The Free State is situated on a succession of flat, grassy plains sprinkled with pastureland. The rich soil and pleasant climate allow for a thriving agricultural industry. Over 70% of the country’s grain is produced in the Free State. Mineral deposits are plentiful, with gold and diamonds found mostly in the north and west of the province.
The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is the Province’s prime Tourist attraction. The Park gets it’s name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the spectacular sandstone cliffs.
Some of South Africa’s most valued SAN (Bushmen) rock art is found in the Free State. Vredefort Dome, formed 2 billion years ago, when a 10km wide meteorite slammed into the earth, is one of SA’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
JRR Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, the epic fantasy novel which was made into a trilogy of successful films, was born in the Free State capital of Bloemfontein on 3 January 1892.