The wonderous Sir Lowry's Pass brings visitors from Cape Town out of the basin, over the Hottentots Holland mountains and into the Overberg, leaving the
fantastic view of False Bay and the Cape Peninsula behind you, you are presented with seemingly endless mountain peaks. The town was created on the farm
Grietjiesgat acquired on 22 November 1856 by Willem Langschmidt, who named the place after Grabau, the village of his birth in Germany. His wife opened a
little trading store and he was the bookkeeper. Later he sold parts of his farm and so began the farming community of Grabouw as it was later spelt. The
district of which Grabouw is the centre is better known as the Elgin Valley, internationally known as the place in South Africa 'where the apples come from'.
The Elgin Valley, which borders the Kogelberg Biosphere, produces 65 % of South Africa's export apples. Nestled between the Hottentots Holland and Groenland
mountain ranges, it is an integral part of the Four Passes Fruit Route and is renowned not only for its apples, but also for the production of pears, plums,
nectarines and roses.
The Steenbras Dam, the main source of Cape Town's water was built in 1921. Admission is strictly by permit which can be obtained from the Cape Town municipality.
Nearby is the Palmiet Pumped Storage Scheme and Exhibition Centre where modern technology is used to 'store' electricity. Tours can be organised through the
Elgin tourism bureau. The Elgin Apple Museum, one of only two in the world, documents the history of the apple industry in the region. Apples and Roses Tours
commence from Grabouw. These tailor-made tours can include a trip to a pear and apple picking plant and cold room storage facility, tractor rides on fruit farms
or just a scenic educational tour. Tours and tastings are also available at a brandy distillery and a few wine farms in the area. In a towering eucalyptus forest,
an outdoor amphitheatre provides a unique natural venue for a variety of performances ranging from revues to classic and contemporary musicals and theatre in the
Hiking trails like the Boland Hiking Trail, mountain bike trails and 4x4 routes through fynbos and pine forests and awesome scenic drives are among the rich and
varied experiences which Grabouw has to offer. These include kloofing, cliff jumping and navigating some of the many mountain pools. Duncan's Roses is also a rather
spectacular experience with its variety of roses, especially in November. The Elgin Country Club is situated on the banks of the Eikenhof Dam at the foot of the
Nuweberg where functions and festivals are often held. Farm stalls are at both entrances into town and then further on down the N2, the Houwhoek Inn is nestled under
ancient oak trees and the Houwhoek Mountains. It is the oldest licensed hotel in South Africa located on the site of a toll gate established in 1834 in the Dutch East