There are so many things to do in Berry that a weekend away hardly seems enough time to enjoy this quaint little Australian town. Located just over two hours’ drive south of Sydney, Berry is a firm favourite with city dwellers wanting a short escape from the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
Berry is famous for its historical buildings, many of which have found their way onto heritage registers, but its also become quite a foodie haven with cute brunch cafes, dinner options for any budget, produce markets and ample wineries on the outskirts of town. Truly, it is a town for all tastes.
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Getting to Berry
The easiest way to get to Berry from Sydney is to drive. There are a few route options that can provide a very scenic trip to the south coast of NSW, which may take slightly longer but are definitely worth the detour. For lovers of the coast, taking the Grand Pacific Drive through the Royal National Park and then through Wollongong and Kiama provides gorgeous views of the South Pacific Ocean. For those more inland inclined, a drive through the Southern Highlands will take you via Bowral, Moss Vale and Kangaroo Valley.
My tip? Drive down via the Grand Pacific Drive and back up via the Southern Highlands to experience both.
If driving isn’t an option for you, then you’ll be pleased to know that there is a train station in Berry and Sydney does have Southern Highlands and South Coast trains that service the area. Usually South Coast trains will leave from Central Station in the CBD and visitors to Berry will need to travel to Kiama station and change there for Berry Station.
Taking public transport will add an extra hour to the travel time each way compared to driving, but the good news is that the cost of a one-way adult fare is less than $10. Sydneysiders can also use their Opal cards to tap on and off to avoid the nuisance of having to buy tickets. Those without an Opal card can simply tap their credit card to touch on/off.
Where to stay in Berry?
Things to do in Berry
Take a hike to Drawing Room Rocks
One of my favourite things to do in the morning in Berry is to head up to the breathtaking Drawing Room Rocks lookout. This 4.5km return hike is steep and might be challenging for some people as it is a trodden path that ascends through bush and rock.
At certain points, walkers may need to climb over fallen rock or trees in order to reach the lookout. However, I can absolutely vouch for the fact that the view at the end of the climb and the unique rock formations at the top are absolutely worth the struggle.
Brunch at one of Berry’s gorgeous cafes
Bruch is like religion to Australians and Berry is no exception with an array of cute cafes serving up breakfast fare in Instagrammable settings. I personally find it hard to go past the rustic charm of Milkwood Bakery on Berry’s main street, serving up yummy pastries and coffee. Another favourite is Figbird Café and Deli who do an excellent bacon and egg roll for breakfast.
Visit a local winery
Berry has at least 5 wineries on the outskirts of the town centre offering up tastings and cellar door experiences for visitors wanting to sample the local wine scene. Coolangatta Estate is definitely a favourite and also offers accommodation for those who want to continue the winery experience into the evening. For foodies, Crooked River Wines in Gerringong won the Australian Good Food Guide’s best restaurant on the South Coast in 2019 and is totally photogenic.
Relax in Apex Park
The drive into Berry takes visitors directly past the delightful Apex Park which immediately feels like a step back in time. The centrepiece of the park is the delicate gazebo, surrounded by green grass and trees which makes it perfect for a picnic. The supermarket is only metres away on the main street, so creating a DIY grazing platter for your Berry picnic is easy and quick.
Snack at the Famous Berry Donut Van
No trip to Berry could ever be complete without sampling hot, fluffy cinnamon coated donuts from the roadside. The Famous Berry Donut Van is an absolute institution of the town and has been since 1964. Every morning, from 8.30am crowds flock to 73 Queen Street to get their hot donut fix. They’re best eaten fresh in the no-frills dining area around the van – the perfect treat to warm up in winter.
Explore the cute shops
One of the best things to do in Berry is to wander the adorable stores on the main street and surrounds. From beautiful homewares to artisan produce, Berry has a store for every taste. One of the most iconic Berry shops is the sweet Berry Tea Shop which has the most beautiful selection of aromatic teas, tea sets and sweets to peruse. It also just happens to be one of the most beautifully presented stores going around.
Sneak out to the coast
Though Berry absolutely feels like an inland country town, in actual fact it is only a mere 10-minute drive to the sandy expanse of Seven Mile Beach. In winter, long walks on the beach might be cold but they make you feel like you’re the only person in the world. And in summer, there’s nothing better than colling off from the Aussie sun than with a dip in these sapphire waters.
Australian beaches are some of the best in the world, so a sneaky swim at the beach to start the day is the perfect way to start soaking up all the joys Berry has to offer.
Take a drive through Kangaroo Valley
Though it might be a bit cheeky putting a drive through Kangaroo Valley on a list of things to do in Berry, it would be a shame to be in the vicinity and miss out on seeing this gorgeous part of the world. Kangaroo Valley is only 25 mins drive inland from Berry and is a perfect little historic town that definitely is worth putting on your list for a visit.
Even better, if you’re driving back to Sydney from Berry, then you can take a more scenic route through Kangaroo Valley and the Southern Highlands to really experience the magic of this part of New South Wales.
There are many more than just eight things to do in Berry, but hopefully these suggestions help you craft the perfect weekend away and convince you to make the trip down to this beautiful and historic part of the world.
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