Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Karoonda SA


Postcode: 5307

Karoonda is in the middle of the Murray Mallee region of South Australia at geographic coordinates 35°05’S, 139°53’E (60 km northeast of Murray Bridge). Karoonda takes its name from the Aboriginal word for “winter camp”.

It was founded on wheat growing early in the 20th century (proclaimed on 11 December 1913), but the cleared land is also suitable for raising merino sheep. There is a larger-than-life sculpture of a Merino ram in the park in the main street to emphasise this. A number of other agricultural and horticultural industries are now also represented in the district.

Railways were built in 1911-1914 to open up the mallee, and Karoonda was a junction with branch lines to Waikerie and Peebinga, both were closed in 1990, but the line from Tailem Bend to Loxton remains open and was converted from broad gauge to standard gauge.

Karoonda briefly shot to international fame in 1930 when a meteorite fell to earth just to the east of the town on the night of 25 November. Karoonda Area School was the first area school in South Australia. Karoonda is in the District Council of Karoonda East Murray, the state electorate of Hammond and the efderal Division of Barker.

Pioneer Park on East Terrace is being developed as a Malleelands pioneer Railways and farm museum, with dispays of harvest machinery , plows, railway rolling stock and facilities already in place. The LIONS Nature Trail & Bush Walk is adjacent.