Cradock is a settlement 320 kilometres north of Adelaide on the Hawker to Orroroo Road in South Australia. The nearest town with a greater population is Hawker which is approximately 20 km away with a population of around 360. Cradock is in the Flinders Ranges Council area, the state Electoral district of Stuart and the federal Division of Grey. The southern part of the locality is in the electoral district of Stuart and District Council of Orroroo Carrieton.
After the South Australian government permitted settlers to go into the semi-arid lands north of Goyder's Line Cradock was established in 1879 on a 'grassy flat' of 'strong red loam', by the Wirreanda Creek. Cradock takes its name from the then Governor of South Africa, Sir John Cradock.
Soon after settlement a school, police station, two hotels, two blacksmith shops and a saddler were operating in Cradock. The "wheat rush" was followed by the failure of four years of crops which led to an increasing despair and a loss of many of the town’s population.