Berri is a multicultural town with a cafés and a hotel overlooking the river, along with beautiful parks and other shopping facilities elsewhere in the town, such as the Riverland Plaza.
The Berri Visitors Centre shares a spot on the waterfront at the bottom of Vaughan Terrace with the Alba cafe. This is a popular gathering point for Berri professionals and tourists alike, not undue to its waterfront location, alfresco dining and proximity to the visitors centre itself.
The river itself offers fishing, waterskiing and boating. A boat launching marina is located opposite the Berri caravan park on the waterfront. The Martin's Bend wetland offers educational walk and water sports. Nearby is the "Katarapko" section of the Murray River National Park which is a popular area for camping, birdwatching, canoeing and bushwalking.
A past local tourist attraction was the Big Orange, it offered a three-storey high observation deck over the plains and river. The facility also offered souvenirs, refreshments and local produce. Unfortunately, this has since closed. Development ideas for the future of the site include an orchid nursery, waterfall, butterfly house, tropical garden and bird cages.
Horticulture, in particular oranges and grapes is still strong in the area. Berri is situated in an area of 3000 hectares of irrigated fruit orchards.
Largest Winery and Distillery in the Southern Hemisphere
The Riverland is also home to Berri Estates, the largest winery and distillery in the Southern Hemisphere. Each year, Berri Estates crush almost half of the grapes produced in the Riverland, more than 100,000 tonnes, to produce approximately 75 million litres of wine. BRL Hardy established the Banrock Station winery and wetlands at Kingston-on-Murray in the mid-1990s. Banrock aims to rehabilitate and preserve the natural wetlands of the River Murray and raises money to do so through the sale of their wines and funds raised through their ecotourism activities.
Berri Main Events and Festivals
Riverland Wine & Food Festival - October
Tour of the Riverland Cycling - May
Mammoth Monash Market - May
Berri Merri Christmas & Fireworks - November
Riverland Farmers Market - Saturday
History of Berri
The name "Berri" is from the local Aboriginal tribe, Meri, meaning "a wide bend in the river". The area was first explored by European settlers when Charles Sturt navigated the Murray River. Its first impetus for settlement came when paddle steamers came down the River Murray and a refuelling stop was developed. This was to become Berri. The area was also part of Cobdogla Station.
In 1910, irrigation was established and Berri was proclaimed as a town in 1911. Irrigation subsequently led to the establishment of vineyards and fruit orchards (such as citrus, apricots and peaches). A distillery was established in 1918 and rail arrived in 1928. In 1943, "Berri Juices" (Berri Ltd) were first produced. By the 1950s, Berri and other Riverland towns dominated the local economy with fruit and their products.
Transport from one side of the Murray to the other consisted of two parallel ferries. These were replaced by a bridge in 1997 which was opened by the Premier John Olsen. It is the largest of its type in South Australia. Over 13,000 people attended the opening creating the biggest crowd ever brought together in the town. The bridge cost $17 million after 30 years of lobbying. The bridge spans the Murray River between Berri and Loxton. Travelling from one side of the region to the other can now be done in less than 30 minutes.
Climate and geography
Berri exists in a semi-arid location, above Goyder's Line. Berri is surrounded by Mallee scrub. It is 31 metres above sea level. Berri has a dry Mediterranean climate with seasonal temperatures a few degrees above Adelaide's temperatures. The average winter daily maximum temperature is 15.5 °C in July and the average summer daily maximum temperature is 31.1 °C in January. Average rainfall of Berri is 262.0 millimetres. The weather patterns are similar to those of Adelaide.
Art and culture
The Country Arts SA River Lands Gallery in Berri has a new exhibition each month, with touring visual arts shows and Riverland based artists.
Berri also has some beautiful public art work, like the Riverland Vietnam & Post WWII veteran’s war memorial, the Aboriginal dreamtime mural underneath the Berri Bridge, and Jimmy James Memorial on the Berri riverfront.
Jimmy James was a famous blacktracker, who was born around 1910 and belonged to the Pitjantjatjara people. He moved to the Riverland in the 1940s and took his name from his equally famous father-in-law. He was used extensively by the Police in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Northern Territory, to track felons, escapees and missing people. A monument is sculptured out of two slabs of finely polished back granite and engraved with images of birds and animals – a part of Jimmy’s spirit world.
Born in Berri
Archie Roach, singer/songwriter
Ruby Hunter, singer/songwriter
Hayden Stoeckel, Olympic swimmer
Local Cafe's and Restaurants
Services in Berri
Schools located in Berri
- Our Lady Of The River
- Berri Primary School
- Glossop High School