Local History

Before 1891, events such as agricultural shows, picnics and sporting events were held in a paddock belonging to the Coulthard family.

  When teams sports such as cricket, tennis and football became part of life for the very small community of Nuriootpa , townspeople banded together and raised the princely sum of Seventy Pounds to buy five acres of land bounded by the Moppa Creek, Centenary Avenue and Old Kapunda Road where they created an oval. By 1921 a water supply had been added together with a show pavilion and tennis courts. As had been the custom, the Coulthard family gave considerable financial help. In those days the area was prone to flooding in winter and became a dustbowl in summer. In 1936, the year of South Australia's Centenary it was decided that the towns main project for celebration would be the construction of a new oval complex. William Coulthard offered 15 acres (part of the present site) for One thousand five hundred pounds which amount was considered beyond the means of the committee to finance - so he gave them half the area.
The first show in 1895.
  The Barossa Valley is renowned for its community spirit and one weekend whilst William Coulthard was out of the area over 150 people turned up to a 'working bee' and fenced the whole area. When William returned he found that 18.5 acres had been fenced, but he accepted his loss without complaint, and in his will left a further 6 acres of land and an additional one thousand pounds for maintenance purposes. The park administrators had a desire to be independent of council and to exhibit prudent financial management they sold the old park site for a housing subdivision which enabled them to grade an oval and build a grandstand.

Tourism in the Barossa Valley started more or less by chance. After the second world war when caravan construction was in its infancy and people were able to get out and about hauling their caravans, they began camping by an old gum tree within the present park.

Today the park has over 300 powered sites and thousands of people visit our four star rated park each month and enjoy our facilities and lawned drive through sites.

  There will always be some contentious discussion on who built the first motorhome in Australia but it is generally accepted that one of the first motorhomes built, if not the first, was the one built by Gerhard (Pop) Kaesler who was born at Tanunda SA in 1885 and who, after attending school for only 5 years, worked for a wheelwright and undertaker until 1921. He then bought land at Nuriootpa and set up his own business as a coachbuilder and blacksmith. In 1914 he built a single seater car and 5 years later a 4 seat touring car with a willow tree frame.

He built his first caravan in 1929.

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