Southern Cross Pass (N2)

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Near the end of the pass Near the end of the pass - Photo: Panoramio

This is a minor pass on the N2 between Klein and Groot Brakrivier and follows the coastal hill descending continuously till the termination point at the crossing of the Great Brak River. The pass is named after the small suburb Suiderkruis (Southern Cross) just to the south of the pass. This sector of the N2 offers excellent quality roads through some of the finest Garden Route scenery and includes a number of passes both tar and gravel. For east-bound travellers on the N2, the Hoogte Pass starts where this pass ends, providing one long continuous pass of 14 km of pristine views over sun drenched beaches and Garden Route fynbos.

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Digging into the details:

Getting there: Head east from Mossel Bay on the N2 for 14 km to arrive at the start of the pass at the summit of a long hill where an overpass straddles the N2.

The approaches to this pass are along a long fairly flat section where the ocean is blocked from your view by a low coastal rangle of hills after having passed through the seaside village of Klein Brakrivier. The suburbs of Reebok and Tergniet lie hidden from view next to the coast on the right hand side (south) of the road. Be careful along this section on terms of your speed, as local traffic officials regularly set up a laser trap.

The road rises gently for about 1,5 km past some small farms on the left, then gets as steep as 1:15 as the crest of a low hill is reached. An overpass road can be clearly seen for some distance away, which marks the start of the Southern Cross Pass.

Groot Brakrivier villageGroot Brakrivier is simply beautiful / WikipediaAs you drive under the bridge, a new vista opens up as the road follows the spine of the coastal hill, providing excellent views to the right over several coastal holiday suburbs with the cobalt blue sea breaking in white waves in an endless stretch of coastline that curves gently into the south east. On your left is a valley, covered in lush coastal fynbos and it is along this section, that you are likely to smell that unique brand of fynbos aroma found nowhere else in the world. Grand homes dot the hillsides on the left, as the road descends steadily towards Groot Brakrivier.

The gradient gets steeper at 1:16 as the only bend in the road is approached which is a minor bend to the left of 15 degrees. The views change as the scope of the river estuary system covers a wide area of the valley and it's immediately obvious why this town is enormously popular as a retirement village and a holiday destination.

The 3 bridges over the Great Brak RiverThe rail bridge, old road bridge and new N2 bridge span the river in close company / Photo: PanoramioThe town itself is split into two halves by the N2, with the northern sector being more of the newer suburbs as well as the business district. There are two exits into the town from the N2. Either will gain you access into the northern or southern parts. To the south are the older holiday homes and the beaches, as well as an exclusibe suburb on the slopes of the hill to the east of the town overlooking the river.

The railway line runs on the right hand side of the N2 and the rail bridge can be seen from the second off-ramp.

If you divert into the southern part of town and trun left immediately after the railway line and follow it for 1 km, you will find one of the best local restaurants which has made use of the old railway station as it's backdrop. It comes highly recommended.

Steam trains at Groot BrakrivierA steam train at Groot Brakrivier / Photo: PanoramioThe pass ends at the main bridge over the river at the 4,1 km mark and it is worth noting that this bridge is one of the few bridges in South Africa, which is not level. It actually slopes at exactly the same gradient as the N2 - an example of fine modern road engineering.

There is fascinating history on the old bridge and it's unique and controversial method of construction, which involved stone piers with floating sections in between which could cope with the tidal range. It was constructed by Cpt. George Pilkington and proved all the critics wrong. The full story can be read on the Hoogte Pass page

Fact File:


S34.061153 E22.189328


S34.060553 E22.193463


S34.050496 E22.230942














4,1 km




3 minutes


100 - 120 kph


Tar (N2)






Groot Brakrivier (1 km)

Route Map:

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Route files:

||Click to download: Southern Cross Pass   (Note - This is a .kmz file which can be opened in Google earth and most GPS software systems)

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