Aurora

Aurora meaning “daybreak” is a small town with a particularly pretty church at its heart, which serves the surrounding farming community. Building on the church started in 1866 and was completed in 1908.  It’s name was proposed by a church minister who camped at the foot of the ‘koppie’ and was totally in awe of the wonderful early dawn light.  The first minister to serve here was the Reverend CR Ferreira, who was so taken with the town and his safe return from Ceylon, where he had been a prisoner of war, that he named his first born daughter Ceylonia Aurora Ferreira.

It was here, in Aurora, that the French astronomer-geodesist, Abbé Nicolas de la Caille based his geodetic calculations to define the shape of the earth, and concluded that the world was pear-shaped!  A result that had the astronomical world in a tail spin for decades until Thomas Maclear proved otherwise by taking the magnetic force of the earth into consideration.  The site in Aurora is the most northerly and was triangulated with sites in Riebeek Kasteel and Darling Street in the Cape Town city centre.

Aurora lies at the foot of the western flank of the Piketberg mountain range, a typical Sandveld village, its people full of character, where life seems uncomplicated. The town’s reputation as a wonderful space in which to retire or escape the rat race has strengthened and the slow development of buildings has ensured that it retains its village feel.  After the winter rains the area is transformed into a paradise of flowers.

Visitors come to Aurora to recharge their batteries, for the simplicity of lifestyle, the incredible night skies, the clear air, walking opportunities and the flowers during the spring.