Nuriootpa's name is thought to be derived from the local Aboriginal word “Nguraitpa” which means “the neck country”, and is a reference to the Dreamtime Story of Yurebilla, and how the landscape from the Mt Lofty ranges through to the Barossa Valley was made.
Today, ‘Nuri’ is the commercial centre of the Barossa. With its population of 5500 (and growing!), Nuriootpa serves more than 50 wineries in the nearby area. Some of the Barossa’s most recognisable cellar doors such as Elderton, the Wolf Blass Visitor Centre and Penfolds sit alongside newcomers including Yelland and Papps and First Drop Wines - who also boast a tapas bar in their cellar door for nibbles between sips.
There are some fascinating and eclectic second hand stores in Nuriootpa, including Wilhelm Schaedels Circa 1857 in the main street (sometimes mistaken for a museum!) and the Community Helpers Warehouse – often recommended by locals as a true treasure troeve of the Barossa.
And while it may be hustle and bustle on the main strip, just outside the township the Barossa Bushgardens are a peaceful wildlife haven. This community project is successfully propagating a wide variety of native plants which are indigenous to the Barossa region. They welcome visitors and can suggest a number of beautiful picnic spots within the grounds or further afield.
In fact, lovely picnic spots abound in Nuriootpa, including Linear Park, Coulthard Reserve, Tolley Reserve and the Barossa Bush Chapel. To really make the most of these, consider picking up a Butcher, Baker, Winemaker Trail picnic hamper at the Barossa Visitor Information Centre. This self-drive tour of the Barossa’s food and wine highlights includes a number of stops around Nuriootpa – enjoy the fruits of your travels while relaxing next to the beautiful North Para River which meanders through the town.
For more information on the Butcher, Baker Winemaker Trail or activities in and around Nuriootpa, contact the Barossa Visitor Information Centre.