De Aar is the second most important railway junction in South Africa. In De Aar, the lines from the Eastern and Western Cape, the northern provinces, Zimbabwe and Namibia meet. The town has 110 km of track and a high traffic rate of trains every day.
De Aar is a Dutch word that means "artery" and it refers to an underground watercourse in the area. De Aar was originally established on the Farm "De Aar", and because of it's central location, the government bought the farm in 1881 and built the first railway line from Cape Town to Kimberley. Today, De Aar is the primary commercial distribution centre for a large area of the central Great Karoo. Major production activities of the area include wool production and livestock farming.
If you are interested in rock art, excellent examples of Khoisan rock engravings can be viewed on the farms Nooitgedacht, Brandfontein and Damfontein. Take a leisurely stroll through The Garden of Remembrance which honours the British soldiers killed during the South African (Anglo-Boer War).
Also worth a visit - Olive Schreiner, the famous South African author and feminist who wrote "Women and Labour", lived in De Aar and her house in Grundlingh has been converted to a museum and restaurant.