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Barossa Valley SA The best travel deals are in the bag

Barossa Valley Holiday Destinations & Towns
South Australia

ANGASTON

Angaston is perhaps the most uncharacteristic of the Barossa's major towns. Nestled in the Barossa Ranges at the eastern end of the valley, it has two beautiful parks a small creek flows through its centre and good examples of colonial architecture are dotted throughout the town. Its main industries are wine and dried fruit, principally apricots and other stone fruit. It boasts two of the Barossa's oldest wineries, and a dried fruit outlet. The valley's German influence is over shadowed here by the character of George Fife Angas, a founder of South Australia and sponsor of many of the valley's early German settlers.

BETHANY

This is the valley's oldest German settlement, founded in 1842 by a group of Lutheran families - the settlements biblical name an indication of their devotion. They mapped out their village along prussian lines. The cottages facing the road replicate those the settlers lived in before coming to Australia. Several have been restored and are open to the public in the form of craft shops and art galleries. The village reserve is a great spot for a picnic, even down to the idyllic creek flowing through it. It has a strong resemblance to villages in northern Germany and Poland.

GAWLER

Population: l5.000
Gawler is South Australia's oldest country town, and boasts more grand colonial buildings than most. It was laid out in 1839 and is one of the many places in the state to bear the second South Australian governor's name. In the I9th century it was known as the 'Modern Athens' a reference to the literary nature of its early residents. The 'Song of Australia' was written here by Carl Linger. The town's importance can be seen in its many old classic colonial buildings. Of special note is the entire Church Hill district, one of the few declared heritage areas in the state.

LYNDOCH

Population:706
Lyndoch dates back to 1838 when the colony's surveyor-general colonel William Light named it after Lord Lynedoch, with whom he'd fought at the Battle of Barossa in 1811. A draftsman's slip misplaced the "e". Vines and winemaking have played an important role in the local economy since the early days. The first winery appeared in 1836; today, there are many winemaking operations, small. and large.

MARANANGA

Between Tanunda and Seppeltsfield, this tiny hamlet received its current name in 1918, when a wave of anti-German hysteria washed over South Australia. Before that, it was called Gnadenfrei (meaning 'freed by the grace of god') by its founding German settlers. Progress hasn't been allowed to change the character of the village. Recent developments deliberately reflect the district's past. Several wineries, one with a restaurant, a motel, a metal art forge and an old wares shop add to the character of the old settlement.

NURIOOTPA

Population: 3250
Nuriootpa means 'meeting place,' which stems from its use as a place of barter by Aboriginal tribes before white settlement. Today it is the commercial centre of the Barossa Valley. Founder William Coulthard's name is commemorated in several spots - his house today is the Barossa Information Centre, Coulthard Reserve is a beautiful place for a picnic. The North Para River meanders through the town, and offers several pretty spots for recreation or a picnic - stock up on traditional German fare at the town's butcher and baker.

TANUNDA

Population: 3800
Tanunda is the cultural heart of the Barossa. The most German of all the valley's towns, its name actually stems from the aboriginal word for "watering hole". The town at first centred on the hamlet of Langmeil, the Barossa's second earliest settlement. A short stroll through the town's back streets or around Langmeil's Goat Square quickly makes plain the importance of northern German culture and Lutheranism to the villagers. There are four Lutheran churches and many of the town's old buildings have been registered with the National Trust. For the traveller, Tanunda holds all manner of delights. Wineries surround the town. To compliment the wine, German pastries, breads and wursts can be bought at several shops, or enjoyed at the town's restaurants and tearooms.

BARMERA

Population: 4,399
Barmera sits on the shores of beautiful Lake Bonney, sometimes referred to as the Murray's 'Sparkling Jewel.' Lake Bonney's lovely beaches and waters are perfect for a variety of water sports, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and swimming. The proclaimed nudist beach of Pelican Point is popular with people who like to go skinny dipping or prefer an overall tan. There are several significant sites of Aboriginal occupation and early white settlement around Barmera. advice and information can be obtained from the Barmera Travel Centre.

BERRI

Population: 7,130
Berri, in the centre of the Riverland, has plenty to see and do. Its main industries are citrus fruit and its by products and wine - Berri boasts the largest single winery in the southern hemisphere, Berri Estates.

As elsewhere along this part of the river, water sports and recreation rate highly with locals and visitors. Martin's Bend, a few kilometres east of town is also a popular picnic and water skiing spot. They take their golfing very seriously in Berri, and Berri Golf Club is regarded as a challenging country course with exceptional spots of beauty.

Fast ferries, operating 24 hours a day link Berri with Loxton.

COBDOGLA

This was an early irrigation settlement its name is a corrupted form of the name of the king of the local tribe of Aborigines, Cobdogle. Its earliest settlers cleared the land and dug irrigation channels to breathe life into it.

LOXTON

Population: 7,282
Loxton's earliest white settlers were mainly of German extraction; their determination, hard work and spirit of community continues today in the pride residents have for their town.

Loxton was first sealed in 1895, and the Loxton Historical Village recreates the look and feel of the town as it was in its early years. The town is renowned for the work of its local artists.

MORGAN

Population: 1,265
Morgan was settled in the late 1870s, when Sir William Morgan MP was chief secretary. It quickly became an important port for the river traffic upstream. At one point, when the railway line from Adelaide to Morgan was completed, it was one of the busiest river ports along the entire Murray-Darling river system. The river trade may have died out, but Morgan keeps it alive today with a full working paddlesteamer - the PS Mayflower, built in 1884. Railway services to the town closed in 1969 but the original station has been put to good use as a museum of river and rail history.

PARINGA

Population: 1,582
Paringa is the last riverland town before the Victorian border and the 143 kilometre drive across semi- desert to Mildura.

RENMARK

Population: 7,810

Renmark is the oldest settlement along the Murray, It was founded in 1887 with an agreement between the government and two Canadian irrigation experts, the Chaffey brothers, who pioneered the concept of irrigating land from the river.

Today Renmark is a proud river town, with wide streets, gracious buildings, excellent facilities and a busy economy based on wheat, wool, fruit growing and wine production.

The co-operative spirit has always been high at Renmark, and is best seen in the Renmark Hotel, the first community-owned hotel established in Australia. The town also has plenty of good spots for picnics and barbecues along the riverbank.

WAIKERIE

Population: 4,724
Waikerie is the first major Riverland town encountered travelling the Sturt Highway from Adelaide. The first impression you get is of immense scale - more than 5,000 hectares of fruit orchards and vineyards are under cultivation in what was once desert country. The citrus centre of Australia, Waikerie has the largest citrus packing house in the country and a thriving fruit juice company.

On the north side of the river you find important fossil deposits, one of the few places in Australia where crystallised gypsum fossils exist in great number.

Waikerie is internationally regarded as a gliding paradise where joyrides can be experienced in the gliding season.

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