Sunday with a Berry on top
It’s easy to appreciate the Go Big catch cry of Australian tourism when you’re thinking of holiday escapes. Under that big open sky of ours, everything is equally sizeable. That includes the pub meal on the corner and the distance you covered to get there. In country NSW, the nearest town can be a good 120km away. Let’s not forget the big lobster, the big pineapple, and the big banana.
Much to my relief there’s no big berry and a good thing too, because Berry on the south coast is a little bunch of perfect just the way it is. It’s also a rare spot that offers a peek into the diversity of our landscape all bundled in one. With the rugged coastline of Gerringong to its east, the undulating slopes of nearby Kangaroo Valley and a stretch of hinterland hiding age old rainforests, there’s abundance in the natural surrounds of Berry.
Breathe out stress, breathe in countryside
With the wind in your hair and the patchwork of green passing by, the outskirts of Berry empty your mind and fill your senses. Nearby bush and beach walks like Seven Mile Beach Sandtrack Walk or the Drawing Room Rocks, (so named for the natural tables and chairs weathered in the sandstone) are scenic half day walks. Impressive seascapes and wilderness hug the coastline along the Werri to Kiama Coast walk. It’s 11km one way but for the keen outdoor trekkers, a stunning way to take in the bounty of the south coast. Or for something closer to home, follow the interactive historical walk around the commercial centre of Berry taking in the milestones and the building blocks of the village.
Resident nature lovers of Berry made the natural jump to bring the green closer to home. In the early 70’s, they filled the village streets with trees, having different species of trees, shrubs and plants line each street. It’s an interesting characteristic of the town, but more than that, dapples splinters of seasonal colour from corner to corner.
Easy like Sunday morning
For those more enthused about a good coffee and fresh produce, Berry is full to the brim with corner cafes, leafy courtyard eateries and seriously good foodie restaurant options. Try Nourish Kitchen for grazing platters that are as generous as they tasty; stacked with a choice of treats not normally sampled on a platter, or the atrium style bakery with fresh sourdough baked daily. Or stop by the Donut Van for a taste of Berry’s famed Donut selection.
The township itself wraps along a broad main street with welcome mix of artisan cafes, knick-knack stores, homewares and the local country pie shop and bakery. The tell-tale Aussie pub on the corner, electric furniture, backstreets crammed with sweet stores and nursery’s – the choice of treasures is everything you’d hope for from a charming country town with offbeat swanky taste.
Berry with a Y
The name has nothing to being the sweet spot of the region, rather, it was renamed from Broughton Creek to Berry after the wealthy landowner Alexander Berry settled the nearby Coolangatta Estate in the 1820’s. As an aside, the Estate and fine wine are one and the same and has both their cellar and restaurant door open every day. Set in landscaped grounds and surrounding an original convict-built village, it is in itself a tourist drawcard. As an earlier sidenote of history, Broughton was also the name of a local Aboriginal man who introduced Berry to the region, well Toodwick actually, but also known as Broughton. In any case, a moment of introduction that would stand the test of time.
Like many other weekend destinations, Berry is just shy of 3 hours drive from Sydney and Canberra. What makes it special? Why do people keep returning to soak up the character of this historic village? I think it’s something to do with the diversity and choice that the region offers.
As it turns out, Berry is the quintessential spot for all things restorative – for body, mind, and shopping. It’s also the hinterland hub to call home for a few days while you stretch your legs in the nearby townships of Gerringong, Robertson, Jamberoo, or Kiama. And though no one has landmarked the town with a squishy mulberry shaded monument, Berry is big on surprise for newcomers and a warm welcome for those visiting again.
You also might like to read Favourite Moss Vale Moments.