Including Port Owen, Laaiplek, Dwarskersbos, Aurora
When you cross the Berg River over the Carinus Bridge on the R27, you know you have arrived in Velddrif with its villages and suburbs on the banks of the Bergrivier. Set at the mouth of the Berg River, the area has long been a popular holiday destination, offering typical West Coast hospitality and charm, with creaking fishing boats, ‘bokkoms’, salt factories, cool sea breezes and a smorgasbord of seafood and regional specialities to dine on. It is the perfect spot for a holiday – be it just a weekend’s recharging the batteries, or a longer stay to enjoy what the town and surrounding area has in store for the visitor.
Port Owen, with its striking marina and canals, gives boats access to both the sea and the river. Its proximity to St. Helena Bay makes it an ideal anchorage for yachtsmen. Due to its sheltered nature and orientation to the prevailing summer wind, it offers the finest sailing conditions on the South African coastline. The Port Owen Yacht Club is adjacent to the fishing harbour of Laaiplek. The lower Berg River estuary is renowned for its bird life.
The harbour at Laaiplek is home to one of two dry docks in South Africa where wooden hulled fishing boats are maintained and refurbished. The harbour is also abuzz with light industries, eateries and curio shops.
Aurora lies at the foot of the western flank of the Piketberg mountain range, a typical Sandveld village, its people full of character, where life seems uncomplicated. The town’s reputation as a wonderful space in which to retire or escape the rat race has strengthened and the slow development of buildings has ensured that it retains its village feel. After the winter rains the area is transformed into a paradise of flowers.
Dwarskersbos, a popular holiday resort, is situated 10km north of Velddrif, on the Atlantic seaboard. Its splendid clean, sandy beach stretches for many kilometres. Over the years the town has also become known for its angling, water sports and swimming. In the winter months whales and the rare Heaviside Dolphin can be seen near the coast – a popular attraction to the many visitors.
Ten kilometres to the north is the famous Rocher Pan Nature Reserve with its 150 different bird species, among them large numbers of water birds. The pan lies along the coast and recently Cape Nature developed very comfortable accommodation chalets. It can also be reached via a walking trail from Dwarskersbos.