The traditional custodians of the area now known as the Southern Highlands are the Gundungurra and Tharawal people. Europeans first visited in 1798 but did not build a formal settlement until 1819. The Southern Highlands’ rich soil soon attracted pastoralists and agriculturalists and, following construction of the Great Southern Railway in the late 1860s, wealthy families from Sydney began building country summer houses in the region to enjoy the cooler highland climate.
The township of Berrima, home of Michael Reid Southern Highlands, was established in 1831. By 1840 Berrima had a Court House and a Gaol and it became an important administrative centre. Situated on the banks of the Wingecarribee River, Berrima is one of the best preserved Georgian villages in Australia. It has a population of about 700.
By car: Berrima is 125 kilometres south of Sydney (less than 1.5 hours’ drive) and 160 kilometres north of Canberra. There is plenty of parking space in Berrima village. The town is only a short drive from Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale, making it a perfect stop on a day trip through the abundant antique shops, manor houses & wineries for which the region is famous.