The Apple Express – one of only two narrow gauge steam trains in Southern Africa – offers tourists an opportunity to explore the unspoilt beauty of the Eastern Cape from a unique vantage point.
Running across the highest narrow gauge bridge in the world (spanning the Van Stadens River), this historical jewel departs from the Humewood station next to one of Port Elizabeth’s premier Blue Flag beaches.
The station is within walking distance of Crow’s Nest and Hornby Lodge, superb self-catering corporate and family accommodation offered by the Beachfront Lodges group.
From here, the elegant dame carries her precious cargo through the hustle and bustle of the city into suburbia, steaming ahead in the direction of surfing paradise Jeffreys Bay to reach the untamed natural splendour surrounding Nelson Mandela Bay.
The steam engine and carriages – in use since 1903 – have been restored to its yesteryear glory and is a breathtaking example of the vanishing tradition of steam trains.
Family fun can hardly get any better than a trip down memory lane to Kareedouw in the Langkloof via the Gamtoos Valley. The breathtaking Langkloof is renowned for its flourishing fruit industry; in fact, the fresh fruit trade is the reason why the line was built.
As the last dust settled after the Anglo Boer War, farmers in the region felt the need for a railway line to transport their fruit to the harbour in the Friendly City.
Although exporting fresh produce is still a booming business for the region, road transport has become the preferred method for delivering goods to the PE and Coega harbours. This leaves the Apple Express free for visitors to indulge in the trip of a lifetime.
Photo opportunities and picnicking en route add to an unforgettable journey into a bygone era.
The Apple Express takes you past the Hankey Hotel to the doorstep of the Baviaanskloof, a World Heritage Site ideal for 4×4, bass fishing and bird watching enthusiasts, as well as camping under the stars.
Choose between day or weekend packages to fill up your scrapbook with the most amazing memories. These, which can be tailored to suit your budget and preferences, include a myriad accommodation options ranging from camping to self-catering apartments and B&B.
For more information, visit www.appleexpress.co.za.
Full Stop Communications
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