Berri Riverside Holiday Park
Berri, South Australia
2019 Best Grey Nomad
This is truly five-star service and amenities at a community campsite!
The Berri Riverside Holiday Park, owned by the Berri Community War Centre, is eight acres of lush gardens and grass located opposite the banks of the Murray River in South Australia's Riverland fruit-production epicentre.
It is a large secluded park where locals sharpen their hospitality skills and hone their tourism talents to ensure that every visitor walks away dazed by the exquisite brilliance of their experiences at this unique community facility. Think Palazzo Versace-level customer care on a budget right on the Murray. It is nothing short of spectacular!
Berri is primarily an agriculture and viticulture town, known for its grapes and oranges. The original home of the Berri fruit juice company, the town kicked started when a river port was needed on this stretch of the Murray River. Irrigation from the river allowed Berri to prosper and today it remains a lively town with the architecturally interesting Visitor Centre and an alfresco cafe on the river's edge at the bottom of the main street. It is only a 10-minute stroll from the caravan park.
While Berri boasts some fantastic visitor experiences (see below), you may struggle to pull yourself away from the caravan park thanks to a list of amenities that you usually see at fancy resorts and a fabulous array of organised social activities.
Your schedule could include reading the newspaper daily, canoeing the Murray, a leisurely swim (even in winter as one of the pools is heated), lunch at the onsite cafe, mini golf in the afternoon, daily drinks at the fire pit (with marshmallows in winter), pizza nights each Wednesday and Saturday, special occasion markets, and sports night events on the big screen. And of course you can not go past a sunset cruises on the park's very own cruising restaurant. Imagine a gourmet BBQ on the water starting with a complimentary glass of punch and a side plate of nibbles on arrival followed by a main meal extravaganza and dessert while watching the magnificent Murray slip by.
Location: 87 Riverview Drive, Berri
Open: All year round
Facilities: Where do we start? 128 powered sites - 12 ensuite sites, nine drive-through and all except 13 are grassed. Pet-friendly, The park has a kiosk, coffee shop, mini golf, pizza oven, laundry, camp kitchens, BBQs in four landscaped areas, two swimming pools (a lagoon entry one and a heated lap pool) as well as a new cruising restaurant. There is a licensed bar and even Fido will get a pat as the workers wander by!
If you can drag yourself away from the Berri Riverside Holiday Park then the town and surrounding region is jam-packed with interesting attractions. Here is just a small sample:
Berri Riverfront Walk - Starting not far from the park, this walk (one of many throughout the region) introduces various people, places and events that have helped forge the town you see today. It starts with "A Special Place for Jimmy James" - a monument to a famous local Pitjantjatjara blacktracker, the historic Berri Ferry landing, the post WWII Veteran's Memorial, a monument to Captain Charles Sturt's passing in 1830 and, if you keep walking to the Berri Bridge, then there will be two things you'll discover. One is solitude and the second is spectacular art.
The Ngurunderi Dreaming story - The bridge pylon is the site of a new Indigenous art mural which showcases the yabbies (crawfish) found in the Murray. The site used to have an old mural bolted to the bridge using jarrah beams. Sadly, the beams deteriorated with termite damage and the mural became badly weathered and faded. So the original artists - Garry Duncan Artist (who also painted the terrific silos at Waikerie) and Shane Karpany, created a more durable new mural, working this time with Jason Karpany and Gladys Sumner. The original 1997 mural design was adapted to shine through in new metal screens at the site, forming an entrance to a Ngurunderi Dreaming trail along the river.
Loxton's sculpture trees - The trunks of lopped Aleppo Pine trees have been transformed into public art in Loxton. Riverland artist Tim Baulderstone was commissioned to carve 16 sculptures, shaping and carving the trunks with a chainsaw and an angle grinder to create stunning pieces inspired by nature.
River Tastes Food and Beverage Trail - This trail winds its way through Berri and the surrounding towns, introducing hidden gems and delectable treats bound to make your mouth water. Three on-farm participants near Berri are the family-owned, organic and certified 919 Wines, Bella Lavender Estate with what they claim to be the Riverland's best wood fired pizza, locally roasted coffee, home made sweets and scones as well as lavender farm products, and Berri Estates winery and cellar door.