At either end of the Hex River Valley are the Hex River Poort and the Hex River Pass. Travelling along the Western end one may not recognise the modern construction as a Poort as it has morphed to a dual carriageway to handle the volume of traffic.
Initially the Poort was just a cutting fashioned through the rocks by two brothers Jordaan. The road criss-crossed the Hex River a number of times, which meant that it was often rendered unusable by heavy rains, particularly in the winter.
The first construction of the road, by a Road Authority took place in the 1860s. Reconstruction of the road as a National Road took place in 1939. Here the road was driven through a ‘nose’ known as Sandhills Cutting.
The road through the poort, valley and pass was improved to current standards between 1983 and 1986. In 2007, further widening and development of the poort was completed, making it a far easier road to use for the numerous volumes of vehicles particularly trucks.
A more modern one in 1939 replaced the original pass, built in the 1860s but even this proved inadequate within 40 years. Truck traffic had increased dramatically and the pass’s surface was being churned up the heavy vehicles.
In 1986 the dual carriageway, split level pass was completed. The pass runs either top-to-bottom or vice versa from or onto the plateau. While the scenery of the Hex River Pass is not of the sheer beauty of some of the Cape’s other passes, the vista of the Hex River Valley as one descends the Pass is breathtaking. The farmlands, mainly vineyards offer a myriad greens. During the winter snowcapped mountains frame the Valley, a picturesque view for the weary traveler nearing his destination.