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Nuriootpa ( NEWR-ee-UUT-pə) is the major commercial centre in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, about an hour's drive north of the capital, Adelaide, and 77 kilometres by rail. The name of the town is reputed to be the local Aboriginal word for "meeting place".
The first recorded Europeans to visit the locality, on 3 March 1838, were the exploration party of John Hill, John Oakden, William Wood, and Charles Willis, en route to the Murray River from Adelaide.Nuriootpa is situated at the north end of the Barossa Valley, near the Sturt Highway and has a population of over 5704 people, making it the largest town in the area. There are grape-vines growing on some of the buildings in the main streets, and vineyards surrounding the town. It is home to wineries including Penfolds, Elderton Wines, Kaesler Wines, and Wolf Blass.
Since the 1930s, Nuriootpa has been cited as an example of inspired community development. The town's community owned and operated retail businesses have funded public facilities, including the Senior Citizens' Club, the swimming pool, the kindergarten and recreation areas. The short-lived progressive Adelaide movement Common Cause arranged a visit by future Prime Minister Ben Chifley to Nuriootpa in 1944 which led him, inspired by its approach, to promote the town as a model for community co-operation. The Adelaide architect Louis Laybourne-Smith prepared a plan for the town's recreation and education area, known as its 'War Memorial Community Centre' at that time. Much of this plan has been realised, including Laybourne-Smith's unusual 'fan-shaped' Olympic-sized pool.