Tag Archive: daytrip from Sydney



ย One thing I love about Australia is its many hamlets. Small, quaint, charming, enchanting villages either in the mountains or by the coast. I remember the first time I visited Katoomba. Took the train aiming to spend a whole morning viewing the magnificent gorges of the Blue Mountains and doing some bushwalking. I did. But I remember more that one afternoon I walked aimlessly along the streets of Katoomba. No Maccas (McDo) or KFC food chains here. Instead, I found tiny cafes, charming bookstores, arts and crafts stores, and food and delishops.

 

 

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Echo Point

 

My Katoomba Bookstore

My Katoomba Bookstore

 

 

Back in 1999, I stayed in an artist’s home. It’s quite a walk from the Katoomba Train Station, and it didn’t help that there was no heating around the house. Next day’s bushwalking was a struggle that I kept wishing I was on the cablecar with glass floor that kept passing us above the bush. When I had the afternoon to myself, I mechanically walked towards this bookstore that has seen better times. Old, unpretentious, but oozing with that old world charm. At the time, there was a baby grand piano in the center where someone (I assumed he was the owner) was playing some classical tunes. He offered me a cuppa and encouraged me to browse around lugging my cup of my favorite brew. What a relaxing afternoon.

 

 

Cablecar takes you right to Katoomba's iconic landmark -- The Three Sisters in Echo Point.

Cablecar takes you right to Katoomba’s iconic landmark — The Three Sisters in Echo Point.

Bookstore in Katoomba

Bookstore in Katoomba

 

 

Katoomba is truly an artist’s haven. ย The oldest cafe in Australia is also to be found here, so lovingly restored and preserved. They even hold movie nights here! And in neighboring Leura, one is encouraged to simply walk around and appreciate the local architecture and gardens. There are bushwalking options leading all the way to Echo Point or to Leura Falls, if that suits your fancy. Or maybe you would like to just stay around Leura Mall and enjoy the flowering cherry trees. Amazing how they have preserved this historic street to include the Leura Post Office which now houses a news agency. Have a meal in one of the restos and coffee shops before checking out the many antique and gift boutiques.

 

 

We had a fantastic lunch here!

We had a fantastic lunch here!

 

 

 

 

Paragon Cafe is the oldest cafe in Australia.

Paragon Cafe is the oldest cafe in Australia.

You'd love dog-friendly Leura!

You’d love dog-friendly Leura!

 

 

And not to forget, take home some of those gourmet jams, dips, marmalades and tea concoctions. You don’t know how a simple jar can “extend one’s holiday”.

 

 

The old Post Office now houses a news agency.

The old Post Office now houses a news agency.

Grab a table at the Solitary Cafe. Just beware your coffee easily turns cold.] Grab a table at the Solitary Cafe. Just beware your coffee easily turns cold.


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It’s Autumn in Berry, Shoalhaven.

We took off early for a family weekend in a holiday home by the lake. Not easy with 6 grandchildren of 2 teenagers and 4 under 10. Chaos cuts across almost everything that involved the 6. Who sits beside whom? Who shares a pie or a platter of scones with clotted cream and jam? Which gelato flavors to order? ย Where to park? Where and what to eat? Who else hasn’t peed before the next long drive?ย 

 

 

 

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A very interesting one-story hotel in Berry.

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Where to have a brekkie in Berry? So many choices.

 

 

First Pitstop identified. The heritage town of Berry in the Shoalhaven region along the South Coast is just slightly over an hour’s drive south of the state capital of Sydney. It is a small town, but packed with many historic buildings as well as a number of curio shops with arts, antiques and crafts. Very charming.

 

 

 

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The main street in Berry is lined with historic buildings, interesting curio shops, many arts and crafts stalls.

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On this store is a big sign that says “POTTERING AROUND IS THE PERFECT PASTIME”. Only in Berry, Shoalhaven!

 

 

Population is only a couple of thousand. The few we met who manned the curio shops didn’t seem to mind our little ones sneaking in and out of stalls, pushing chairs here and there to get closer to a favorite cousin, or to slurp from someone elses’s milk shake. An elderly couple even approached us while enjoying our brekkie, just to say how delighted they were with our little one who took off his hat to fill it up with water from a drinking fountain! (That could only be Xion)

 

 

 

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Cousins!

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The kids loved the scones and devonshire tea from Gourmet on Broughton Cafe. Berry, NSW.

 

 

Earlier on, we debated on whether to try the famous doughnuts of Berry or stick to our fav scones and tea. The nearby gelato and available parking clinched the decision to go for scones. Not a bad thing at all. GOURMET ON BROUGHTON CAFE had enough tables to sit all of us, with the Berry Museum, Berry Memorial and a couple more historic buildings just a few meters away.

 

 

 

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Before long, the little ones easily found their way to the nearby gelato. We also just needed to cross the street to check out the arts and crafts stalls. Many interesting stores here. And the vibe is very “Berry” relaxed. It was so refreshing to be chatting with so many cheerful strangers!

 

 

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We were all packed inside our cars and well on our way when we passed the doughnut shop. Hmmmm. Maybe next time ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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