Berwick is situated in Melbourne's outer south-eastern suburbs, between Narre Warren and Beaconsfield.
Originally a rich agricultural and pastoral area during the 1800s, Berwick developed into a satellite town of Melbourne, eventually being incorporated as a suburb of the city during the 1990s due to thriving property development in the district.
The Berwick of today is a mix of old and new. The commercial centre along High Street and adjacent streets have a 19th-century English village look, with a number of historic buildings, manicured gardens and streets lined with deciduous trees. The Berwick Inn, originally known as the Border Hotel, was built in 1857 and nearby is the Berwick Mechanics Institute & Free Library which moved to its present site in 1880. Berwick's former post office, with its imposing facade and arches, was built on the corner of High Street and Gloucester Avenue in 1885. Several churches around the town centre date back to the late 1800s.
A number of attractive parks are located within the town centre. There are the gardens within the wide central strip of High Street, guarded by two white lion statues in front of the war memorial at the Clyde Road junction. Pioneers Park, located in Lyall Road, is situated on the former site of the Berwick Primary School. The original school building, which dates back to 1870, has been restored and converted into a cafe and function centre. The park is almost 2 hectares in size with a bandstand rotunda, playground, pathways lined with deciduous trees and open gathering spaces.
The grand boulevard of High Street extends eastwards towards Beaconsfield where it is lined with poplar trees and identified as an Avenue of Honour to commemorate those who fought in the First World War.
To the north-west and south of the town centre have been rapid suburban housing developments including the local estates of Timbarra, Brentwood and Berwick Springs. Several local shopping centres exist within those areas including Parkhill Plaza and Eden Rise Village. Berwick's local nightclub, Blitz, is located at Castello's Berwick Springs Hotel complex.
One of Berwick's primary attractions is the Wilson Botanic Park. The 39 hectare site was originally a basalt quarry, but ongoing redevelopment since 1992 has seen it evolve into an oasis of gardens, flora and birdlife with several lakes, picnic areas and scenic walking trails with lookouts.
In contrast to the suburban sprawl that surrounds much of what was the original Berwick village are the rural areas to the north. A drive along the scenic Beaumont Road winds its way through horse stud farms and homesteads, eventually ascending the surrounding hills and offering spectacular views across the district.
A little further north is the small community of Harkaway, nestled within undulating countryside. It has a general store, primary school, recreation reserve and there are distinguished homes along tree-lined streets.
Berwick is host to a number of regular markets. The Akoonah Park Market is held every Sunday at Akoonah Park, off High Street, and offers craft, fresh produce, clothes and bric-a-brac. The Casey Farmers Market is held at the Old Cheese Factory on Homestead Road on the fourth Saturday of each month, with around 30 stalls of fresh food and produce on offer, direct from the grower.
Four kilometres west of Berwick is the suburb of Narre Warren with the large regional Fountain Gate Shopping Centre consisting of major retailers, over 300 speciality stores and a selection of showrooms at the Casey Lifestyle Centre.
* All the above links are external and open up in a new window
© 2004-2013. Travel Victoria - www.travelvictoria.com.au - Victoria, Australia