The small, yet charming village of De Rust nestles in the Swartberg Mountain Range in the Klein Karoo and is situated on the N12 at the southern entrance to Meiringspoort. The village was established on the farm De Rust in 1900, owned by P.J. Meiring. An excellent farmer, he was also an intrepid explorer and discovered many of the routes through the Swartberg Mountains, with the paths later becoming known as Meiringspoort.
De Rust has been home to numerous famous sculptors, artists and authors. Moses Kottler, a sculptor of repute lived in the village in the early 1900s, while artists like James Yates and Tinus de Jongh have found inspiration from the town. CJ Langenhoven, well known Afrikaans author and poet wrote much of his work while in the village. Today, De Rust still attracts artists and a variety of paintings, pottery, sculpture and handcrafts can be seen in gift shops, as well as at Artcraft in the Park, held every last Saturday of the month.
The Stompdrift Dam is the is the biggest dam in the Little Karoo, with 50 bird species. The Swartberg Mountains are home to a wide variety of wildlife, while the wild flowers are absolutely gorgeous in spring.
Popular outdoor activities include kayaking, fishing and water skiing and hiking. During March and November each year an angling event known as the Cape Derby is held at the Stompdrift Dam, which is also the starting point for the Meiringspoort half marathon, run in October each year.