It was first discovered and named by Europeans on 3 March 1838 when an exploration party of four young horsemen comprising John Hill, William Wood, Charles Willis, and John Oakden camped there on the first overland expedition from Adelaide to reach the River Murray at present Morgan. Oakden reported that the valley was 'swarming with cockatoos, seven of which were shot' to roast for supper. They encamped there at 'a rivulet' they had discovered, later named Yettie Creek.
- "2905.0 - Statistical Geography: Volume 2 -- Census Geographic Areas, Australia, 2006". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Cockatoo Valley (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Register newspaper, 17 March 1838, page 3
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