Aurora is one of those little unheard of villages on the Cape West Coast Bergrivier region just inland from Dwarskersbos, close to other towns, such as Redelingshuys, Piketberg, Eendekuil and Goedverwacht.
Aurora is a small, unassuming town with a particularly pretty church at its heart, the pavement of which serves as a friday afternoon meeting place under a bountiful and shady tree for those who wish to watch the comings and goings of the local cafés and visitors to the town.
Aurora lies at the foot of the Western flank of the Piketberg mountains, a typical Sandveld village, its people full of character and uncomplicated, or at least on the surface of things. The town’s reputation as a wonderful space in which to retire or escape the rat race, has caught up with it, however, and properties here now rival other coastal villages close to Cape Town. On the outskirts of the village you will find a couple of new and slightly more ostentatious houses than those that rest on its main grid, as a result.
Named after Ceylonia Aurora Perreira, the daughter of the first Dutch Reformed minister in the area (hence the size of the church), the town has an interesting history. It was here that the French astronomer-geodesist, Abbé Nicolas de le Caille set up an observatory where his findings concluded that the world was pear-shaped, a result that had the astronomical world in a bit of a tail spin for decades whilst they tried to prove otherwise.
But visitors come here for the simplicity, the incredible night skies, the flowers during the season, and Helmut Wokalek, the Austrian who arrived for a visit and never left, and now (single-handedly) runs such a renowned restaurant that Capetonians will drive out for an meal.