This company offers three exciting activities:
1. The Botterboom Trail
This is a hiking trail that provides an interesting glimpse of the history of transport of the former Cape Colony. The full length of the Botterboom Hiking Trail is a two and a half day hike and it was designed to provide enjoyment and some adventure for both serious walkers and casual outdoor enthusiasts. The region is steeped in history and is exceptionally pretty and as the trail takes in all aspects of the region, it provides a little of something for everyone. The trail follows part of the route of the first railroad built to the north of the country in the 1870’s. This was constructed through the mountains of the Hex River Valley and became the main form of transport to Kimberley for the Diamond Rush period. Hikers will have the opportunity to see a large variety of indigenous plants on the trail so look out for Botterboom, Aloe, Ghwarrie and Namaquakoeniebos. The hike begins at the Veldskoen Padstal on the N1 highway. Hikers need to obtain a permit from here before starting the trail. The first day takes the hiker up and along the top of the mountains near Osplaas and rewards hikers with picturesque views of the valley and Matroosberg Mountains. On descent hikers cross the railway line and then spend the night at the Scooby Doo hut. Day Two of the hike starts on the lower mountains and proceeds up the Appaskop (to a height of 850m). The views of the entire Hex River Valley from this point are spectacular. For more experienced hikers there is the option to hike across the old railway bridges to the Kaffrarian Rifles Monument and on then to Tafelberg which is the highest peak in the region (1100m). Hikers on this route are rewarded with views of both the Hex River Valley and the Koo Valley to the east. Overnight accommodation is provided at the Tunnel Railway Station in a hut that can sleep 8. Tents, firewood and fresh water are provided. The hike’s final day meanders back downhill through the Osplaas Valley and follows the railway service road back towards Veldskoen Padstal.
2. The Two Tunnel Mountain Bike Trail
If you’re looking for a challenge or just want to enjoy the tranquillity of the nature, this is a truly memorable route. The railway Route is 13.5 km long. Both routes start at the Veldskoen Farm stall and take cyclists to the Tunnel. The Kloof Route is an easier route and only 13 km long. Alternative routes can be taken to the Kaffrarian Rifles Monument or the Appaskop view point. The two tunnel mountain bike trail traverses the northern part of the scenic Hex River Valley along one of the first railway tracks in South Africa built during the 1870′s. The route passes through one of the original twin railway tunnels after which Tunnel Station provides a good location for a midday stop. From Tunnel station, cyclists who prefer a longer route can take the 4km detour to the Kaffrarian Rifles Monument, and/or the 10km detour to Appaskop to enjoy the spectacular views. The main route of 20km is moderate but includes a few steep climbs. Optional detours extend the route to about 35km with breathtaking views of the Hex River Valley and the Matroosberg Mountains. While many serious mountain bikers enjoy the challenge the trail has to offer, it is also quite suitable for family and group excursions. The trail starts and finishes at the Veldskoen Padstal on the N1, 4.5km north of De Doorns. Permits must be obtained at the Veldskoen Padstal. This includes a map of the trail. Veldskoen is open 7 days a week from 08:30 to 17:00. We also host the yearly Hex Valley Autumn Splendour MTB Challenge. Contact us for more information.
3. The Hexpas Express
The Hexpas Express takes you on an exciting railway ride! You can choose a four, five or seven hour trip. Visitors can bring their own picnic baskets or buy refreshments at the Veldskoen Farm stall. We require a minimum of five passengers and bookings are required. A unique railway experience awaits enthusiasts, young and old. This is a rail trolley trip up the Hex River Pass, overlooking the Hex River Valley and the majestic Matroosberg. Learn about the history of this abandoned 3’6″ (narrow gauge) railroad that negotiates the steep gradient climbs of up to 1:40 of the Hex River Pass between Hexpas and Matroosberg stations. This was originally built in the 1870’s but replaced by the new modern (and 8 km shorter) rail in 1989. This old track runs through one of our region’s most beautiful areas. Two coaches (trolleys) are drawn by a vintage Fordson 35 horse power tractor. The tractor was adapted for the highest levels of security and comfort of the passengers when they travel at a maximum speed of about 20 km/h. During the trip visitors will also have the opportunity to walk through one of the country’s oldest railroad tunnels dating back more than 140 years. During the ride, the guide identifies some of the indigenous plants (including ‘botterboom’ and aloe) as well as some often curious indigenous wildlife. The remains of British blockhouses still guard the handmade rock cuttings as they did during the Boer War in the early 1900s and each century-old rock inscription left on the walls of this cutting by British soldiers tells its own story. Different seasons of the year provide varying scenery. Winter offers snow-capped in every direction (remember to bring warm clothes) while autumn creates a breathtaking artist palette of colours as the world famous vineyards of the Hex River Valley prepare to shed their leaves. Whether you want to bring the family on an unforgettable outing, spend the night as a corporate team, enjoy photography and arts, or a historian, an opportunity to join an excursion on the Hexpas Express should not be missed. Time for Picnic at Tunnel Station is included on all trips. Bring your own picnic basket or buy snacks from the Veldskoen Farm Stall.
Contact: Nienke Jordaan
Fax: +27(0)23 356 3662