Your Ultimate Guide to Berri
26th May 2020
Berri in a nutshell
Situated along the magnificent Murray River, around 2.5 hours from Adelaide by car, is the charming town of Berri. Named after a phrase in the local Aboriginal language, ‘‘bery bery’ – meaning bend in the river – Berri was established in 1911. Originally home to the Erawirunga People who lived in the region for countless generations, the region became the site of a sheep station during European settlement. Other than this, Berri was merely one of many riverboat refuelling stations along the Murray stacked with woodpiles.
Today, Berri is surrounded by around a whopping 3000 hectares of irrigated vineyards. In fact, it is host to some of Australia’s largest wine production facilities as well as a handful of smaller boutique wineries and wine producers. However, a trip to this attractive little town in the Riverland involves a lot more than just wine. There are plenty of things to do in Berri.
Stay for the weekend, and you’ll find yourself popping into a few great restaurants, exploring the colonial town and enjoying the wildlife and beautiful nature. Stunning natural landscapes sliced in two by the meandering Murray River make for striking scenes in this part of the Riverland. The combination of sun-burnt red earth and the sweeping river sets the scene for beautiful hikes. Plenty of options when it comes to enjoying the river for kayaking and boating are also available. Forget the seaside and the beaches (for now anyway). Find some accommodation in Berri and enjoy what the Riverland has to offer!
If a relaxing, slow-paced getaway is on the cards, or an action-packed, nature-filled weekend sounds appealing, then Berri might be a great option for your next South Australia weekend getaway. We have created this Ultimate Guide to Berri to inspire your trip. Use it to learn a little about what Berri has to offer, and once you’ve been persuaded, choose some weekend activities in Berri to craft your perfect trip.
Things to do in Berri
Visit some of the wineries in Berri
Situated right in the middle of the Riverland, South Australia, Berri is an Australian wine region; one which produces a fair share. The largest winery produces 200,000 tonnes each year. Meanwhile, Berri Estate Winery – established since 1918 – has been an important component of the town throughout the last century. A weekend escape to the Riverland isn’t complete without some rich reds and fresh whites. Pop into a few wineries and cellar doors to sample the local wines.
Some suggestions for wineries in Berri
919 Wines is a popular choice of winery for visitors. Family-owned and selling organic products, the winery offers guests an authentic cellar door experience within the working winery. The wines are award-winning and sustainable winemaking is an integral value at 919 Wines. Tours, dinners and events throughout the year are well worth a visit. Alternatively, just drop by any time to try some wines and speak with the winemakers.
Angove Family Winemakers is also an excellent Riverland winery to pop into, with its cellar door open seven days per week. Established in 1910, the winery is the oldest in the Riverland. Starting their organic wine journey in 2006, Angove Family Winemakers is now known for its efforts in sustainability. Pop in to sample and purchase some delicious Riverland wines!
Another Riverland winery option is Berri Estates. Stop a while inside the cellar door building in the heart of South Australia’s Riverland and enjoy some a wide range of quality wines. You can also sample some delectable local produce here, including olives, oils and dukka.
A little further afield, but certainly worth the trip, Banrock Station makes for a fabulous afternoon out. A nature reserve, a restaurant on stilts and a quintessential Riverland location sets the scene for a tranquil afternoon filled with food and wine.
Visit the water tower lookout
If you’ve never been to Berri before, what better way to get a grasp of the place than from up high. Climb up the water tower lookout to gaze down over the Riverlands from 16-metres up. The ideal time to visit is at sunset when the colours of the landscape are overwhelmingly orange.
Take a walk along the riverfront
Berri Historic Riverfront Walk is a great option if you’d like to stretch your legs but also learn a little about the town of Berri. Stroll along the picturesque riverside at your own pace. The riverside walk is only 1.4km in length and will take you no more than 20-30 minutes. The trail connects with the Lion Allan Thurmer Recreational Trail which is 3.4km, so add on another section to explore more of the area.
Berri Historic Riverfront Walk will guide you past many historic sites of interest. This includes an Aboriginal heritage area which displays a mural based on the Ngurunderi Dreaming story of the origins of the Murray River. Stop to look at the monument erected in 1936 which marks the spot where Captain Charles Sturt passed way back in 1830. On your way, you’ll also walk past Berri Ferry Landing, which functioned until 1926. You can also find a tribute to Jimmy James – a famous blacktracker.
Canoe or Kayak on the Murray River
Canoeing or kayaking in Berri has to be the ultimate of all activities in Berri! The Murray River offers guests the ultimate rural-Australian experience. Remarkable, endless networks of waterways which meander and wind through the national parks, make the Murray River a stunning place to hire a kayak or a canoe. Pay a visit to Canoe Adventure and hire a kayak or canoe. Get up close and personal with the local nature and wildlife as you float down stream.
Granted, this one is a little different. If you’re looking for things to do in Berri which aren’t your typical holiday activities, this might be your kind of day out. Zip yourself up inside a giant, inflatable ball and roll across the water at Lake Barmera. If this is for you, head to Bluebird Cafe in Barmera where you can get involved. The kids are going to love this one.
