I was drawn to the setting of Aurora Falls after coming across it within the Destination Guide. The work of Suite Belle Stark (Suitelady DeCuir) and Zaccai J. Stark (Robesz), it utilises the western half of a Full region furnished with the private island LI bonus to present a mix of public and private spaces available for exploration and / or rent.
With a north-south orientation, the setting offers a rugged coastal setting, a place that would look perfectly at home along the northern coastlines of the United States or Canada, or perhaps along the Scandinavia or more rugged parts of the Baltic. To the south and north are upland regions, the former somewhat higher that the latter, the lowlands between largely given over to an inlet that cuts into the landscape to form a curling bay, a single channel, crossed by a bridge, facing the open sea to the east, and high peaks rising to the west that give the sense that this is a small island hugging the coast.
The landing point sits on the southern highlands, where a broad road emerging from a tunnel; quite where the tunnel, topped by a crown of trees, might lead is left to the imagination. From it, the broad road rolls down from the uplands to double back on itself as it reaches the lowlands and what might have once been a little fishing hamlet. Here it eventually comes to an end facing the furthest reach of the inlet.
What appear to have been the original buildings around the bay have a distinctly working appearance: a warehouse here, a boathouse, shacks built out over the waters as if ready to receive fishing boats as they come alongside. However, if this had once been a little commercial fishing haven, those days are long gone. The buildings built out over the water and the old warehouse have all been repurposed; the former has been converted into an over-the-water restaurant, the piers close by now home to an old houseboat that has been converted into a little bar. The warehouse, meanwhile, as become a den for music and, shall we say, other recreational activities!
In its current design, the island now appears to be given over to a vacation retreat. A little grocery has been built close to the local gas station, and a pair of small holiday cabins have been built along the curve of the bay cutting into the land. Part of the old fishing village even seems to have been knocked down and turned into a Zen garden; a place to release the mind and spirit (if the items available at the warehouse haven’t already done so!), in meditations and / or yoga. Only the old boathouse appears to have retained its original purpose – although perhaps this is just to support recreational fishing trips off the coast, rather than any commercial enterprise.
The vacation cabins form the core of the rental properties in the region. Two sit on the inner meanderings of the setting’s inlet, the third facing the open waters on the east side, where the land points towards the northern highlands across the single wooden bridge. Whilst within their own parcels, these cabins are located directly adjacent to public spaces such that it is possible to visit all of the latter, such as the local camp site, without passing them and possibly invading privacy. However, they offer comfortably furnished spaces for those looking for, say a short-term vacation home.
Atop the northern uplands sits the largest of the rentals: a sprawling single-storey house. Reached via a single footpath, it sits behind high waterfalls that face the rest of the setting and is given additional privacy by a surrounding screen of trees.
Whilst this northern headland is largely presented as a private residence, the highlands here do hide a secret. Tucked into their eastern corner (and outside of the parcel given over to the large house above), a watery tunnel winds its way into the hill to where a large cavern sits. Lit by torches, it is the home of an over-the-water bar and little snuggle spaces extending from its circular wall.
Throughout all of this is a wealth of detail awaiting discovery – including clues to the more North American setting for the island (just look for the racoons!). There are also numerous places to sit and appreciate the setting and – needless to say – many opportunities for photography. Those requiring props can join the local land group for rezzing rights.
Those on medium-to-low end systems may find they need to make adjustments to their viewer in order to enjoy a smooth experience in the region when moving / camming – but this should not deter people from visiting; Aurora Falls is an engaging visit to make.
- Aurora Falls (Aurora, rated Moderate)