Close to the ground.

GPS: S 32 48.568 E 017 53.437 pop. 700 | elevation 13 m/43 ft

Paternoster is a quaint fisherman's village of whitewashed huts beside the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve. While much of the town's livelihood has changed its focus to tourism, seafaring traditions live on and you can still see fishermen returning with their daily catch in the early mornings. Crayfish is particularly popular and delicious in Paternoster, but avoid purchasing them from locals on the street, as most of these have been illegally caught and overfishing threatens the local crayfish population.

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve is a 263-hectare park located just 3 km outside of Paternoster. There are 60 beachside campsites within the reserve, as well as guesthouse lodging in the homes of former lighthouse keepers (see below).

Fishing, crayfish catching and hiking or walking throughout the nature reserve are also popular activities.

Cape Columbine Lighthouse

Cape Columbine Lighthouse is the main attraction within the reserve. Visitors can climb up a series of ladders within the lighthouse to the top, where massive optics intensify a light beam so that it can be seen for 32 nautical miles. Built in 1936, this was the last manually operated lighthouse to be installed along the South African coast.

The Beach Camp

Guided sea-kayaking and wildflower walks can be arranged through The Beach Camp just inside the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.

There is no real central part of town, but there are a few shops and galleries along St Augustine Road.


The Beach Camp

The Beach Camp feels like the Lost Boys camp from Peter Pan. Six A-frames that face the beach and permanent tents with beds inside (bring your own bedding and a flashlight - there is no electricity) are bordered by a playful fortress of fishing nets and beach gear. There is an impressive beach bar, braai facilities and a full self-catering kitchen. Meals can be prepared for you. The lodging rate includes entrance into the nature reserve, and use of kayaks and canoes. If you don't have your own transport, call to see if they can arrange a shuttle for you.

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve campsite has many sites on the beach within feet of the water and a central bathroom with solar-heated showers. There are also a number of more private campsites next to the ocean and farther away from the main camp. There are fire pits (bring your own wood) and water taps, but no electricity.


Paternoster Dunes Guesthouse

Paternoster Dunes Guesthouse is a beachside six-room guesthouse. Some rooms have breathtaking ocean views and others surround a small courtyard and splash pool. The upstairs lounge is light and spacious, with a bar overlooking the ocean for breakfast and sundowners.

Cape Columbine Lighthouse Guesthouse

Cape Columbine Lighthouse Guesthouse is a most unique accommodation option within the reserve. The simple two and three-bedroom guesthouses were the homes of former lighthouse keepers who maintained the lighthouse before the beam was automated. There are three cottages surrounding the lighthouse with full kitchens and an outdoor braai area.

Baywatch Villas

Baywatch Villas is a collection of spotlessly outfitted bright white beach houses. Choose from en-suite rooms in the central house, self-catering two-bedroom villas that have lounges and deck braai areas or a penthouse unit on the beach.

Noisy Oyster

Noisy Oyster is an intimate courtyard restaurant with a menu that changes daily. The restaurant boasts the freshest oysters and mussels in the country and was voted the most romantic dining destination in the west coast.

Paternoster Lodge Restaurant

Paternoster Lodge Restaurant is one of Paternoster's better restaurants, known for their fresh seafood and steaks. The restaurant overlooks the beach where local fishing boats unload their daily catch, and has panoramic views of the bay.

Paternoster Hotel Restaurant

Paternoster Hotel Restaurant is popular with the locals for its seafood, especially the freshly caught Paternoster crayfish. They also have burgers, sandwiches and breakfast.

Voorstrandt Restaurant

Voorstrandt Restaurant serves up seafood specialties, and on a deck that's as close as you can get to the ocean without being in it. There is also a small beach bar attached if you're interested in stopping over for drinks.

Paternoster Hotel Restaurant

Paternoster Hotel Restaurant is known for its 'Panty Bar' where - you guessed it - the ceiling is hung with underwear. In 1974, the bar owner started a collection of 'honeymoon panties', which has since been revived by his son and co-owner. This is a Paternoster institution and it is not uncommon for locals to show up at 8am and continue drinking throughout the day.

On the restaurant side, it's a popular for freshly caught Paternoster crayfish. They also have burgers, sandwiches and breakfast.