Lyndoch is a town in Barossa Valley, located on the Barossa Valley Highway between Gawler and Tanunda, 58km northeast of Adelaide. The town has an elevation of 175m and an average rainfall of 560.5mm. It is one of the oldest towns in South Australia. Lyndoch is in the Barossa Council. It is in the state electoral district of Schubert and the federal Division of Wakefield.
Prior to European settlement a small number of Aborigines were well established in the district. They lived on a diet of grass seeds (made into a kind of damper), kangaroos, wallabies, possums, lizards and fish and protected themselves against the winter cold with possum skin rugs. Their life was simple but perfectly in tune with the climate, flora and fauna of the region.
Soon after the arrival of colonists in South Australia in July, 1836 expeditions were sent out to explore the hinterland. By December 1837 explorers, led by Colonel Light, had reached Lyndoch. On 13 December 1837 Light recorded ‘At length about 5 p.m. we came to a beautiful valley which I named Lynedoch Vale after my much esteemed friend, Lord Lynedoch.’ In 1838 other explorers (Hill, Wood and Wiles) passed through the area on their way to the Murray River. They noted: ‘March 3 (1838) At 9 o’clock we arrived at Lynedoch Valley – a beautiful place, good land and plenty of grass, but no springs or running water. Saw many kangaroos during the morning.’
By 1839 Colonel Light, the Surveyor General of South Australia, was selling off large tracts of land in the valley. Edward Rowland took up land in the early 1840s at what was soon named Rowland Flat. The valley was named by Colonel Light after Barrosa (Hill of Roses) in Spain where he had fought against the French in 1811 in the Peninsula War. The spelling mistake was never corrected. Lyndoch and the Lyndoch area can reasonably lay claim to being the first place in the Barossa Valley where grapes were grown. By 1847 a Mr Gilbert had planted an acre of grapes at Pewsey Vale. Similarly Johann Gramp planted grapes at Jacob’s Creek and by 1850 he had produced his first wine.
Today Lyndoch is in the heart of the Barossa and is surrounded by a large number of both major and boutique wineries.