back!
- Reinette Theart
What a beautiful little town,so historical!
- Rod Dewing
Knowing Cullinan well, we had a great morning at the little market street, really great value for money and good quality food. Pity the mine doesn't do underground tours on a Sunday
- Willem Van Der Walt
A great town, good service received.
- Pierre Burger
Cullinan is a small town and has a lot of historical value. We enjoyed our stay very much.
- Marius du Plessis