Woodbridge Island – Tranquil Living

Woodbridge Island also has no shortage of history as one of the properties currently on the market is the island mansion aptly named “Zonnekus”. This magnificent house was commissioned in 1929 by the Graaff family, one of South Africa’s most influential political dynasties. The house is currently on the market with a price tag of R39 million, occupying 7600sqm of land in a prime beachfront position which offers inhabitants dazzling views of Robben Island and Table Mountain. 
The house was entirely built by Italian artisans, with the building materials being shipped to South Africa during the great depression. After Graaff’s death in 1931, the property was leased to the British High Commissioner. The home and a portion of its grounds were purchased by Graaff’s descendants in the 1950’s, before later passing on into other private hands.
The gracious Mediterranean-style home, which has been fully restored in recent years makes the most of the original features such as the gleaming wooden floors and ceilings, while it offers over 1000sqm of living space, including five grand reception rooms and seven bedrooms, plus a wine cellar, private gym, large country kitchen and a private boardwalk which supplies direct access to the beach. 
Garaging is provided for eight vehicles, and there is a separate guest cottage plus two staff quarters on the property. The substantial garden is watered by computerised irrigation, and includes a large swimming pool overlooking the beachfront.  There are ample spaces for outdoor entertaining, courtesy of extensive undercover patios with high vaulted ceilings.
Pam Golding Properties’ MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, says the home is finished to the highest standards and the very best taste. “This property also contains an exquisite art collection and excellent period furniture,” she says, “all of which are for sale with the home, included in the asking price. This would make an ideal retreat for the high-profile businessperson wanting a unique home with the best seaside lifestyle, set in a private, secure location.”
Apart from the historic landmark the development also offers a mix of property options. From large luxury homes to contemporary duplexes or simplexes, and a few apartments.
Seafront property prices might be a deterrent but here the prices are comparatively modest for seafront property, ranging from around R850 000 for a two-bedroomed apartment, and around R1.5 million to R4 million for houses, depending on whether they are located on the lagoon front, the beachfront or in the middle of the island. PGP reports that the area is highly sought-after for its tranquil seafront lifestyle, spectacular views and excellent security.
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Milnerton Lagoon, Woodbridge Island offers its resident’s unrivalled privacy as there is only one access point via Loxton Road. This road connects the island to the mainland over a modern road bridge. This modern bridge replaced the original wooden bridge from which the island takes its name.
The wooden bridge was built in 1901 out of sturdy Australian Jarra wood and remains on the island as a world heritage site and as additional pedestrian access to the island. The island is further seeped in history with the Milnerton Lighthouse which was built in 1960 and continues to operate to this day.
PGP’s area manager for the Western Seaboard, Ivan Swart, says the secure residential portion of the island was established in 1988.  “The lagoon was dredged and excavated,” he says, “while the banks were reinforced with concrete before construction began.  All properties were built at least 1.5m above the 50-year flood line, so there is very low risk of flooding or rising damp.  The water level is also controlled at the lagoon mouth as an additional precaution.  Great care was taken to preserve the surrounding dune belt, and efforts continue today to prevent erosion and keep the beach in pristine condition.”
According to Swart one of the major selling points of the estate is the high level of security enjoyed by the island’s residents. The single gated access barrier is manned 24-hours a day, and with no other exit point from the island, criminals find it hard to come and go undetected. Added measures include residential access tags, while visitors must sign in and call ahead before entering the estate.
For those who enjoy watersports, Woodbridge Island is a paradise for watersports lovers and outdoor enthusiast. Golf lovers will be happy to know that Woodbridge Island is flanked by the 18-hole championship links course of the Milnerton Golf course, while three large swimming pools are available for resident’s private use. A tranquil pond and garden area lures residents to relax and forget about the stresses of the day. For those residents who needs a bit of adrenaline the Woodbridge estate’s beachfront offers safe swimming and excellent surfing, as well as being a popular wind and kite surfing destination.
Ample wrecks in the nearby waters offers diving enthusiasts plenty of exploration opportunities and the long uncluttered beaches are perfect for a romantic stroll while the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean. The island is home to a surf lifesaving club, canoe club and bowling club, and is located close to the Rietvlei bird hide.  Many of the lagoon-facing homes have their own jetties, allowing residents to enjoy a sunset paddle after a long day at work.  For those who prefer the bright lights, there are ample shopping facilities close at hand, including the massive Canal Walk centre, while the island itself offers two restaurants and a social bar at the golf club.  Medical care is available at the nearby Milnerton Medi-Clinic, while schooling lies within walking distance at the Milnerton Primary and High schools.  Nearby Milnerton also has its own private Jewish pre-primary school, the Dafna school (part of the Herzlia group), while a Japanese language school, the Nihongo Kai, is located on the island itself.

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