Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Barossa Valley
The beautiful Barossa Valley, about 60 km northeast of Adelaide, is one of Australia's oldest and most famous grape-growing regions. Carved by the North Para River, this fertile valley was settled by German and British immigrants in the 1840s and its villages are steeped in European charm. Heritage buildings, antique stores, stone cottages, cafés, and craft shops line the leafy streets, and award-winning restaurants spotlight the region's many gastronomic delights. Fertile soils and a gentle climate with hot summers and wet winters nurture a bounty of high quality fresh produce. Foodies can feast their way around the valley sampling scrumptious fruits, hand-crafted cheeses, smoked meats, and traditional German breads and pastries.
Art lovers will also find some treasures. The Barossa's hills and valleys have long been the muse for many painters, sculptors, and photographers who showcase their work in local galleries. Sightseers can also cruise the many scenic drives in the region, or hop aboard a hot air balloon or helicopter for an eagle's-eye view of the verdant landscapes. Accommodation is plentiful. Guests will find an array of plush retreats - from cozy bed and breakfasts, heritage cottages, and historic homesteads to elegant French-style chateaus.
Angaston is the highest settlement in the Barossa Valley and the most English in flavor. Settled mainly by British immigrants and Cornish miners, this quaint tourist town takes its name from George Fife Angas, one of the founding fathers of South Australia, who paid the fares of free settlers and provided them with land. Angaston has preserved a remarkable number of historical buildings, among them old stone churches, a grand town hall, and the 1850 Collingrove Homestead, which is also a romantic weekend retreat. History buffs can visit some of the town's architectural gems on the Heritage Walk of Angaston, and stop by the cafés and antique stores in the town's lovely shopping precinct.
In the heart of the Barossa Valley, Tanunda grew out of a German village called Langmeil and still retains its delightful German traditions and cuisine. A few of the village's original ironstone cottages and barns remain. Along with Angaston, this is one of the most tourist-orientated towns in the valley, with plenty of accommodation, restaurants, and shops. Founded by deeply religious immigrants, this small town is home to four Lutheran churches, including Langmeil village church at the end of a long avenue of cypresses.
For an overview on the town's history, stop by the Barossa Valley Historical Museum or follow the 2.5 km Tanunda Heritage Trail. At the Old Mill Gallery, visitors can admire paintings and drawings by local artists, while the Barossa Regional Gallery hosts evolving local and touring exhibitions. For beautiful sightseeing views of the surrounding countryside, stop by the Mengler Hill lookout on the road to Angaston.
The Barossa Valley is famous for its artisan foods and the local farmers markets are the best place to sample the produce and buy direct from the food producers. At the Barossa Farmers Markets, dozens of stallholders sell everything from organic fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked breads, and free-range eggs to ethically raised meats. Sleepy heads can refuel with coffee and goodies at the Breakfast Bar. For details about attractions in the area, stop by the information booth.
The Mount Pleasant Farmers Market is another popular Saturday morning stop with farm-fresh produce, flowers, honey, baked goods, and fresh seafood. Both markets are the perfect place to stock up on edible souvenirs from olive oils, sauces, and condiments to nuts and hand-made chocolates.
- Barossa Farmers Market: Sat 7:30am-11:30am
- Mount Pleasant Farmers Market: Sat 8am-noon
- Barossa Farmers Market: Vintners Sheds, corner of Nuriootpa and Light Pass Roads, Angaston
- Mount Pleasant Farmers Market: Mount Pleasant Showground
Lyndoch and the Barossa Château
Once a wheat-growing area, Lyndoch is one of the oldest settlements in South Australia. A highlight here is the elegant French-style Barossa Château where visitors can book high tea, explore the art and antique gallery, and stroll in the 22-acre rose garden. Art enthusiasts also enjoy the Peter Franz Fine Art Gallery in Lyndoch with paintings, photography, ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.
Settled by Cornish copper miners, Kapunda is now the center of a farming area in the Barossa Valley. In 1842, when rich deposits of copper were found, Kapunda became the first large mining town in Australia. But by 1888, the mines were abandoned due to flooding. Many buildings from those early days are now protected as national monuments, including the school, courthouse, and a number of miners' cottages. The informative Kapunda Mine Trail takes visitors on a journey through the region's mining past.
To learn more about the history of this Celtic town, visitors should stop by the folk museum in the former Baptist church or visit the Taste of the Region Interpretive Centre in the basement of the Kapunda Visitor Information Centre. Art lovers will also find plenty of diversions. Kapunda's Community Gallery displays the work of national, regional, and local artists and hosts several exhibitions a year, and visitors can see local artists at work in their studios on the Kapunda Arts Trail.
Herbig Family Tree
In the little town of Springton, the ancient Herbig Tree, is a huge hollow red gum and reputedly the former home of pioneer German settler Friedrich Herbig and his family. The 300-500-year-old tree stands by a small stream and measures 7 m in diameter and 24 m tall. The first two Herbig children were born in the tree before he built a pine hut and stone cottage nearby. Herbig family reunions are still held here every 5 years or so.
Location: Main Rd, Springton
Nuriootpa, thought to come from the aboriginal word for meeting place, is the largest settlement in the Barossa Valley and its commercial hub. First stop should be a visit to 1855 Coulthard House. Once the home of the town's founder, William Coulthard, this handsome two-story bluestone building is now a museum. Garden lovers will appreciate the Barossa Bushgarden with indigenous plantings from the region, and Nuriootpa Linear Park by the North Para River is a prime picnic spot and a lovely place for a stroll along the scenic walking trails.