Home to the famous Illawarra Shorthorn cattle, the Jamberoo Valley was settled in the 1820s when loggers staked their timber claims and, as the land was cleared, the dairy farmers moved in.
Old churches, a country pub and an original school building preserve the link to early colonisation and, thankfully, the magnificent Minnamurra rainforest has been conserved just 4km out of the Jamberoo township to give visitors an inkling of the original landscape.
Sadly, one of the surviving, mid-19th houses of worship, the Anglican Church of the Resurrection has lost something of its original charm. It was designed by celebrated architect Edmund Blackett, but the congegation found his Norman red brick style too plain and had a tower and other ornaments added. At another stage it seems the wardens found it necessary to plaster the bricks.
The town, 13km west of Kiama, still services dairy farmers, but tourism is the growth industry in the valley. One of the main players in the tourism area is the Jamberoo Recreation Park which features water rides, a shuttle train, a racecar track, menagerie and Australia’s first all-natural flower barn.