Quiet and unspoilt, it offers a laid-back coastal lifestyle and choice of holiday properties according to Elaine Beyers from Seeff Bredasdorp/Arniston. There are only about 1174 permanent households as it is primarily a holiday village with many people owning holiday homes here, she says.
The village is renowned for its stunning white-washed fisherman’s style architecture which, along with the fabulous coastal location makes it an artist’s and photographer’s dream destination.
The average asking price for a home in the village with little to no views, is now around R3.1m and for a sea view, expect to pay to around R8m to R9m. The highest prices achieved is R8.9 million for a home sold by Seeff in March 2017 and more recently, R8.2 million for house sold by Seeff in April 2019. Vacant land sells for around R1.91m.
Ms Beyers says that most properties now sell at 80% to 90% below asking price and only homes in mint condition or modern houses achieve the full asking price. Buyers come from all over the country and the village also appeals to foreign buyers, she says.
Arniston is the only town which has a second name, being Waenhuiskrans (wagon shelter cliff) after a large low-tide sea cave, eroded in such a way as to resemble the structures used by settlers to house their oxen and wagons. The name ‘Arniston’ comes from one of many shipwrecks in the area. The Arniston which was on its way from Ceylon to England sank in 1815 when it ran ashore due to heavy winds which destroyed its sails. It broke up on the sharp rocks of the Arniston Reef. It is regarded as one of the worst disasters and only six of the original 378 passengers survived.
As with most of the Cape South Coast, Arniston it is a whale-watching hotspot and provides excellent water-based fishing.
There is a small shop for general commodities with Bredasdorp about 24km away for all other needs. Other attractions include the popular Arniston Hotel which overlooks the ocean, the De Hoop and De Mond Nature Reserves as well as the Agulhas National Park. Local restaurants include Wanda’s Waenhuis Restaurant, Mien’s Tea Garden and Willeen’s Kitchen Restaurant.