Fraserburg (in the Nuweveldberge Plateau) is a tranquil, quiet and peaceful Karoo town that is a true gem of the South African Karoo. It is connected to Leeu Gamka by a snaking tarred road over the Nuweveldberge via the Theekloof Pass, while all the others from the distant towns of Sutherland, Loxton, Carnarvon and Winston are gravel. It experiences blistering hot summers and freezing cold winters, with the occasional snowstorms. Being so high above sea-level, 1200m, Fraserburg enjoys clear skies at night that allow one unimpeded vistas of the stars. They often appear so close, that a person feels you can reach out and pick them.
The Western Upper Karoo town is driven by sheep farming, with farms being enormous due to the semi-desert vegetation and low rainfall. On these farms and district, there are a variety of authentic corbelled houses, with a replica in front of the Fraserburg town hall. These stonework buildings are a feature of early settler engineering, with the buildings being entirely made of stone.
The town has a unique history of declaring a “damvakansie” or dam holiday every time the local dam overflows. The reason for this is that water is such a rare commodity in this extremely dry climate. Between 1918 and 1973 this holiday has only been declared 3 times.
The town is filled with well-preserved Edwardian and Victorian era buildings, and even includes a few unusual buildings that are unique to the town. One of these buildings is the Peperbus or pepper pot, designed by Reverend Carel Bamberger, and built in 1861. It is an 8.5m building with only one window and door.
The historical Rossouw Street was the original main road through the town, and was the epicenter for trade and industry, which was dominated by the Jewish community. However, this community was forced to leave the town, after the local Afrikaans community moved the main road to Voortrekker Street (1 block down).
Fraserburg is also known as the home to the celebrated writer and poet A.G. Visser who was born on the farm Zaaifontein. It is also celebrated for being the host of the extremely rare and endangered Riverine Rabbit.