The Outeniqua (George) power van is a motorized rail car that operates a scenic 2.5 hour rail trip through the stunning Outeniqua Mountains. The trip winds through steep rocks covered in ferns, moss, and mountain flowers, with magnificent views of the mountains as well as the city of George. At certain points, the Power Van runs alongside the historic Montagu Pass, built in 1844. After climbing to its highest point, the van reverses and retraces the same route for the return trip.
The views along the way will absolutely blow your mind! It’s hard to believe that many people have never even heard of the George Power Van. How is that even possible?! In this blog post, I’m excited to share this incredible experience and let you in on how you can have this adventure too.
A journey on the George (Outeniqua) Power Van
The Outeniqua Power Van starts and finishes its trip at the Outeniqua Transport Museum. The museum itself is a cool place to check out, with old steam trains and carriages, perfect for spending an hour or two.
As we went up the mountain, the scenery seemed to get more and more impressive. We really liked seeing glimpses of George city, as it was interesting to see the spread of the city and how big it actually is. As you travel, the guide shares commentary, delving into topics ranging from local plant life to the historical tales of ox wagons navigating the challenging pass.
I know I can’t stop saying this, but the views are seriously amazing. I was totally dumbfounded as we made our way through the mountains, surrounded by beautiful greenery. This really is one of the Garden Route’s hidden gems.
The Montagu Pass on the George Power Van
In some parts, the Power Van also runs alongside the historic Montagu Pass. Built between 1844 and 1847 with the hard work of convicts and overseen by Scottish engineer Henry Fancourt White, the pass is absolutely spectacular. Originally made to be a safer route between George and Oudtshoorn, the pass played a big role in the region’s history. Despite its status as a national monument since 1972, the pass remains open to the public. Today, it’s a scenic drive that not only shows off nature’s beauty but also tells stories of the past
As you travel along the route, you’ll go through six tunnels. It’s hard not to think about the incredible engineering feat it must have been to build these tunnels at the time! The tunnel entrances are surrounded by lush green ferns, giving a fairy-tale feel that makes the trip even more unique.
Once you reach the top, the Power Van goes back down the mountain, taking the same path.
But this time, they turn the seats around, giving everyone the chance to see the views from all sides. About halfway down, we stopped at a picnic spot, so it’s a good idea to bring some lunch for the trip!
Taking a ride on the Outeniqua Power Van is a great opportunity to see the beauty and history of the Outeniqua Mountains. The views are incredibly beautiful, and I guarantee you’ll leave there totally amazed!
Important Information for the George Power Van
The George Power Van is a 2.5 hour experience, including a picnic about halfway down.
Opening and Closing Times
The Power Van generally runs at 09:00 and 12:00 (midday). During holiday times, it is more frequent based on demand. As such, operating hours are 08:30, 09:00 and 12:00 and 12:30 during the holiday season.
All passengers should arrive at the ticket office 30 minutes before departure.
Reservations and Enquiries
Because of limited seating, reservations are essential. It’s possible to pay with either cash or card.
Tariffs for 1 December 2023 – 30 November 2024 are R200 per adult and R180 per child.
Reservations can also be made online via their website. Furthermore, the website also allows visitors to make cash transfer payments securely online.
Alternatively, contact the George Power Van via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Power Van is reached by telephone at +27 82 490 5627
Departure and Arrival Information
Outeniqua Transport Museum
2 Mission Road, George
Other relevant information
Don’t forget to pack a picnic basket as the power van stops on the route back for a 30 minute lunch.
No matter which car you choose to sit in, the return trip takes you along the same route, but with the cars now in reverse order. This arrangement ensures that every passenger enjoys outstanding views throughout the journey.
Explore another fun activity in George by visiting the REDBERRY FARM.