One of the major towns for wine grape growing in the Barossa Valley and the commercial centre for the Valley, the town is run largely on co-operative lines. There are between 40 and 50 wineries in the area.
Where is it?: 72 km north east of Adelaide on the Sturt Highway; 270 metres above sea level.
Nuriootpa (the name is reputedly an Aboriginal word meaning 'meeting place') is recognised as the commercial centre of the Barossa Valley. It is a substantial and rapidly growing centre with a population in excess of 3,000 people which services the 42 wineries which exist in the area. Perhaps the most immediate impression on the visitor is the fact that vines seem to grow everywhere down the main street on shops old and new. It is a vine town.
Built features: wineries; Mintaro Slate Quarries; Robinson's Cottage (1851); Magpie & Stump Hotel (1851); Council chambers; historic bullock stables; Reilly's Cottage Gallery and Wines (1870s); Teapot Inn; The Old Manse; Pay Office Cottage; The Mintaro Institute (1878); Mintaro Mews; Olde Devonshire Arms (1856); ' Kadlunga' (c.1874); St Mark's Church of England (1850-51)
Coulthard House: Located on the corner of Murray St and Penrice Rd this beautiful building was constructed by William Coulthard in 1855. Built of local bluestone it is superb example of an elegant building from the mid-nineteenth century. It used to be the town's information centre. It is now the National Office of the Apex Clubs of Australia. When it was the Tourist Information Office it had a caravan outside which had been built in 1931. It is particularly fascinating being made from such unusual materials as pressed metal (which was on the outside).
Luhrs Pioneer German Cottage: To the west of Nuriootpa is the tiny settlement of Lights Pass (named after Colonel Light). It is noted for its two Lutheran churches (a reminder of the strong German influence in the valley) and Luhrs Pioneer German Cottage. This fascinating historic cottage is open most days from 10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. It was built in 1848 by the first German schoolteacher in the Barossa Valley, J. H. Luhrs, and is now on display with an interesting collection of German artefacts.
Penfolds Wines: Located on the Barossa Valley Way just south of Nuriootpa, Penfolds Winery is the largest winery in the Barossa Valley. It is a huge undertaking producing a wide range of wines. The famous Penfolds Grange is not grown and produced here. It is located on the edge of the Adelaide Hills. The Nuriootpa winery is noted for its Kaiser Stuhl and Tollana brands. There are regular tours of the winery. It specialises in red and white table wines and fortified wines derived from cabernet, shiraz, riesling, semillon and chardonnay. It is open seven days a week for tastings and sales.
Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park
Nestled in the Barossa Ranges between Tanunda and Angaston, this park offers excellent opportunities for bushwalkers with two walking trails ’Äì the 2.4km Stringybark Loop providing a taste of the park’Äôs natural landscapes, while the Main Fire Track provides access to the Pewsey Vale Forest and Heysen Trail. You’Äôre sure to spot a kangaroo or two, especially early mornings and on dusk.
(7 km west)Greenock is a village on the north-west edge of the Barossa Valley in the heart of wine making country. Characterised by tree-lined streets with shady peppercorn trees, the town is located on the famous Heysen Trail. It was named by George Fife Angas' secretary, James Smith, after a port on the River Clyde in Scotland. The village green is a popular spot in the centre of town, which comes alive when the Santos Tour Down Under cycling race runs.
The Greenock Aviation Museum is a private collection of preserved aircraft, replica aircraft, restoration projects, scale model aircraft, and general aviation memorabilia. Included in the museum is the largest public display of 1/72 scale model aircraft in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 1400 models displayed in glass cabinets surrounding the walls of the museum.
Cockpit sections in the museum include a partially restored Boomerang, several CAC Wirraway sections in varying degrees of restoration, Fairy Battle two-seat bomber/trainer with engine, Avro Anson Mk 1, Airspeed Oxford Mk 1 and De Havilland Mosquito. The collection also includes two gun turrets, a Fraser-Nash turret from the Wellington Mk 1 Bomber, and a mid-upper turret from the Avro Lincoln. Location: Kapunda Road, Greenock.
Greenock's Old Telegraph Station, built in 1860, was one of the original telegraph stations in South Australia. Today, it has been lovingly restored and is a beautiful Barossa bed and breakfast. Visitors can relax in peace and quiet while still based in the heart of the Barossa.
Prior to European settlement a small number of Aborigines were well established in the district. They lived on a diet of grass seeds (made into a kind of damper), kangaroos, wallabies, possums, lizards and fish and protected themselves against the winter cold with possum skin rugs. Their life was simple but perfectly in tune with the climate, flora and fauna of the region. Periodically they would gather to exchange goods and to engage in complex social rituals. It is believed that Nuriootpa was one of the major gathering points in South Australia.
Soon after the arrival of colonists in South Australia in July, 1836 expeditions were sent out to explore the hinterland. By December 1837 explorers had reached Lyndoch and by 1838 other explorers had reached the Murray River passing through the Barossa Valley. The valley was named by Colonel Light after Barrosa (Hill of Roses) in Spain where he had fought against the French in 1811 in the Peninsula War. The spelling mistake was never corrected.
By 1839 Colonel Light, the Surveyor General of South Australia, was selling off large tracts of land in the valley. The area around Nuriootpa was sold to George Angas and became known for a short time as Angas Park. The town grew quite dramatically in the 1840s with the discovery of copper at Kapunda. It became an important stopover point for miners and bullock drivers on their way from Adelaide. It was this increase in trade which saw William Coulthard build the Red Lion hotel (a slab hut) in 1843 to slake the thirst of the passing trade. It was around the Red Lion that the town grew. Coulthard laid out the town in 1854 and by 1855 he was so successful that he had built himself a beautiful bluestone mansion.
The 1950 Australian Grand Prix, which was Australia’Äôs premier motor race of that year, was held on a temporary course utilising roads in and around the town of Nuriootpa on 2 January 1950. The race was won by Doug Whiteford driving a Ford V8 Special.
Today Nuriootpa is a mixture of the old and the new. It has an appealing main street and in the spring and autumn the vines give it greater appeal that most other service towns.