Visit the Murray River National Park
Just a short drive from Berri, you’ll find Murray River National Park. The out-of-this-world combination of red earth and the meandering Murray make for a wonderful location to take a hike. Wetlands alive with aquatic bird species also make the Murray River National Park great for bird watching. The park covers 13,000 hectares and is divided up into three separate areas, made up of floodplains and wetlands. Shorter walks of around 2-4km are also easy to follow if you’re bringing the whole family. Choose Murray River Trails to discover the Murray with a knowledgeable guide.
Take your children to Monash Adventure Park
Monash Adventure Park is the best local park in the region. Kids can spend plenty of time here exploring and playing at the playground. Plus, theres mini basketball, free electric barbecues and picnic facilities as well as a paddleboat kiosk so that you can paddle around in the water. The whole family can spend some time here.
Take a boat ride on the Murray River
Orange riverbanks and peaceful landscapes make the Murray River a wonderful and totally relaxing place to take a boat ride. Hop onto a short boat trip on the boat, ‘Missy’ for an immersive experience within nature. Sit back and enjoy the quintessentially Australian scenery as you glide down the river. Grab a drink onboard and glance out of the window at the scenery which seemingly changes around every corner!
Ride across the Riverland on a horse
Just a short drive from Berri, towards Waikerie, you’ll find Benson Park. Benson Park is a 500 acre property offering horse trail rides. Talk about idyllic. As you ride through the river flats, gorgeous bushland and undulating terrain, you’ll have the ultimate immersive Riverland experience.
Take a sunset canoe tour
Witness the Murray River in a whole new light and book yourself a place on a sunset canoe tour in Berri. Experience the rich biodiversity of the Riverland as you glide through the stunning waterways of the Murray for two hours. When it comes to things to do in Berri, this has got to be one of the most extraordinary experiences.
Take a Riverland birdwatching tour
If you’re interested in getting more familiar with the local wildlife, Bellbird Tours offers small group tours for birdwatching. Professional guides will lead you around the stunning environment of the Riverland, on a birdwatching adventure. If it’s photography that interests you, you can also join a photography excursion and capture some awesome shots of the wildlife and landscape as you go.
Restaurants in Berri
No doubt on your trip you’ll be seeking out some restaurants in Berri to indulge on some hearty local produce and sip on some local wines. There are a number of restaurants in Berri and its surroundings, ideal for a heart-warming evening meal. The Mallee Fowl Restaurant, a themed restaurant nestled within eleven acres of bushland is a dreamy place to spend an evening. Designed to resemble an early settlement dwelling, this restaurant very near Berri serves Australian cuisine and offers a real local vibe.
If you’re looking for restaurants in Berri itself, there are also excellent some options. Berri Hotel Bistro provides a super friendly, casual environment perfect for a lazy lunch or long dinner (even with the kids). Views onto the banks of the Murray River make the Berri restaurant totally relaxing, and if you’re staying at the hotel too, no need to drive home!
You might also want to check out The Tavern at Big River Gold and Country Club which has recently been renovated to perfection. If you’re staying at the hotel on site, the Tavern is only a garden lit pathway away from your room. The Tavern welcomes golfers, locals, tourists, kids and anyone else in need of a tasty meal. Delicious bistro style dining, a wonderfully stocked bar and a lounge area with a play area for kids, makes this choice perfect for long winter nights. Burgers, steaks, salads and much more can be found on the menu in this very relaxed restaurant in Berri.
Pop into a friendly local cafe
When the need for a coffee arises, make sure you visit River Jacks Cafe to satisfy your coffee cravings. This family-owned business, in operation since 2016, serves excellent coffee as well as European-style cuisine sourced with local produce. A friendly and relaxing atmosphere will welcome you in and you won’t be able to resist the homemade cake. Sit out on the stunning waterside deck and chill out in the sun, surrounded with captivating Riverland views.
Book your trip to Berri
Less than three hours by car from Adelaide, Berri is the South Australia Weekend Escape you may have been seeking. Looking for hotels in Berri? Take a look at our two recommendations for accommodation in Berri, each offering a unique Riverland experience.
The Berri Hotel
Located right in the heart of the charming town, The Berri Hotel is one of the best places to book your accommodation in Berri. The hotel is next to the river and has an unbeatable location. Those who are looking for a romantic getaway or an action-packed weekend with the family are well catered for here. The modern Berri Hotel Bistro situated within the hotel itself offers a dining experience suitable for couples, families and friends. Rooms at the Berri Hotel are comfortable and modern, with deluxe rooms, family rooms and even budget rooms available for booking.
The Big River Golf and Country Club
Found centrally within the town, the Big River Golf and Country Club is another excellent option when it comes to accommodation in Berri. Built to be a golf resort-style hotel, Big River Golf and Country Club is set amongst lush gardens and has a golf course. A swimming pool and a tranquil, green setting contributes to the picturesque setting and suits those looking for a relaxing getaway. The newly refurbished modern Tavern is a great addition to your stay. Found within the hotel itself, the casual yet chic dining option is only a few steps away from your room and offers views across the sweeping golf course.
Grab yourself a cosy room at one of these excellent hotels in Berri and spend a weekend exploring the Riverland.
Book a room at The Berri Hotel.
Book a room at The Big River Golf and Country Club.
For some more information regarding things to do in the wider Riverland region, check out this recent blog.