The Elgin Apple Museum
This thatched cottage houses one of the world's two apple museums. The Elgin Apple Museum was established in 1972. Depict the industry from the days of cumbersome machinery to the electronic computerized methods in use today. One of two apple museums in the world. It reflects the history of the apple industry in SA. This is shown by means of photographs or with old fashion machines and tools. The collection is housed in 2 separate buildings one of which contains a collection of old kitchen utensils and pictures of the pioneers of the industry.
Situated in the picturesque Elgin Valley of the Western Cape, Elgin Hills Luxury Tented Camp is just a few minutes drive from the small towns of Grabouw and Elgin. This area is renowned for the production of apples, pears, plums and nectarines and produces more than 65% of South Africa’s apple exports. There are also some well known excellent wines produced in the area. The Elgin Apple Museum, one of only two apple museums in the world, is worth a visit. It is housed in the old shoemaker’s cottage in which Lady Anne Barnard used to overnight.
Organised fruit and flower tours are also offered. Houwhoek Pass is a beautiful mountain pass and the Elgin Valley road-side farm stalls are famous for their fresh produce. Sir Lowry’s Pass offers spectacular views of False Bay from Hangklip to Cape Point.
Hiking and mountain bike trails through fynbos and pine forests and awesome scenic drives are among the rich and varied experiences which Grabouw has to offer. Approaching the town from the Villiersdorp side you drive through Viljoens Pass , named after one of the pioneers of the apple industry. From the summit of this pass over the Groenland mountains, which follows the gorge of the Palmiet River, there is a superb view of the valley of the Riviersonderend ("River without end").
History and Sorrounding the Grabouw / Elgin
The Elgin Valley is ringed by mountains, and is blessed with a pristine patchwork of hills and dales, rivers and dams - all surrounded by the Koegelberg Nature Reserve. Explore the Green Mountain Eco Route - the world's first biodiversity wine route - and it's breathtaking multi-day hiking trail. Enjoy the Elgin Valley Meander - visit Elgin's wine farms, farm stalls, Oude Molen Distillery, Elgin Apple Museum or simply explore alone the great Elgin Valley outdoors.
This UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve is the heart of the smallest of the world's floral kingdoms, the Cape Floral Kingdom. More than 1 600 plant species thrive here, of which an estimated 150 species are endemic to the area and characteristic of this Fynbos biome.
The valley of Elgin probably took its name from the farm Glen Elgin, which the owner named after his home town of Elgin in Scotland. The land for the railway station was granted by this farmer with the provision that the station be named Elgin. The Elgin apple industry was started after World War I by Sir Antonie Viljoen, after whom Viljoen's Pass was named. From the railway station here, apples, pears and plums were sent to Table Bay for export. They are now transported in refridgerated trucks.
During apple-picking season (January to May) the air is sweet with the smell of millions of apples and the packing houses are the scene of great activity. Tours to the packing houses, flower farms and wine tastings can be arranged - call Norma Bridgman (021) 848-9060. On the banks of the Palmiet River, in buildings over 100 years old, are the Elgin Apple Museum Complex and a restaurant. There are several farm stalls with a variety of fruit, vegetables, home-made products and crafts for sale. Harris Bros is a quaint old shop established in 1905.
Elgin Apple Museum Hours: Mon-Sat 09:30-18:00
Location and Contact:
Elgin Apple Museum
Main Road, Grabouw / Elgin,
Elgin Valley in the heart of the Cape (Only 45 minutes from Cape Town).
Contact Person: Norma Bridgman
Tel: +27 21 848 9060
Elgin Valley Tourism Bureau Covering Grabouw / Elgin: http://www.elginvalley.co.za/
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Elgin Apple Museum outside
Elgin Apple Museum entrance
Elgin Apple Museum historical collections
Elgin Apple Museum inside collections