“A small town with a big heart and stunning views of the Outeniqua Mountains”
Welcome to George, the sixth oldest town in South Africa and the largest along the Garden Route!
Centrally situated halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, George is a popular holiday and conference center, also the administrative and commercial hub of the Garden Route.
With the majestic Outeniqua Mountains to the north and Indian Ocean to the South, it’s also known as the “The Gateway to the Garden Route”.
George has much to offer the visitor with its city-like infrastructure but not forgetting its small town roots.
Being 8 km inland, the beaches of Victoria Bay and Herold’s Bay are within a few minutes’ drive.
Many historical landmarks are worthy of a visit, including The Slave Tree – an ancient English Oak planted by Landdrost (magistrate) van Kervel in 1811. With a large chain and lock embedded in the trunk, it’s has been declared a national monument.
Other landmarks include:
- The King Edward VII Library building, said to be the best example of Edwardian architecture in George.
- The Dutch Reformed Mother Church, consecrated in 1842 after taking 12 years to build with its 23 meter domed tower and 1 meter thick walls.
- St Peter & St Paul Catholic Church in Meade Street, completed in 1843. The oldest Catholic Church in South Africa.
- The Outeniqua Transport Museum which houses a large collection of steam locomotives and carriages. It’s the only
- The Garden Route Botanical Gardens, the only indigenous botanical gardens in South Africa.
- The George Museum, originally the old Drostdy. Built in 1811 and rebuilt in 1826 after being damaged by fire, it became the Victoria Hotel in 1890 and was acquired for a museum in 1972. The Museum showcases George’s forestry roots, and also has exhibitions of the old State President, PW Botha, an exquisite collection of Ruby Reeves fairy paintings, Anglo Boer War Expo and more.
- The Outeniqua Choo Tjoe Steam Train which offers leisure rides between George and Mosselbay.
- The Power Van, a 3 – 5 hour guided tour in motorised rail trolleys between George and Oudtshoorn. Winding up the Outeniqua Mountains, enjoy spectacular views!
- The Strawberry Farm Pick your own organic strawberries or get lost in their maze. Fun for the whole family!
- Tempin Bowling At the Mount View Resort and Lifestyle Village.
- Visit Leila’s Arms Farm Eatery Set on a small holding, at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains on the outskirts of the town. There is nothing pretentious about this little eatery, you feel entirely at home. The cottage is nearly 200 years old and is a fine example of the sod houses of this rich clay, soil region.
- Watch a performance at the George Arts Theatre. Built in 1905 as the first girl’s school in George, converted into the local Theatre in 1968.
- Visit one of the many art galleries, are well as antique shops.
- Leisurely drive along the Outeniqua Country Hop arts & craft route, visiting local stalls and savoring fresh farm products along the way.
- Other scenic drives, including: a) The Montagu Pass – a national monument rewarding motorists with breathtaking views. Completed in 1847 under the guidance of Henry Fancourt White. It took him and 250 convicts only 4 years to complete this arduous task. b) The Seven Passes Road – the original road between George and Knysna, winding through indigenous forests, crossing Edwardian bridges and affording dwellers a mosaic experience of the countryside.
George is a mecca for golfers, with some championship courses on its doorstep. The main attraction of golfing in George is the natural beauty you’re surrounded by, enhanced by lavish flora and the backdrop of the Outeniqua range.
- George Golf Club – One of the oldest courses in the country. Maintaining a worthy rating as one of the top ten golf courses in South Africa, also rated the best in the Southern Cape. Beautifully manicured, 72 par, 18 hole course, with bent greens. Hosted top S.A.G.A. Tournaments and the SA Amateur Championships.
- Oubaai Golf Club– 10 km from the airport, this is the first and only Ernie Els signature course in South Africa. The golf course design allows for a challenge to all levels of golfers.
- Fancourt – World renown, with 2 championship courses, both designed by Gary Player. They complement each other perfectly as varying playing experiences. a) Outeniqua Golf Course: The easier of the two; named after the mountain range that overlooks the area. b) Montagu Golf Course: Has been ranked as the number-one golf course in South Africa in the past; named after the nearby Montagu Pass.
- Kingswood Golf Estate – Perfectly placed between the Fancourt Links and George Golf Course. A championship Sally Little signature golf course designed by Danie Obermeyer, offering a unique challenge.
The Garden Route Mall, with it’s variety of shops, restaurants and cinema are a few minutes drive out of town.
Getting There (approximate figures)
George is 420 km east of Cape Town along the N2 national road and 330 km west of Port Elizabeth. The airport, 7 km from the city center, has scheduled flights to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg International Airports.
Click here for all listed accommodation in George and the nearby vicinity.