Your Town With Cass – Berry NSW

In this month’s Your Town column Move To More blogger and Eugowra local, Cassie Gates, chats with Suzanne Campbell about her life in the southern NSW town of Berry.

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What’s your Berry story Suzanne?

My husband and I bought our house in Berry in 2008 – we wanted space to breathe, a garden, a walk to shops on the weekend, a train to Sydney for work and beaches for swimming on the weekends. I currently run my business, Vennu from here. I am passionate about building communities, nationally and globally by activating spaces.


What is life REALLY like in Berry?

The Berry calendar is jammed packed with options for families of all ages.

This year as we live with Covid and flu and without drought, fires and floods, we have seen the return of the new year’s fireworks, Australia Day BBQ, The Berry Show, International Women’s Day event and Berry Camellia Show and we are looking forward to the Small Farm Field Days and the Christmas parade.

Each of them is facilitated by Rotary, the Rural Fire Service, the Show Committee and Zonta – the organisations that make our communities vibrant places and provide the warp and weft of regional living. They are an important part of the vibrancy of Berry, bringing these events to fruition.


What sort of jobs available in Berry?

Exciting since we moved to Berry the town has become much younger and more diverse with many service roles, including at Uniting Berry and the Masonic Village, an expansion in the number of teaching positions at Berry Public School, and Worklife – for shared work.

Tourism is very important, and Berry recently won gold in the Small Town category in the NSW Top Town Awards, which are all incredibly proud about. And our wedding venues are some of the most popular places to get married on the NSW South Coast. From quaint farms to holiday cottages, wedding locations in Berry provide ceremonies and reception venues in the same place. These create roles for caters, celebrants, event planners, florists, and photographers.

We even have a “blow bar” in our main street! What is a blow bar I hear you ask? It is a business that was set up to cater for all the weddings being held locally to enable people to get their hair professionally done before the big event!

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What do you do on the weekend for fun?

Our weekends are weather dependent – if it is fine we like to walk our dog and get afternoon tea at The Treat Factory on Creamery Lane. I’ll do work in the garden and David will hit a few balls at the Shoalhaven Heads Golf Club.

If is hot, I like to head out to Seven Mile Beach for a walk and swim with friends!


What is the art & culture scene like?

The recent OpenField Contemporary Art Festival team, artists, performers, musicians, and many volunteers showcased the many ways art can be made and consumed and delivered a remarkable event.

In an atmosphere of openness and under a sunny winter sky, an incredible range of contemporary artworks, sculptures, installations, and performances animated and transformed the town.

These broad and diverse art forms confirmed there is no place for false binaries. Art is about storytelling, connecting and community. Art shared is an exquisite joy and community spaces, like the CWA Berry Branch, are also creative spaces.

While we wait for Openfield to return the extraordinary Bundanon with its breathtaking views down the Shoalhaven River, Art Museum, café and award-winning accommodation are just a short drive away and ADFAS – the Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society will hold regular meetings in town.

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Is there a sporting culture in Berry?

Sporting facilities are spread out across the town, at the northern edge we have the wonderful all ages all abilities Rotary Nature Play Park at Boongaree. It features nature play, sports equipment, sports fields, tennis courts and a paved walkway. It is a mecca for kids of all ages.

Near the centre of the town, I can hear the Berry-Shoalhaven Heads Magpies, the Australian rugby league football team and their spectators when they play at the Showground, but I have not been to the game yet!

And to the south on Creamery Lane, we have a gym where I train on Friday mornings.


Berry is becoming quite the food mecca with some nice restaurants and the farmers market a must-see for visitors. Any recommendations?

Berry is a food mecca – there are many cafes, and award-winning restaurants including South on Albany in town, Mountain Ridge Winery, and fine dining at Bangalay just a short drive away at Shoalhaven Heads.

And the Berry Farmers’ Market is a place for the community to come together EVERY Thursday afternoon to shop directly with farmers and makers.


Is Berry easy to get to if you don’t drive?

The extension of the freeway past Berry to Nowra has made it increasingly easy to commute to Sydney.

Often, however, I use the train. The South Coast Line is an intercity line that runs from Central Station in Sydney to Bomaderry, just south of Berry.

While it would be ideal to have more frequent services, a drop-down desk, luggage space and mobile coverage all the way – the scenery is unbelievably beautiful. Across paddocks to Kiama, along the coast in many places and through the Royal National Park – it is a trip I recommend to travellers all the time; it is breathtakingly beautiful.

To fly there are three options all out of town; Sydney which has frequent flights but expensive to park, Albion Park is excellent, it’s nearby, inexpensive parking but the flights are fewer in number and more restricted. Or over to Canberra which is around the same travel time as Sydney if you take into consideration traffic and congestion.

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What is the housing situation like in the region?

Since we moved to Berry the population has doubled, with new suburbs like Huntingdale Park infill, dual occupancy and retirement living and retirement villages including Masonic Village, The Arbor and The Grange all attempting to address demand.


Can you get in to see a doctor? Where is the nearest hospital?

Like in many towns, there are waiting times to see a doctor.

The Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital is the main acute care hospital for the Shoalhaven region and is 20 minutes away.


Ok. Here’s your time to pitch! If you had to give someone one reason to move to the Berry region, what would it be?

The best thing about living in regional Australia is the joy, confidence, resilience, and connection that comes with being part of a community.

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