The District Council of Karoonda East Murray area is located in the Murraylands Region of South Australia, about 150 kilometres east of the Adelaide CBD. The District Council of Karoonda East Murray area is bounded by the District Council of Loxton Waikerie area in the north and north-east, the Southern Mallee District Council area in the south-east, the Coorong District Council area in the south-west, and the Rural City of Murray Bridge and the Mid Murray Council area in the west.
The District Council of Karoonda East Murray area includes the localities of Bakara, Borrika, Bowhill (part), Copeville, Galga (part), Halidon, Karoonda, Mantung (part), Marama, Mercunda (part), Mindarie, Perponda, Sandalwood, Wanbi and Wynarka.
The District Council of Karoonda East Murray area is predominantly rural, with a small township at Karoonda, and numerous smaller settlements. Land is used largely for agriculture, particularly grain growing and wool production, with some pig raising and cattle grazing. The District Council area encompasses a total land area of about 4,400 square kilometres.
The original inhabitants of the District Council of Karoonda East Murray area were the Ngarkat Aboriginal people.
European settlement of the area dates from the mid 1800s, with land used initially for sheep grazing. However, this was unsuccessful, due to the harsh land conditions and drought, with grazing ceasing by the 1880s. Population was minimal until 1912 when the railway line was opened, with the township of Karoonda developing around the railway station. As land became more arable, it was then used mainly for grain growing, with some grazing. Rapid growth took place from the 1910s through to the 1920s, particularly in and around Karoonda. The population of the Council area declined from the 1960s, falling from about 2,200 in 1961 to about 1,500 in 1986. The population continued to gradually decline from the early 1990s, falling from about 1,300 in 1991 to about 1,000 in 2011.
Major features of the Council area include Billiatt Conservation Park, Lowan Conservation Park, Karoonda and District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Karoonda Railway Station Museum, Karoonda Golf Club, Karoonda Recreation Reserve, Pioneer Park and Railway Terrace Lawns.
The District Council of Karoonda East Murray area is served by the Karoonda Highway.
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