Surf, sand and glorious sunsets are the recipe for relaxed everyday living in Blouberg on the West Coast.
The smell of the ocean, the sound of the surf, the sand between one’s toes and picture-postcard views of Table Mountain might represent memories of summer beach holidays for most, but for those who live in Blouberg they are woven into the fabric of daily life.
Dive off the R27 onto Marine Drive and coast down the long beachfront from Dolphin Beach through Bloubergrant to Bloubergstrand. The rainbow flocks of kitesurfers’ kites along the way produce a hypnotic spectacle on any afternoon when the wind blows – and that’s often. There are also street traders, food trucks serving snacks such as gourmet frozen yoghurt and burgers, and people out walking their dogs, running, or strolling along with their kids.
Kitesurfers and water sports enthusiasts are spoilt for choice, with the whole long Blouberg Beach to spread out along, and Big Bay too, which is a popular surfing spot where you can also pick up beginner lessons and lifeguard courses or watch international competitions.
“I love the fact that I can walk to the beach,” says a local resident who goes by the name of Lollo and has lived in Blouberg for 11 years. “We have the best view in the world and the community is very laid-back. I’m a water baby, so my main obsession is SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) surf and longboard. I’m in the water seven days a week if I can.”
On afternoons when the wind is pumping, families with small kids prefer to head to the more sheltered Kleinbaai for bucket-and-spade play. This is also a prime spot for sundowners, with people flocking from all over Cape Town to institutions such as The Blue Peter Hotel with its sloping lawns offering a stunning view across the beach to Robben Island, or to Ons Huisie, a converted historical fishing cottage that’s now a restaurant that serves seafood with a side order of sunset. The new development, Eden on the Bay, is another vibey spot for sundowners after a long afternoon of surf and sand.
The Blouberg area stretches along the beachfront as far as Big Bay and inland from the beach to include the looping crescents and cul-de-sacs of West Beach and Blouberg Rise on the beach side of the R27. Until fairly recently the well-established and very desirable properties of Bloubergstrand were the northern extent of Cape Town’s Western Seaboard, but over the last decade new developments have sprung up around Big Bay and back into the dunes behind, including several new secure estates and a neighbourhood shopping mall.
It’s very much a family area and even if your kids aren’t water babies there is still a lot to choose from in the way of sports, with the nearby Sunningdale Sports Complex offering cricket, football and roller derby. Between Blouberg and the neighbouring suburbs of Table View, Parklands and Sunningdale there are plenty of schools to choose from, including private schools such as Elkanah House, CBC St John’s Parklands, Parklands College and Blouberg International School, and public schools such as Table View High School and Blouberg Ridge Primary.
Residents get together for community events such as regular beach clean-ups and full-moon beach walks, and a new local market starting up at the Big Bay Surf Lifesaving Club this month looks set to be another fun focus, but on a daily basis the community forms around the casual meet-ups of an open-air lifestyle. “The people are mostly friendly, with many of them jogging along the roads or taking dogs for strolls,” says Suzette Muller, who lives here with her family.
I love the weather and the mountain view, the view of the kitesurfers on the water on a windy day is amazing and the view during the last 10 minutes of sunset is the best.
While the beach is the prime focus of the area (who can resist gazing out to sea or watching Table Mountain in all its moods, after all?), there are attractions inland too: hiking trails, fynbos and even more fabulous views from the top of the hill in Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, windsurfing and flat water sports in the lagoon and nature reserve at Rietvlei, and golf either at Milnerton Golf Club or Atlantic Beach Golf Club.
If you live to the rhythm of the tides and get out on the water at every opportunity, Blouberg offers the perfect work/life balance, and even if you prefer a slower pace with your feet on dry land, those daily doses of sunset views can be equally addictive and rewarding.
Eat like a local
- Morgan’s – great coffee after a morning surf
- Carlucci’s –sandwiches, salads and light meals
- The Indian Chapter – warm welcomes and authentic Indian cuisine
- Petits Fours –sea views and indulgent cakes and coffee
- Homespun – laid-back fine dining
- Ons Huisie – seafood, historic charm and beach views
Property prices in the Blouberg/Table View/Melkbosstrand area
Average asking price for a typical house (three bedrooms) R2,33m
R1,02m Average asking price for a flat (30% of properties for sale)
Average asking price for a property in a complex (6% of properties for sale) R2,14m
R19,700 Average monthly rent for a three-bedroom house
Demand for property in the Blouberg/Table View/Melkbosstrand area
Percentage of total sales listing in the Cape Town region 18%
14% Percentage of property search interest
Percentage of total rental listings 11%
Take a spectacular video tour of this area:
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.