A concrete statue of a ram and neighbouring towering grain silos emphasise Karoonda and the surrounding district’s dependence on wool and grain producers. Indeed, the annual Karoonda Sheep Fair is one of the biggest events of its kind on the South Australian calendar.
About 60km due east of Murray Bridge in the heart of the Mallee, Karoonda, which takes its name from the Aboriginal word for ‘winter camp’, has a showpiece railway museum and pioneer park, while a meteorite which fell from the sky in 1930 is on display in the local council office.
The town also boasts a picturesque golf club and well-shaded picnic grounds and the 1340 locals and their guests really let their hair down at the annual Australian Music Festival held over three days in September.
Tailem Bend and the Murray River are just half an hour’s drive to the south-west and the 104km trip north to Loxton takes you through the hamlets of Wanbi and Alawoona. Wanbi’s centrepiece hotel, as it happens, is the only pub between Karoonda and Loxton.