Coonalpyn is a small town in South Australia 163 km (101 miles) southeast of Adelaide on the Dukes Highway (A8). Coonalpyn belongs to the The Coorong District Council and is in the State electorate of MacKillop and the Federal electorate of Barker.
This town’s name is derived from the Aboriginal word Coonalpyn, meaning Barren Woman. Coonalpyn Downs was chosen by John Barton Hack to name the property and the railway station within this property.
Coonalpyn was originally known as part of the Ninety Mile Desert, until in approximately 1949 when the land was developed by the AMP Society. In 1995, the District Council of Coonalpyn Downs amalgamated with the Peake District Council and Meningie District Council to form the The Coorong District Council. In 1927, the Congregational Church in Coonalpyn erected its church building, and is now the Coonalpyn Uniting Church. Electricity came to Coonalpyn through ETSA in 1962 and a water pipeline was constructed between Tailem Bend and Keith in 1968.
A group of Lutheran Settlers moved to the Coonalpyn District in the early 1920s, the first congregation, Bethlehem Lutheran Congregation, being formed on the 9th of March, 1930. A second congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Congregation, was formed on the 28th July, 1940. In 1952, the two congregations conjointly decided to erect a church and move out of the old town instutite. The church was finished and dedicated in 1953. When Lutheran Amalgamation occurred in 1967, the UELCA & ELCA congregations merged to form the Redeemer Lutheran Congregation, and a new parish was formed which included Tintinara and Meningie.