The historically colourful town of Tanunda is at the centre of South Australia’s prime wine producing district, the Barossa Valley
. A sizeable town of more than 3500, Tanunda has grown out of the village of Langmeil which was established in 1843 on the banks of the North Para River by the first wave of Germans to settle in the Barossa, most of whom were Silesian and Prussian refugees fleeing religious persecution. The character of the village is preserved in its magnificent old Lutheran churches: Tabor, with an interesting orb atop its spire, Langmeil, approached down a stately avenue of cypress trees, and St John's with its life-size statues of Peter, Paul, Moses, Jeremiah and Christ.
Other notable features around the town include Goat Square, also known as "Die Zeigenhart", once used as a meeting place and for bartering of goods. The town's main street, Murray Street, not only has the Barossa Wine and Visitor Centre, with its excellent introduction to winemaking in the area, but also has a selection of interesting shops and cafes. The old Post Office on Murray Street now houses a museum, with displays relating to the history of the Barossa Valley, in particular to its German heritage.
There are a number of cooperages around the town, where wine casks and kegs are made. They are open to the public so you can see this ancient skill being practised.
Storybook Cottage and Whacky Wood is a children's theme park with rides and games based on storybook characters.
Enjoy a scenic drive through the Barossa Ranges where bushland and high country vineyards meet. Menglers Hill Lookout offers great views across the endless patchwork of vineyards. The Heysen Walking Trail and the Mawson Cycling Trail both cross the ranges. The are some good bushwalks in Kaiser Stuhl Conservation Park at the top of the range.
But of course, the Barossa Valley is famed for its wineries. Tanunda itself is surrounded by vineyards, with eight wineries on its doorstep and many more a short drive away. There are cellar door tastings and sales, restaurants where fresh local produce is matched with delicious local wines, picnic areas and so much more.
The biennial Barossa Vintage Festival takes place at Easter with events staged all over the Barossa Valley, culminating in the Grand Parade featuring over 100 decorated floats.
Barossa Vintage Festival (Easter, biennial)
Things to do:
In the area:
- Barossa Wine and Visitor Centre - Murray Street
- Lutheran churches - Tabor, Langmeil and St John's
- Post Office Museum
- Storybook Cottage and Whacky Wood
- Wineries - cellar door tastings and sales, dining, picnic areas
- Scenic drive - through the Barossa Ranges to Menglers Hill Lookout
Find out more about the Barossa Valley
Photo courtesy of SA Tourism