The town of Philippolis lies 180 kilometres from Bloemfontein and 60 kilometres from the Gariep Dam, in the flat grassland prairie characteristic of this section of the Free State.
Philippolis's location on the original Great North Road, today's R717, was one of the reasons its founder, Reverend Dr John Philip, Superintendent of The London Missionary Society's Operations in South Africa, made the decision to establish a mission station here in 1823.
The narrow side streets of the town and many of the older buildings are a reminder of the early Griqua settlers who sold the town for 400 pounds to the Orange Free State in 1862, the same year in which the town attained municipal status.
The town's wealth of historical buildings, many of which have been declared National Monuments, reflect the status of Philippolis as the oldest town in The Free State.
Philippolis was the birthplace of award winning author, Sir Laurens Van der Post, whose father purchased a Victorian home here in 1906.
For the outdoor enthusiast and nature lover, Philippolis offers 4X4 Routes and hiking trails and Gariep Dam and Nature Reserve offers water sports and game viewing.