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Attraction Name: Outeniqua Pass
CATEGORY:: Natural Attractions
Type: Mountain Passes
Entrance Fee (Terms): Free - Self Drive
Description of Attraction: The first pass over the Outeniqua Mountains (Attaqua’s Kloof Pass) was described by Ensign Isaac Schrijver as early as 1689. Duiwel’s Kop Pass (Devil’s Peak), to the east of George, was the second pass over the Outeniqua Mountains and the only alternative to Attaqua’s Kloof Pass. The Cradock Pass was the third pass over the Outeniqua Mountains. The pass was in use until 1847, when the Montagu Pass was opened.

The Montagu Pass was officially opened on the 19th January 1848. The official opening took place at the Keur River Bridge in the pass. The honour of naming the pass fell to Mrs Geesje Bergh, wife of the former Civil Commissioner of George. The pass was christened Montagu Pass (Cape Frontier Times Feb 1, 1948).

During the 1920s and the 1930s motor cars used the Montagu Pass in ever increasing numbers. By the late 1930s it was evident that a new pass which could handle this motorised traffic, was needed over the Outeniqua Mountains.

J. H. Raubenheimer of George convinced the National Road Board that a new road over the Outeniqua Mountains was of vital importance to the country. The new pass was designed by Mr P.A de Villiers, brilliant young engineer of the National Road Board, who, coincidentally, was born beneath the Outeniqua peaks.

In 1943 work on the pass was commenced with the aid of 500 Italian prisoners of war, whose camp was situated near Blanco. They blasted and hacked out the new road and were paid between 6d and 1/- a day. The Chief foreman of works was Mr E. van der Westhuizen. The construction work was regarded as the most arduous in the Cape, because of the hardness of the rock.

However, at the end of World War 11in 1945, the Italians were repatriated and the remaining two miles of the pass was constructed by Clifford Harris (Pty) Ltd. The total cost of the pass was 500 000 pounds.

The Outeniqua Pass was officially opened on the 20th September 1951 by the Minister of Transport, Mr Paul Sauer. The function, attended by 1600 people, took place on the south side of the mountain.

Several view-sites have been established on the southern slope of the Outeniqua Pass. Spectacular views including the old Cradock’s and Montagu Passes will entrance the traveller.

Source: Montagu Pass. Published by George Museum Society.
For more information on the History of George, please contact:
The George Museum
9 Courtenay Street
044 873 5343.
Town: George
Region: Garden Route, South Africa
Telephone: +27 (44) 873-5343
Source: The George Museum
Posted / Updated: Mar 24, 2016
Garden Route Meander Office Use Only
Registration Date: Sep 24, 2014
First Name: Garden Route Meander
Last Name: Office Use Only
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