Gouda lies 37 km south of Porterville along the R44. This highway crosses the Little Berg River and a number of streams which have become known as “Twenty-four Rivers”. The name Gouda is said to originate from a Khoikhoi word meaning ‘antelope’ or ‘honey kloof’.
The village lies at the western entrance of Nuwekloof Pass between Tulbagh and Wellington. The settlement started on a farm named Gouda. Gouda originally served as a railhead for Porterville and was known as Porterville Road in the early years. A branch line from Hermon to Porterville was built in 1929.
The Voëlvlei Dam lies about 6 km south of Gouda and plays an important role for surrounding areas. The Dam was completed in 1952. It is filled in the rainy season by several streams including the Little Berg River. In Summer, water is supplied via the Berg River to places as far away as Cape Town.
Voëlvlei Dam is popular with water sport enthusiasts. It is the home of the Voëlvlei Yacht Club. Fishermen are attracted to the Dam which is mainly populated by Bass. The stretch of water is roughly 8 km long by 1,5 km wide.