The Berri Barmera Council area is located in the Riverland Region of South Australia, about 230 kilometres north-east of the Adelaide CBD. The Berri Barmera Council area is bounded by Unincorporated South Australia in the north, the Renmark Paringa Council area in the east, the District Council of Loxton Waikerie area in the south-east, Unincorporated South Australia in the south-west, and the District Council of Loxton Waikerie area in the west.
The Berri Barmera Council area includes the localities of Barmera, Berri, Cobdogla, Glossop, Katarapko, Loveday, Monash (part), Overland Corner (part) and Winkie.
The Berri Barmera Council area is predominantly rural, with small townships at Barmera and Berri, and smaller settlements at Cobdogla, Glossop and Loveday. Land is used largely for horticulture and viticulture, particularly citrus, fruit and grape growing. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 480 square kilometres.
Berri is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "a wide bend in the river". Barmera is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning “lake” or “place of king spears”.
The original inhabitants of the Berri Barmera Council area were the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal people.
European settlement of the area dates from the late 1830s, although population was minimal until the 1850s, with land used mainly for grazing. Growth took place during the early 1900s, spurred by the establishment of the Berri Irrigation Area in 1921, the opening of the railway line in 1928, and soldier settlement after the war. Fruit growing and viticulture became important industries. An Internment Camp was established at Loveday in 1941, housing up to 5,400 internees and prisoners of war and 1,500 Australian Military personnel, until its closure in 1946. Growth continued from the post-war years, with the population of the Council area rising to about 7,700 in 1961 and then to about 10,900 in 1986. The population was relatively stable during the 1990s, and then declined slightly, falling from about 11,200 in 2001 to about 10,500 in 2011.
Major features of the Council area include Murray River National Park, Loch Luna Game Reserve, part of Cooltong Conservation Park, Wilabalangaloo Reserve, Lake Bonney, the Murray River, Bassham Wines, Berri Cellar Door, Nookamka Estate Wines, 919 Wines, Bella Lavender Estate, Riverland Central Plaza Shopping Centre, Rocky’s Hall of Fame and Pioneers Museum, Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum, Barmera Theatre Art & Craft Gallery, River Lands Gallery, Barmera Golf Club, Berri Golf Club, Riverland General Hospital, Barmera Health Service, Berri Bridge Mural, Barmera Recreation Centre, Hayden Stoeckel Swimming Pool, Alan Glassey Park, Barmera Playspace, Barmera Showground, Monash Adventure Park, Martin Bend Picnic Ground and TAFE SA (Berri Campus).
The Berri Barmera Council area is served by the Sturt Highway.
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