This beautiful, historic village is like the grand old dame of The Highlands. Berrima’s stunning sandstone buildings, country cottage gardens and river walks make it super popular with visitors and Highlanders. There are plenty of gorgeous cafes and bakeries for delicious breakfasts, brunches and lunches, and Berrima is also home to some pretty fabulous restaurants – including the hatted Eschalot – and a fun, country pub. Get your history fix at Harper’s Mansion and the local museum or just shop ‘til you drop – so many gorgeous stores! Here’s The Fold’s guide to all things Berrima – what to do, see and experience in this beautiful town that time forgot (but remembered again!).
Berrima’s location on the banks of the Wingecarribee River means there are some gorgeous spots for picnics, barbecues and leisurely walks. One of our faves is the Stone Quarry Walk, also known locally as the Platypus Walk which starts behind the Holy Trinity Anglican Church. If you have the patience to sit tight, you may even catch a glimpse of a platypus! Berrima River Reserve has some covered picnic tables and benches, or lay a blanket out on the grass. If you’ve got a kayak or canoe, you can drop it in here and head west up the Wingecarribee for a leisurely paddle.
JUST FOR KIDS
You know that a park with a flying fox is always going to attract the little ones, right? Berrima Market Place Park, smack bang in the middle of the village has one! A fantastic playground with loads of green space for kids to run off the sugar rush they may have got from visiting You + Me Ice Creamery, Mrs Old Bucks Pantry or The Lolly Swagman, a traditional lolly store literally bursting at the seams with anything and everything sweet and delicious.
There are so many fabulous stores in Berrima. It’s the diversity of offerings we love! Meander your way from the top of the village down the main street ducking in and out of the gorgeous shops – fashion, jewellery, homewares, goodies for the foodies, beauty and gorgeous arts and craft items. We could spend all day wandering around shopping here (in fact, we have!). And don’t forget about Berrima Schoolyard Markets on the fourth Sunday of every month – it’s a busy, fun market with a buzzy vibe.
The Berrima District Museum is a place to while away a rainy afternoon. The passionate museum volunteers help bring local stories to life – historical AND current – with a mix of state of the art digital storytelling, gorgeous photography and awesome historical treasures. We are loving the museum’s popular exhibition in the all new digital gallery – A Butcher, A Baker, A Bunch of Makers – which celebrates some amazing artisans of the Southern Highlands. The exhibition runs until mid-August. Don’t miss it!
WINING + DINING
There are some pretty amazing restaurants in Berrima. For a small town, it has a super impressive roll call of wining and dining options. Josh’s Café, the hatted Eschalot and Feast are all fab options for a delicious lunch or night out. Head a little further afield for The Loch’s legendary Sunday lunches, Joadja Estate's awesome live music events or taste wine, buy a book and eat delicious food by the fire at Bendooley Estate. We are also loving the new addition to the local foodie scene, PepperGreen Estate’s Tasting Room – wine tastings, share boards, a cosy fireplace and gorgeous décor. What’s not to love!
STEP BACK IN TIME
Harper’s Mansion is a beautiful Georgian residence, built in 1835 and furnished in colonial period style. It’s a super way to learn more about what life was like in The Highlands in the 19th century. One of the best things about Harper’s Mansion is the gorgeous two acres of garden it sits within. Rose bushes, fruit and vegetable gardens, a woodland walk and (this is a local favourite) a garden maze! You can also tour Berrima Courthouse, built in 1835 and home to numerous trials involving bushrangers and some not-so-law-abiding citizens of The Highlands. Take it to the next level and book yourself in for a night-time ghost tour. Boo!
Berrima comes to life on Australia Day – it’s one of the most popular places in The Highlands to celebrate all things Aussie! Markets stalls, jumping castles, live music, face painting, and allllll of the lamingtons. Yum! The highlight is the Grand Parade – such a fun, street parade quite unique to Berrima. See classic cars and vintage tractors, give the emergency service volunteers a wave and clap along with the local bands. Fun for all ages!
What is it about gorgeous, historic villages that attract super-talented and creative people? Pop into Berrima Village Pottery to have a chat with ceramicist Paul Bruce. And why should creativity just be associated with arts and crafts? Carol Brown of Mrs Oldbucks Pantry uses the art of story telling to create an emotional connection with a brand: we chatted to her about it in this article about the Theatre of Retail.
WHEN FRIENDS COME TO STAY
The iconic Bendooley Estate is a favourite among locals and foodies, and is a must-visit if you’re hosting out-of-towners. The reinvention of the Bendooley Estate began when the Berkelouw family bought the estate forty years ago. Browse the gorgeous Berkelouw Book Barn, settle in for share plates and wine tastings at The Cellar Door or a long lunch by the fire in the main dining room. A quintessential highlands experience, for sure.
For a change in pace, head to Zen Oasis on Medway Road for a peaceful afternoon escape. The restaurant onsite serves up deliciously, fresh oriental cuisine and loads of super healthy delights – vegetarians will LOVE this place! Walk off your delicious lunch with a stroll around the lake surrounded by gorgeous sculptures. You’ll leave this place feeling super calm and relaxed.
We are so lucky to have so many amazing local businesses in Berrima, and our Business Directory is the place to find them! From medical to manufacturing, beauty salons to builders, pet boarding to finacial planning….The Fold’s Business Directory has got you covered.
OTHER TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
Check out our guide to the other towns and villages in the Southern Highlands.