About Self Drive Citrusdal to Porterville

Route: Citrusdal, Prince Alfred Hamlet, Ceres, Tulbagh, Porterville
Description: a number of mountain passes both east and south of Citrusdal's orange groves
Length: roughly 245 km
Time: a day, at least
Overnight: Citrusdal, Tulbagh, Porterville

Take the R303 (Paul de Villiers Street) from Citrusdal's main road (Voortrekker Street) out of town. Just after crossing the Boontjies River this becomes a dirt road, and then heads to the Middelberg Pass.

The pass offers wonderful mountain views, hairpin bends and a mix of gravel and tar road. As the pass flattens out the scenery becomes a series of farms filled with citrus orchards and blue dams.

Roughly 60 km from Citrusdal you pass the turn off to Op die Berg on your right. This plateau is the Koue Bokkeveld, where summers are brief and intensely hot, and winters experience snowfall.

Some 24 km later you start your ascent of the Gydo Pass (look out for a picnic spot with good views out over the Ceres valley) and down into the Warm Bokkeveld, a fertile plateau that produces peaches, cherries and other fruit.

The road descends the pass and passes through Prince Alfred Hamlet, reaching the outskirts of Ceres 10 km later (Ceres' Spar is excellent if you need to stock up on picnic goods and local fruit).

You now take the R46 via the Ceres Mountain Fynbos Nature Reserve, and up Michell's Pass. Look out for the old tollhouse, built in 1850. Beyond the pass there are a number of turn offs to Wolseley, Wellington and Worcester.

Stay on the R46, popping in to Waverley Hills Organic Wine Estate or Kimilili handcrafted cheeses en route, until you reach Tulbagh on Van der Stel Street. The town is a treat. Make sure to walk historic Church Street, buy a pair of boots from Tarzan Shoes or stop off at one of coffee shops and restaurants.

After Visiting Tulbagh (Tulbagh lies virtually at the end of a valley, and little extends north of here) leave on Van Der Stel Street and take a right into Station Road to join the R46 to Gouda, via the Nuwekloof Pass.

At Gouda, take the R44 for Porterville and Piketberg and pass alongside the rolling wheat fields of the Swartland to reach Porterville, in among the Olifant's River Mountains, after 37 km.

Numerous wine and olive estates lie on the Swartland route, if you have time.

From Porterville head north for Citrusdal, keeping straight on the R365 where the R44 veers left to Piketberg. At the t-junction with the N7 take a right, heading into the mountains.

Head up the beautiful Piekenierskloof Pass, at the top of which you will find Hebron farmstall (worth a stop for the tea garden).

Continue over the summit and turn right into Citrusdal.

Need to Know

WhereStart in Citrusdal.
Route: Citrusdal, Prince Alfred Hamlet, Ceres, Tulbagh, Porterville

WhenBest during daylight hours.

How muchFree

TelephoneNot applicable.

OvernightStay nearby in Citrusdal, in Western Cape


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