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Nuriootpa lies on the North Para River at the northern end of the Barossa Valley. A commercial and service centre, it has a number of government agencies and offices and is one of the valley's larger towns. Production facilities and huge tanks sited alongside the railway line indicate that winemaking is big business in the district. A viticultural research station is located on the eastern outskirts of the town.
In the past, the area of Nuriootpa was an important bartering centre for Aborigines, and the name comes from their word meaning 'meeting place'. Nuriootpa was first settled by whites when William Coulthard built a hotel in 1843 to serve travellers. Today, Nuriootpa is a great place to stay when visiting the wineries, and is also home to the lovely Barossa Bush Gardens.