Posted by David Henning on 13 February 2023
The town of Paternoster has plenty of charm, from the bounty of the ocean to the whitewashed houses and everything in between. We braved the west coast’s icy waters and returned with a new lease on life.
If you are not sure where to begin, or if you didn’t book a table at Wolfgat more than a month in advance, here’s a list of things to do to keep you busy for the whole weekend.
Speed along the white sands of Paternoster’s beach with the ocean breeze in your hair on an Ebike, which makes less noise than a pestilent mosquito at night. WOW eBikes are centrally located at the waterfront, with a range of offerings.
With a bike tour lasting approximately 90 minutes, you’ll have a knowledgeable local guide, who knows the town’s history and the names of some of the peculiar creatures in the tidal pools and the residents.
There are at least two options for the guided beach tour; one takes you along the white sands northwards, while another takes you through the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve around the undulating boulders of Tittiesbaai.
When the Cape floral kingdom comes alive in spring, you can also take a wildflower tour between August and September. Want to make it extra special? They’ve got you covered with the added option of an oyster and bubbly picnic.
Don’t feel too intimidated at the prospect of cycling 90 minutes through beach sand, the bikes and their fat tyres make this outdoor activity an effortless breeze, and a small boost trigger means you can cycle the whole beach without peddling much at all.
For more information, visit WOW eBikes here or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t have to jump straight into the icy waters to get up close to the ocean, all you have to do is get your bum a little wet. Take a paddle out through the boulders that mark a lot of this coast, spot a few penguins and have some dolphins or a sunfish swim right under you.
In the morning, the wind is still and the ocean is flat, making this one of the most relaxing things you can do in the town. Watch Paternoster slowly wake up as you have a moment of solitude where there is enough space in the bay for you and the ocean to have a private moment.
The bay is home to a pod of Heeviside’s dolphins, a breed endemic to the west coast of South Africa and Namibia as well as some acrobatic dusky dolphins. If you are lucky – like we were – they might casually swim past.
Guided trips are R300 per person, and bookings can be made via 082 898 3028 or by mailing email@example.com
With a view of the ocean and a glass of vino, what else could you ask for? Well, how about variety to begin with? Four hundred wines are on the shelf, and 24 are available by the glass, you could get stuck at this place.
And why not, the cheese and charcuterie board will keep you nourished while the sun sets, and the owners, Pieter and Arno, the most hospitable hosts, make you feel right at home.
Their tasting options rotate, with ours featuring De Kleine Wijn Koöp, a boutique wine producer. They also have a flagship tasting option, which includes sought-after wines such as the Ken Forrester Dirty Little Secret Chenin Blanc and Groot Constantia’s Vin de Constance.
And don’t be dissuaded from visiting Paternoster during the off-season; in winter, the wine bar becomes a cosy indoor setting with quiz nights or bingo evenings.
Where: 54 St Augustine Rd, or visit their website here.
This is the new fad, so why not one-up the yuppies in sea point and throw yourself into the icy waters of the Benguala current? There’s nothing quite as rejuvenating as swimming in the saltwater and seeing who in your crew can brave the waters for the longest.
This icy dip is a good immune system boost or as a sports recovery from cycling along the beach or kayaking earlier in the day.
A cheeky illusion for an outing in Paternoster, the Panty Bar in the Paternoster Hotel was started by Johan Carosoni in 1974 as a collection of honeymoon panties in the hotel bar., but was later confiscated by the police in 1983 as an “unholy practice”.
Defiance eventually came out on top, and the collection started growing again in 1990, with regular donations of undergarments rolling in.
Where: Paternoster Hotel, 56 St Augustine Rd
Gonana is Paternoster’s first sustainable and environmentally friendly guesthouse and has recently added self-catering units to its collection, just a stone’s throw away from the original guesthouse.
We stayed at Coral Villa, the latest addition to Gonana, a 3-bedroom, 6-sleeper self-catering house. It feels like you are part of the village, not just a visitor, with a braai area in the front surrounded by an indigenous fynbos garden. Out back is a wood-fired hot tub, perfect for heating up after those cold water swims and the midnight dips in the ocean. Oh, did I mention that it’s just 60m from the beach?
Prices start from R2025 (weekdays) per night. For more information, visit Gonana Guesthouse here.
Pictures: Jared Ruttenberg/ @jaredincpt
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