A warm sunny morning in Sydney calls for a long drive, probably extending to a day trip. One sunny morning, without much of a concrete plan except for knowing the final destination we aimed for, my partner and I headed down south of Sydney to explore the southern coastline and lookouts. Our final destination - Berry.
Google maps told us that the total distance from Sydney to Berry would be approximately 150 Km (Via M1 and A1). So we figured we could have a few stops along the way.
Stop 1: Bald Hill, Stanwell Tops lookout
This is located around 50 kms from Sydney. A breathtaking lookout with sweeping views of the coast, the meandering road and the Sea Cliff Bridge. The area is very windy and is popular for parasailing.
Source : Wikipedia. Stanwell tops views to Sea Cliff Bridge
This beautiful little cafe just down the cliff from the lookout was a great find. The service was faultless and they had the best milkshakes and smoothies we've had in a long time. The quantity of food and drink is very generous, so a sumptuous breakfast set us up for the rest of the day.
There are a couple of ways to get to Berry from this point, a scenic coastal route or an inland route.
Detour A: Drive via the coastal route via Grand Pacific drive as you soak in the views of the shoreline and head towards Berry (around 95 kms via this route) driving across the Sea Cliff Bridge. We have traveled this route in the past so we decided to take the inland route this time.
Detour B: Drive inland via Mt Keira to Berry. Mt Keira lookout is around 35 kms from Stanwell Tops. This beautiful lookout looks over the Illawara region and the Woolongong coast. With hardly a few visitors on that day, we enjoyed the view to ourselves. Read more on how to get to Mt Keira lookout here.
We then headed down towards Berry. Another hours drive or so got us to Berry and we headed straight to Mountain Ridge Winery.
Stop 3: Mountain Ridge Winery
Mountain Ridge is a beautiful winery situated on an elevated terrain. It boasts of great wine, a quaint restaurant with beautiful views and a great atmosphere. After some wine & liqueur tasting we headed to the restaurant within the winery called Broughton on the Ridge for lunch. Read more about the winery here.
Stop 4: 7 mile beach The winery is close to the southern end of the 7 mile beach (towards Shoalhaven heads). Nearly 13 kms of a stretch, makes it great for walks, exploring the coast and you'll always be able to find a good spot for yourself on the sand.
As you drive back from the beach and past the winery to the town center you are bound to cross Treat Factory. This wonderful store makes you feel like Charlie in Mr.Wonka's factory all over again. The treats and sauces and condiments tempt everyone alike and it's literally impossible to walk out the store empty handed. Read more about the Treat Factory and it's treats here.
Stop 6: Berry Town Center
Drive back to Berry town center via the court house (a wedding and function venue) and walk around the lanes discovering the shops. Each little store is stocked with unique items from all over the world. The bead bar for instance, a shop dedicated to beads that come in wonderful designs, colours, shapes & sizes. Cuckoo corner is full of cuckoo clocks in every form you can imagine. They also have curios and items from many parts of thr world including Russia and Switzerland . There is also a toy shop called Goldfish that houses special wooden handmade toys.
After walking through some of the shops we stopped at a cafe for coffee before we headed back to Sydney with wonderful memories of our time spent in Berry. Our drive back took us 2 hours. Sydney to Berry makes a smooth hassle free day trip for all those who enjoy a little bit of sightseeing, beach walks and like to take a few stops to enjoy nature along the way.