The Garden Route is not often recognised as a journey teeming with pockets of South African culture, but this popular route is actually home to a number of historical gems, many of which are passed by unnoticed. One of these diamonds in the rough is the Outeniqua Transport Museum.
Located humbly in the town of George, this railway museum has an impressive collection of thirteen beautifully kept steam locomotives, as well as an array of other memorabilia and machines. This collection is made up of pieces like South Africa’s president Paul Kruger’s coach and saloon, the “White Coach” that housed Queen Elizabeth during her 1947 visit and a steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal, also known as a NZASM 14 Tonner 0-4-0T. Also, you’ll be able to lay eyes on the Emil Kessler, which was Johannesburg’s first locomotive.
Stepping into the museum is like taking a step back in time. Browse the gallery which displays some of the most jaw-dropping photography of South African steam trains to date, or the impressive collection of vintage cutlery and crockery that was used in old restaurant carriages. The collection of train travel related poetry offers a unique insight into this romantic mode of transport, and how it has evolved over the years. Other highlights include the model train room, and the vintage car collection on site. From little Thomas the Tank Engine fans, to adults with an enthusiasm for machines, the Outeniqua Transport Museum promises fun for the whole family.
Make sure you stop by the small cafe for some refreshments before heading back into the busy streets of George.The museum can also be booked for weddings, corporate functions, product launches and other events. Visit the website for more information.
Address: 2 Mission Rd, George
Opening times: Weekdays 08:00 – 16:00, Saturday 08:00 – 14:00
Cost: R20 for adults, R12 for children over six, Free for children under six
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Image Credit: Bob Adams, Steve Crane.