The town of Berry, in New South Wales, is a rural idyll that is also a haven for arts, crafts and antique shops, and has become famous for its café culture. Set among the rolling hills of the Cambewarra range, Berry is a terrific base from which to explore the amazing countryside that surrounds the town. The excellent range of holiday rentals make Berry the ideal stop for the more independent traveller who likes the freedom of self-contained accommodation. Berry is around 190km south of Sydney and is the first genuine country town south of the nation’s capital, steeped in history yet fresh and innovative and very welcoming.
Known as “the town of trees”, Berry is a feast for nature lovers all year round, its autumnal displays of gold and amber leaves a spectacular sight to behold. Its many oak and elm trees – planted by the first English settlers in the early 19th century – have given the town a very English feel in a very Australian setting.
While its rural setting and super transport links to Sydney adds to its appeal as a tourist destination, Berry stands out due thanks to its marvellous selection of shops and its gourmet treats – boutique wineries, award-winning delis and food stores, and restaurants with menus to die for will wow foodies and those who appreciate the finer gastronomic things in life. And choosing to stay in holiday homes or apartments in Berry will give you the chance to sample the town’s fantastic food and wine.
What makes Berry one of New South Wales’s well-kept secrets is its proximity to some of the state’s most sought-after attractions. It is just 7km from Seven Mile Beach, the amazing national park that offers those crescent-shaped seven miles of unbroken sand and inland forest filled with birds, mammals and possums. Take to the water on a vast range of aquatic activities, from surfing and windsurfing to fishing and diving. Or simply enjoy a beach barbie with the family as you watch the waves crash on to the shore, then return to your self-contained accommodation, tired and happy.
For a more challenging trip, head to the Minnamurra Rainforest – located in Budderoo National Park – which is a rare survivor of the subtropical rainforests that once spread across this part of Australia. Here you’ll find fauna native to the area, including the elusive lyrebird, eastern water dragons and swamp wallabies.
Art lovers won’t be able to resist visiting Bundanon, the house and grounds gifted to the Australian people by the artist Arthur Boyd who insisted “you can’t own a landscape” and wanted to share the place that had inspired him with anyone who wanted to visit. Now a studio space for artists and writers, the gallery and homestead is one of the region’s most popular attractions.
Its many craft shops, from potteries to galleries, antique shops to boutiques, have made Berry a must-stop for shoppers keen to find bargains and knick-knacks they wouldn’t find anywhere else. And anyone who decides to stay in Berry’s many holiday rentals and accommodation won’t want to miss the town’s markets. A country fair is held on the first Sunday of each month (except February) and there is a flea market on the third Sunday of the month.
The fabulous selection of cafes and restaurants will also offer some sustenance after a long day’s shopping. The serious foodaholic should book a South Coast foodscape tour that will reveal some of the region’s best produce and fare from farms, orchards and vineyards.
New South Wales boasts a temperate climate with few extremes so heat and humidity – a challenge elsewhere in Australia – is not problematic for visitors to Berry. Summer is warm and hot, while winter is cool (though rarely very cold) and can be wet. With its proximity to both the coast and the inland rainforests, Berry is great to visit during the southern hemisphere’s spring and summer months, from November to February. Holiday villas and apartments are the ideal base from which to explore Berry’s delights.