Barossa Valley Attractions
The Barossa Valley is comparable with the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. It was given its name by Surveyor-General William Light in memory of Barrosa in Spain, where he had fought in a decisive battle in 1811.The district was settled in the 1840s by British and German immigrants. Some of the original German place names were replaced during the First World War by English names.The flat valley, where the main settlements lie Lyndoch, Tanunda and Nuriootpa, is traversed by a busy road from Gawler to the Sturt Highway. The attractions it offers to tourists are festivals with folk singing and dancing. There is plenty of accommodation for visitors, but at festival times it is fully booked.
The Barossa Valley's Vintage Festival is held in March or April in odd-numbered years, with processions, brass bands and maypole dancing.
Lyndoch (pop. 700), at the end of the 19th C was a wheat-growing area. Château Yaldara with its crenellated tower is like a French château, Karlsburg like a German castle. Château Yaldara contains a collection of fine porcelain, pictures and other works of art, mainly by European artists, and a collection of mechanical musical instruments.
Centrally situated in the Barossa Valley, is Tanunda (pop. 3100), which grew out of a German settlement called Langmeil. It is a popular tourist resort (hotel, motels, campsite) in which German traditions and cuisine are still maintained.The Barossa Valley Historical Museum has an interesting collection of material on the history of settlement in the valley.From Mengler Hill there are good views of the surrounding country. The town has three Lutheran churches, including the Langmeil village church, which is approached by a long avenue of cypresses.
Kapunda (pop. 2000) is the center of a farming area in the Barossa Valley. In 1842 rich deposits of copper were found in the area, and Kapunda became the first large mining town in Australia, with a population which reached 10,000 at its peak. By 1888, however, the mines had to be abandoned because of flooding. Many buildings have survived from the early days of the settlement and are protected as national monuments, including the school, the courthouse and a number of miners' houses. The informative Historic Mine Walking Trail takes visitors round the abandoned copper mine.The former Baptist church (1866) is now a museum on the history of the town.
Angaston (alt. 381 m; pop. 2000) is the highest settlement in the Barossa Valley. It 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 historic buildings, including the mansion of Collingrove (1850).
In Springton is the ancient Herbig Tree, an enormous hollow gum tree in which a pioneer settler named Herbig is said to have lived with his family.
Nuriootpa (pop. 3300) is the largest settlement in the Barossa Valley and its commercial center. Coulthard House (1855), a handsome two-story settler's house built of bluestone, is now a museum.
Barossa Valley Pictures
Map of Barossa Valley Attractions