The Berry Estate Trails project was founded by Derek Jorgensen in collaboration with the Berry Chamber of Commerce & Tourism in 2015.
On a trip to Queenstown in New Zealand, Derek was impressed with their multi-use trail network of paths, which attracts 214,000 users each year. He thought that the idea could be replicated in our local area to provide a new and safe way for local residents and tourists to enjoy the natural beauty of our area by bicycle or on foot.
The routes will be built in the area considered to be the estate owned by David Berry: The old Coolangatta Estate, and parts of Kangaroo Valley which were joined with Coolangatta under David Berry’s stewardship of the lands. This has given rise to the name “Berry Estate Trails”.
The trail routes will take users off main roads and connect the local towns in the area. Connections between Bomaderry, Shoalhaven Heads, Berry, Kangaroo Valley, Gerroa and Gerringong are under consideration. It is envisaged that they will run on some sections of quiet country roads (with speed limits 60kmph or less), and on new trails constructed on public “paper roads” and on other government and privately owned land.
It is intended that the routes will traverse various points of cultural, environmental and historical interest and feature interpretive signage.
Casual cyclists, walkers, runners and in some cases, horse riders would be encouraged to share the trails. While they will provide utility and enjoyment for local residents, the network is envisaged to become a significant tourism asset for the area. The Queenstown model suggests that there is great appeal in this kind of infrastructure.
Construction and funding
Their construction is envisaged to be relatively low-cost, using gravel instead of poured concrete or asphalt. Gaining permissions, gathering funding and organising construction of the network will be approached on a route-by-route basis. A mix of public and private funds will be sought to support construction of each route in the network.
The project is coordinated by The Berry Estate Trails committee, which is a sub-committee of the Berry Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. While currently supported and managed by the Chamber, both members and non-members are encouraged to volunteer to help implement the vision. In due course, the Berry Estate Trails committee may form its own incorporated body and run commercial operations to financially and logistically help support maintenance of the trail network.
The trails project has achieved in-principle support of Shoalhaven City Council and local members of state and federal government.