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CAPE TOWN: Our insider’s guide to Sunset Links and Woodbridge Island

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Two security estates set in a reserve overflowing with wildlife and birds, a lagoon and views of the city and mountains nearby.

Outdoor activities makes this a most sought-after region and ideal for a broad spectrum of buyers and the rental market.

The beautiful Rietvlei Lagoon boasts a rich birdlife and the board walk with hides makes observing these creatures easy. The dunes and wild flowers are gorgeous. And don’t forget the beach picnics and sunsets. The ocean also has its own life that it shares with residents.

The reserve, made up of seven constituent parts – of which the Milnerton Lagoon is one – is home to about 400 plant and 200 bird species, including large flocks of flamingos.

In spring, numerous birds, such as the Curlew Sandpiper, fly over 13000km from the northern hemisphere to the reserve.

A man walks his dog over the bridge into Woodbridge Island, Milnerton. Picture: African News Agency (Archives)

For resident Fowzia Grobler it’s all about the lifestyle the area offers. “We moved to this neck of the woods 20 years ago. We were starting our family and wanted pets so we needed space for our family to grow. Living in a reserve means there’s an abundance of nature and space all around you.

“The beautiful Rietvlei Lagoon boasts a rich birdlife and the board walk with hides makes observing these creatures easy. The dunes and wild flowers are gorgeous. And don’t forget the beach picnics and sunsets. The ocean also has its own life that it shares with residents.”

Husband Pete cycles to work at the V&A Waterfront, making use of the well laid-out cycle paths.

Woodbridge Island was established in 1988 when the lagoon was dredged and banks strengthened with concrete to ensure no marshy areas. The water level is controlled at the lagoon mouth and homes are built above the 50-year flood line.

Dogon Group area specialist James Jooste says: “Woodbridge Island and Sunset Links are both highly sought-after security estates. Especially Sunset Links, with larger and higher-priced free-standing homes, most with beautiful gardens. Sunset Links is a golf estate with access to the beach.”

According to Lightstone statistics, the average of 10 home sales in the last 12 months was just over R9million.

Riders make their way from Woodbridge Island to the city centre via the new bike lane. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

“Woodbridge Island has smaller units as well as larger free-standing homes with easy access to the beach and lagoon. It’s also at the entrance to the links golf course.”

One of the more notable properties on Woodbridge Island is the 8000m² estate, Zonnekus Mansion, with direct access to the beach. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and built in 1926 by businessman turned politician Sir David Graaff.

Lightstone indicates that homes on the island move at a more affordable average of R3.3m. Recent buyers differ: Sunset Links properties were almost exclusively purchased by those in the 36- to 50-year-old group while Woodbridge Island experienced a broader appeal with both retirees and younger buyers.

“The rental market is excellent in both estates,” says Jooste.

A man walks his dog over the bridge into Woodbridge Island, Milnerton. Picture: African News Agency (Archives)

There’s also lots on offer for the outdoor enthusiast. Table Bay is one of the world’s favourite kite surfing spots, the notorious south-easter wind creating perfect conditions. There are kilometres of cycling routes both on and off-road.

“Incredible views with amazing sunsets, access to a bounty of outdoor activities, close to schools, medical and shopping and an easy commute to the CBD with MyCiti bus service makes Woodbridge Island and Sunset Links desirable for a raft of homeowners. With prices in both nodes off their previous highs this could be a good time to look at relocating and enjoying what the Cape is renowned for,” says Jooste.

Fowzia Grobler’s favourite things to do

The beautiful Rietvlei Lagoon boasts a rich birdlife and the boardwalk with hides makes observing these creatures easy. The dunes and wildflowers are gorgeous. And don’t forget the beach picnics and sunsets. The ocean also has its own life that it shares with residents. – Fowzia Grobler, resident Picture: Supplied

1 Outdoors

One of the great attractions of this precinct is the number of free activities for athletes as well as casual family outings. Take a run/ stroll or walk the dog on the beach. While Milnerton beach is designated as a “leash required” beach, many dogs are not leashes. Take a short drive to Sunset Beach in Blaauwberg for no leashes required.

Run or stroll and watch the sun set over Woodbridge Island. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

2 Eat

If grilled meats are your thing, then give Cowboys and Cooks a try. Dry-aged and grass-fed cuts are the order of the day. Great range of virgin cocktails as well (021 879 1923). If you are craving something a bit lighter, unWINEd offers tapas and pizza (021 551 5226)

3 Drink

Woodbridge Island offers several places to enjoy your favourite tipple while watching the most stunning sunsets over Table Bay. The Beach Tavern and Maestros are probably two of the best and most popular locations.

4 Shop

Active for more than 20 years, the Milnerton Market is at Marine Drive. A collector’s delight, giving new meaning to one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Open Saturdays and public holidays subject to weather (021 551 7879). For specialised organic foods try Blockmen (082 313 0548).

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