The South Coast of New South Wales, Australia is beautiful with pristine white beaches, turquoise bays, inlets and lakes. It hosts an abundance of accommodation options ranging from luxury holiday homes, camping grounds, cabins and hotels.
It has long been THE place to visit for people from Sydney and Wollongong, evolving over the years with some towns modernising while others have stayed quietly in the background keeping their well-hidden secrets only for their regular visitors.
It is a place where you can find diversity, but more often than not it’s the simplicity it offers along with its stunning beauty that keeps it a favourite.
For me, my favourite place is Berry, a small town located in the Shoalhaven Region of the South Coast. Berry is popular and for good reason. It has all the elements for a lovely day out, and as such, that’s what a lot of people choose to do each and every weekend. But before you decide it’s too crowded and touristy to make the trek, let me tell you why I love it so much and how I navigate around the crowds. Because if you have been reading my posts, you will know that I hate crowds with a passion and will do almost anything to avoid them.
Some years back I ran Food & Wine Tasting Tours in the area and had found places I loved and shared them with my travellers.
And I also would like you to know that I receive no material gain or commission from any of the businesses I mention. I have spent a lot of time in Berry and these are the places I would recommend to anyone.
So here are my must see places in Berry and the surrounding areas.
So before we begin, Berry can get crazy busy. People and cars everywhere. It is very popular. So what we do every time is go early and time it so that we are there for an early breakfast and then by the time we have finished we can browse through our selected shops as they open. And then we head out before the crowds have even left home. Easy.
I am not going to choose one café or restaurant in Berry to recommend. I love quite a few of them and it depends on what you are looking for that will make your decision. There is a lot of competition in Berry when it comes to the cafes, so most are on their game and offer great food and coffee, just check them out as you walk around and then choose one to visit.
A heads up, the Berry Sourdough Café located at 23 Prince Alfred Street (not on the main road) is good, and popular (read here crowded), so be prepared to wait a while for a table, or you can be like us and go extra early. They open at 8 am. They have a sister café on the main street, the Milkwood Bakery which is perfect for coffee and cake. I drink Almond milk in my coffee, and funnily enough, the Milkwood Bakery offers it, but the Sourdough Café does not.
There are a variety of homeware and kitchen stores all of which I love to browse, but my favourite is Haven & Space. I won’t describe it too much but if homewares are your thing then do yourself a favour and take a look. They have stores on both sides of the road, Albert Street (side street off the main) and have so many things from large to small that you won’t know where to look.
My other favourite, particularly if you love candles and quilts (or homewares), is Candleberries located in the Stan Burt Arcade (you can find in next to Jetz Café on the main street). Say hello to Ray and tell him Cindy from Travel Charm says hello. Ray is passionate about his candles and is always helpful and friendly. Find more information here – Candleberries.
And of course, there are lolly shops, gelato, antiques, clothes stores and more. It’s nice to spend time strolling up the main street and back. You never know what you might find.
The Berry Chocolatier
If you love chocolate, you HAVE TO visit The Berry Chocolatier. OMG! Handmade boutique chocolate in all kinds of flavours. I don’t know what else I can say but stop here, treat yourself and forget the diet.
The Treat Factory
Located just outside the main part of town, over the railway line is the Treat Factory. If you have a sweet tooth you may just want to work a visit into your day. They have hundreds of handcrafted chocolates, lollies and preserves to buy. You can find more information here – The Treat Factory.
After your fill of coffee and chocolate, I suggest you head out of Berry and hit the wineries. There are a number of wineries in the area, but in this article, I am going to cover my two favourites. After running Wine Tours, I have selected these two not only for the quality of their wines but their service and scenery.
I won’t beat around the bush; I love Silos Estate. I love catching up with Raj who was always wonderful with our group tastings. All the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. And to top it off the wine’s pretty good too. With a range of whites, reds, rose and dessert wines you can’t really go wrong. I'm a little partial to the Sparkling Shiraz.
And after the wine tasting take a walk around the beautiful property and make sure you visit the Alpacas, you might be even lucky and see a newborn. Very cute!
Silos Estate also has an excellent restaurant on site built into the old silos which the property is named after. If you can, eat on the verandah and take in the stunning views over the vines.
This was a stop on my Food & Wine Tours for wine tasting and lunch, and we hosted Painting in the Vineyard days here as well. Raj and the team at Silos couldn’t have been more obliging. Highly recommended.
For more information - Silos Estate.
Two Figs Winery
Located at 905 Bolong Road, Berry Two Figs Winery is open from 11 am to 5 pm. Drive through the gates, up the road and when you get to the top of the hill take a look at the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Shoalhaven River and out to the ocean. It is jaw-droppingly stunning!
After you have stopped staring at the views around the property, head on in for some wine tasting. Two Figs Wines are delicious, and they have a range of reds, whites and dessert wines. All delicious and all worth tasting.
You can purchase a Gourmet Produce Plate or some of their local produce from the fridge and sit sipping a glass of their delicious wine, Sunday Afternoon happens to be my absolute favourite, and take in those views. I can’t think of a better way to end a perfect day.
For more information – Two Figs Winery.
Where to Next?
Depending on the time you have you can visit more wineries. I guess it also depends on your capacity to keep wine tasting.
OR make a weekend of it. There is certainly enough to see and do, and once you have finished exploring the Shoalhaven why not head to Kangaroo Valley.
The Berry Boutique Hotel is a nice place to stay for a weekend or there is always the accommodation at Silos. You could end the day there with a bit of wine tasting, a delicious dinner and a lovely suite. Just a suggestion ...
Cindy Reid is the founder of Travel Charm. Cindy has travelled extensively both personally and with her groups. She has now combined her love of art, food and travel and hosts Painting Trips to Europe and continues to explore and roam in Australia.