Nuriootpa is the commercial heart of the Barossa Valley, a world renowned winemaking region approximately 70km north of Adelaide. The township is laid out along the banks of the North Para River. The area, originally known as Angas Park, was surveyed in 1841 with the arrival of early settlers, William Coulthard and Matthias Lange. Coulthard, who established the Red Lion Inn, laid out the town. The settlement became known as Nuriootpa, and rapidly grew due to its location on the route to the Kapunda copper mines.
This walk will guide you through the heart of the town and showcase some of Nuriootpa’s significant sites.
1. Coulthard Reserve
Coulthard Reserve was bequeathed to the Nuriootpa community by town benefactor William Coulthard following his death in 1953.It includes picnic and BBQ areas and the Barossa Bush Chapel.
2. Barossa Bushgardens and Bush Chapel
The Barossa Bushgardens were established in 2001 as a community project to promote and conserve plants native to the Barossa region. It is set within seven hectares, featuring a number of display gardens.
3. Centennial Park and the Kaesler Caravan
Centennial Park opened in 1936 as part of South Australia’s centenary celebration. The park incorporates the Barossa Tourist Park and the town’s sporting facilities. The Kaesler caravan, located within the park, was built in 1931 by G ‘Pop’ Kaesler and is the second of its kind to be built in Australia.
4. Coulthard House
Early settler/town founder, William Coulthard began building this house in 1855. Coulthard migrated to South Australian in 1836. Ever the explorer, he later headed north in search of grazing land and died of thirst in 1858. The house remained within the family until 1958 when it was purchased by the local community for £7000.
5. Nuriootpa High School
The main high school building was built in 1937. Twenty acres of land was purchased from William Coulthard, grandson of the first William Coulthard. Coulthard donated sandstone for the building’s façade. At the front of the school, a curved wall known as the War Memorial Wall honours old scholars killed in action during World War II.
6. Band Hall
Music is an integral part of community life, as such the Nuriootpa Town Band was established in 1880. The present band hall, an unusual nine sided building, was constructed in 1980, marking the centenary of the town band.
7. Coulthard Uniting Church
The Coulthard family gifted this charming building in honour of the district’s pioneers and the Methodist congregation. It was built in 1936 as part of the state’s centenary celebrations.
8. Schaedel House
Carl Schaedel built this historic gem in the early 1870s. The basement was used by Schaedel’s son, Wilhelm, as a carpentry workshop where he handcrafted furniture and coffins. Local legend states that on hot days, Wilhelm’s wife would use a coffin as a cool resting place.
9. St Petri Lutheran Church
The present church was built in 1968 to celebrate the centenary of the congregation. It incorporates the bell tower from the 1927 building.
10. Soldiers Memorial Hall
The foundation stone for the institute was laid in 1924. The 1924 building replaced an earlier structure located on the southern side. Plaques on the front of the building commemorate early explorers of the region. The institute became an important cultural and education centre. It housed South Australia’s first free country library.
Originally called the Leila Bullock Kindergarten, it opened in 1947 as part of the Nuriootpa War Memorial Community Centre project.
12. NWMC Swimming Pool
The swimming pool opened in 1945. It was built largely by volunteer labour. Another of the town’s living war memorials, it boasts one of just a few 50 metre pools in country SA.
13. RSL Hall
The RSL Hall was built in 1952 by volunteer labour led by Arthur Bounds, Esq. A plaque and rose bush honours service personnel who served and have since died.
14. Linke’s Bakery
This family run bakery opened in 1938. The present tearooms operate in the original family home. Bread deliveries were originally made with horse and cart, with the horses grazing on the site of the present kindergarten.
15. St. Boniface Anglican Church
This church was built in 1904 from Bethany bluestone. The porch was added in 1936 as part of South Australia’s centenary celebration.
16. Linke’s Central Meat Store
This family owned business was established in 1938. Prior to being a butcher shop, the building served as a cordial factory and bicycle shop.
17. Angas Park Hotel
Built in 1856, the hotel takes its name from the original survey title. The façade and bar are from the original building.
18. Senior Citizens Centre
The centre was first housed in Nissan huts, originally bought after World War II for youth club rooms. The present building was developed through local and government support. Although the Senior Citizens Club has since ceased operation, the building is still used for various community activities.
19. Vine Inn
The hotel is located on the site of William Coulthard’s original two room, gum slab hut, built in 1843. He established the Red Lion Inn in 1849 to cater for the rapid influx of people into the district, as well as the bullock team drivers passing through to the Kapunda copper mines. It was purchased by the town in 1937. It’s managed by a board for members and some profits are put into the community through local projects and sporting sponsorship.
20. Community Cooperative Store
The ‘Co-op’ was established in 1944, when the community purchased Sheard’s store. It operates with a board of management on a share buying and interest paying scheme.
21. Former Post Office
The town’s first post office opened in 1851 in W. Strother’s store. The Post and Telegraph Office opened in 1879, on the corner of Murray and Gawler Streets, at the cross roads for mail coaches travelling from surrounding districts. The original building was demolished and rebuilt in 1991.
22. Robin’s Bridge
Built in 1967, this bridge commemorates the Robin’s family contribution to the development of the town. The family planted an extensive apple and pear orchard in the late 1800s. Para House, adjacent to the bridge, was the Robin family home.
23. Elderton Vineyard
Sam Elderton Tolley developed this vineyard in the early 1900s. The cellar door building, built in 1880, was originally a market gardener’s cottage and later became the vineyard foreman’s home.
24. Tolley Reserve and Locomotive
Adjacent to the North Para River, this is a popular scenic reserve. It forms part of the Linear Park Walk. Some fruit trees from the original Robin family orchard remain. It is also home to an RX Class Locomotive No. 217 which was built at the end of the 1800s and retired in 1969 after travelling more than one million miles.
25. Beckwith Park
The southern end of the town was an early focus for processing locally grown produce and led to the development of the railway from Adelaide in 1911. The complex was previously home to winemaking companies, Kaiser Stuhl and Tolley Scott and Tolley. Each year, the TST chimney displays the colours of the local premier football team.