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The 12-Apostles Challenge

This article was last published 29th January 2011 by founder member David V. Davy.

An overview of the 12-Apostles route - based in the Western Cape.

Note that GPS coordinates and more detailed information will be provided

when registration for the Challenge has been made.

The Twelve Apostles Challenge was created and plotted by old friend and past VOG member Hendrik Bosman (VO112) - based in Pringle Bay in the Cape.

Dave Davy takes up the introduction:

There are other mountain pass routes available - but we wanted something unique to add to the VOG medal challenges . . . . . "The VOG 12 Apostles we will call it" I said to Hendrik, who responded enthusiastically and spent hours over Google Earth maps and days riding - plotting a route to fit VOG's requirement.

Had the final product met the expectation? It has more than done so and we are ever grateful to Hendrik for this gift he committed to the challenge series. Then if that was not enough - he wrote the rules and even led Kia and I over the route on the pilot challenge.

Ducati Man Hendrik Bosman had this to say about his favourite ride:

"If you don't know what a real bike is then please get an eDUCATIon!"

The Challenge will take in 12 mountain passes in the Western Cape and should be completed over two days, with a mandatory night-stop half way. This is not a race and to get the best from the experience, contenders need to take the route at a comfortable pace with frequent stops to appreciate the magnitude of the mountains, the views from lookout points and allow time for photo-taking.

Mountain passes are thrilling rides and offer magnificent scenery and mostly indigenous vegetation, including high elevations and deep valleys, over rivers and sometimes through tunnels created by master builders.

More detailed information is provided on the history of the passes in another article - but the 12 Passes that will be encountered on this route are as follows (with elevations above sea level provided):

  1. Old Kaapse Weg Pass = 313m

  2. Sir Lowry's Pass = 454m

  3. Houwhoek Pass = 340m

  4. Floorshoogte Pass = 529m

  5. Franschhoek Pass = 687m

  6. Du Toit`s Kloof Pass = 832m

  7. Bain`s Kloof Pass = 597m

  8. Bothmaskloof Pass = 350m

  9. Nuwekloof Pass = 132m

  10. Michell's Pass = 474m

  11. Theronsberg Pass = 1211m

  12. Hex River Pass = 965m

Below you will find the rules pertaining to this challenge. These must be followed rigidly in terms of mandatory stops & pics, ensuring the route followed was correct. There are no options to the determined route as the complexities of entwined roads and passes through these magnificent mountain ranges will, if one ignores any mandatory point, lead to confusion, deviations and the rejection of a contenders submission.

Compulsory stops with photos required:

  1. Fish Hoek Post Office - Directly opposite the ENGEN Garage .

  2. Entrance to Silvermine Nature Reserve on Ou Kaapse Weg. This is also close to the highest point on this pass.

  3. View Point on top of Sir Lowry's Pass with Table Mountain and Strand Town in the background or the white Cross standing at the site.

  4. Houwhoek Padstal & Restaurant - Good time and place for breakfast

  5. On the dam wall of the Theewaterskloof Dam with the overflow in the background.

  6. On top of Franschhoek Pass at View Point with Franschhoek Valley in the background.

  7. On top of Du Toitskloof Pass at the view point with Paarl Mountain and Kaapse Vlakte in the background.

  8. At the entrance gate to Slanghoek Estate & Restaurant (also possible overnight or late lunch).

  9. At the "Preekstoel" on Bainskloof Pass.

  10. At the junction of R45 from Wellington with the R46 from Riebeek Kasteel.

  11. At the Ceres Post Office in Owen Street just off the main street which is Voortrekkerweg.

  12. At the junction of R46 from Ceres with the N1 going to Hex River Valley.

  13. At the top of Hex River Pass with the Hex River Pass Sign on the south side (Left side going towards De Doorns).

  14. At the Two Oceans Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

  • Slips for petrol must be presented with time date stamp and odometer reading.

  • Also Odometer readings at the beginning and end points, at either Fish Hoek Post Office or if you want to start at the Two Oceans Aquarium then there.

  • Overnighting is required at either Slanghoek Estate (Malmesbury) or in Wellington (which is the halfway mark).

After substantiation of your claim to Head Office, the following medal may be awarded to any VOG biker and or pillion who visits the 14 compulsory points that are part of the 12- Apostles route.

  1. Gold medal for the bike rider.

  2. Red medal for the bike pillion.

  3. White medal for the riders and pillions who make use of non vee - engined bikes.

As for each and every challenge - please visit the appropriate web page, download & complete the Registration Form & Rules before attempting any trip. Registration after the event will constitute disqualification.

Awardees will feature on the website achievers page and presentation made at the next available occasion where the medallions can be received. Failing that, awards may be collected by proxy or mailed to the recipients on request.

So here's to the intrepid long distance riders and tourer's, who really have a passion for motorcycling and want to experience the beauty of the Western Cape's 12-Apostles!

Photographs of each of 14 stations are provided below. Note that it is left to your own ingenuity to find a sign board or view that proves your location - but remember to always follow the rules laid out for the submission of claims. You do not want to have travelled thousands of kilometers, only to find that you cannot substantiate your visit because of a missing fuel slip or photograph!!

The photographs below are courtesy of Pierre & Sally-Ann Urtel, Corrie & Cathy Janse van Rensburg, Pieter & Sonja Coertzen and Eduan & Naria du Plessis.


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