|The most easterly town of the Matzikama region is Vanrhynsdorp, the gateway to Namaqualand. This town is a popular tourist destination, especially popular during spring when the splendor of the west coast and Namaqualand wild flowers are in full bloom. Vanrhynsdorp is also a large agricultural centre, supporting the huge sheep farms of the surrounding Hardeveld. Most of the other towns in the region are situated along the misty coast or the perennial Olifants River, a belt of green in the vast arid, grey countryside. Vredendal, the principle commercial town of the region and one of the major wine producing towns in South Africa, is entirely dependent on the Olifants River irrigation scheme. Along the coast are the two settlements Strandfontein and Doring Bay. Strandfontein is regarded as the holiday centre of the Sandveld, offering accommodation, protected swimming and great surf. Anglers and crayfish catchers prefer Doring Bay, a few kilometres toward the south. Important: Spending a few minutes in the freezing Atlantic water without a wet suit is very invigorating. Spending more than a few minutes in the cold Atlantic water without a wet suit is ... well ... plain stupid.