Bredasdorp was founded in 1838 by a local farmer Michiel van Breda who promoted the project for a Dutch Reformed centre on the Langefontein farm. It was
known as South Africa's first "dorp"(town). Van Breda and another leading personality, Pieter Voltelyn van der Byl, could not agree where the church should be built.
As a result two churches were built, and two towns, Napier and Bredasdorp. Bredasdorp is the hub of a dairy, wool and wheat farming region serving the agricultural
industry as a commercial centre for the Agulhas area of the Overberg, while having a healthy arts and crafts centre and great historical significance.
The town is renowned for its Shipwreck Museum which results from the town being the closest centre to the coastline of Cape Agulhas on which many ships came to grief
in the bygone years of fragile sailing ships. Many steam ships also foundered on this coast before navigational aids kept maritime traffic away from the rocks.
The museum displays all manner of artifacts recovered from the wrecks over the years, from cannon and figureheads to chinaware and coins. Of particular note is
the monument erected in Arniston by the wife of Colonel Giels to the memory of their four sons who died in the 1815 wreck of the East Indiaman Arniston, four from
a total of 372 who lost their lives in that tragedy.
There are several other spots of historical significance in Bredasdorp. The Dutch Reformed Church is an impressive example of Cape-Gothic architecture. The Audrey
Blignault Room furnished in honour of Audrey Blignault who was born in Bredasdorp and who enjoys national recognition as a writer, especially on the Bredasdorp
area also forms part of the Shipwreck Museum. The nearby Rhenosterfontein farm has an ancient Milkwood tree that is a National Monument and near the farm Nacht Wacht,
on the way to Waenhuiskrans, is the first protective fence ever erected to help save the Bontebok from extinction (1837).
At the foot of the Bredasdorp mountains lies the Heuningberg Nature Reserve where the red Bredasdorp lily and many fynbos species are found. There are several hiking
trails in the reserve. In October each year the Foot of Africa Marathon (Voet van Afrika) event and festival is held. Athletes take the demanding route over the mountains
from Bredasdorp to Napier.
Nearby is the De Hoop Nature reserve, the flagship of Cape Nature Conservation, stretching over 60 000 hectares of endangered fynbos with 1 500 different plants, nearly
800 vertebrate animal species. Bird sighting includes larges number of South Africa's National bird, the Blue Crane. The reserve also plays home to the largest population
of Bontebok and the endangered Mountain Zebra. There are various hiking trails including the popular Whale Trail and mountain biking trails on the reserve. Whales can
be seen from June to November at Koppie Alleen and Infanta. Also close to Bredasdorp is De Mond Nature Reserve that has a number of wonderful hiking trails.
Visit the local candle factory in the industrial area which started out as a small home business and then grew to a job empowerment project making a full range of
individually hand-painted candles that are distributed to local stores and exported to the overseas market. See the Merino Statue at the entrance to BNK Landbou,
Swellendam Road erected in honour of the merino sheep which brought fame to this area, due to careful breeding by Michiel van Breda on this historic farm, Zoetendals
Vallei, early in the last century. The establishment of Denel's missile test range (OTB) and the SA Air Force's Test Flight and Development Centre (TFDC) in the
mid-eighties near Waenhuiskrans/Arniston, and the movement of the Overberg District Council's Head Office to Bredasdorp, accelerated the development of the town.
The OTB was the venue for the 2007 Air Show/Fly-in which was awarded the best air show in South Africa by Aeroclub SA. The personnel of AFB (Air Force Base) Overberg
are once again committed to host and present an event of international standard. They are committed to be even bigger and better and to beat the 20 000 spectators of
2007 on 14 November 2009.