Missed by the railway route, nearly abandoned, and now wonderfully preserved as a heritage town. The Old Post Office, turn of century old houses like the Harper’s Mansion, the court house, the jail — or should I say “gaol”? — the quaint and still operating bakery cottage. While I’ve kind of read up on this historic town before coming over, Berrima still surprised me. For one, I tasted the best scones ever in this 1850’s bakery cottage, but that’s getting ahead of my story. 😉

 

 

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Don’t you dare miss Devonshire Tea in this 1850’s Tea Room cum Museum.

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Freshly-baked scones, homemade jams, and heirloom tea spoons!

Top of mind to visit in this corner of the Southern Highlands of New South Wales would be Harper’s Mansion, the Court and Jail House, a couple of churches, a few more Georgian houses and public buildings. But if you’ve come here just for Devonshire Tea or to check out some of the family-run cafes, that’s fine. Berrima makes for an excellent day and food trip for couples, families and friends.

 

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Lots of choices. We opted for Two Skinny Cooks. Thank you, Lin, for lunch!

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You gotta love Australia’s sense of history and heritage!

Kids would love the gardens and the maze in Harper’s Mansion. Though the trees reflect winter, the blooms in the gardens signal the onset of spring. A lovely background for the 18th century Georgian mansion which has since been turned into a Museum. The guide “threatened” us with some ghost stories before we toured the mansion, but “no luck”. We must have scared them off.

 

 

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Harper’s Mansion. No ghosts here.

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Gardens behind the Georgian Mansion.

And then, there’s the Court House. And the “gaol”. Complete with cells and jury scenes. Not for kids though. The court scene involved zombie-like characters in a dark room. Walking from the court house, one passes the jailhouse, some brick cottages used by government officials then, the Post Office and surely, you can’t miss the row of cafes just across the street. We didn’t have time to check out the Masonic Temple and the Churches as we lingered over our lunch at Two Skinny Cooks, tried the Maze behind Harper’s Mansion and toured the Court House. Just as well. After all, we can’t miss the afternoon tea at The Old Bakery Cottage before heading home. Priorities! 🙂

 

 

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The Old Court House.

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Here was where the first woman-convict was sentenced to be hanged. Case? Axe Murder of Husband. OUCH!