South Australian Heritage Railways 5 Day Discovery Tour
Saturday September 28 - Wednesday October 2, 2019
Departing from Adelaide
Join Rail Tours Australia in celebrating and discovering the heritage railways of South Australia on a 5 day tour showcasing Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges, Mid North of South Australia, the Adelaide Hills and the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula. Visit and explore preserved and operating heritage railways and tramways, world class museums, significant historic railway infrastructure and heritage sites over the 5 days. Experience over 3 separate gauges of railway that all played a significant role in the development of the colony and the history of South Australia.
National Railway Museum
Steamranger Southern Encounter
Port Pirie Railway Station Museum
Wadlata Outback Centre
Pichi Richi Railway - Explorer
Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre
Tramway Museum, St Kilda
Burra Railway Station
Semaphore Beach Railway
DAY 1 - SATURDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER 2019
Enjoy the first day exploring the fine city of Adelaide with our coach touring the wide streets and parklands of this well planned capital. Learn more about the colony’s earlier beginnings and the development of the railways of South Australia.
Continue to the historical area of Port Adelaide, home to the National Railway Museum. Be guided around the National Railway Museum by staff and be entertained by some of the stories shared and enjoy the informative displays throughout the pavilions. Home to a large range of exhibits over 4 or so gauges including South Australian Railways steam and diesel locomotives, Commonwealth Railways narrow gauge rollingstock and the famous Tea and Sugar train to name but a few of the 100 or so pieces on show.
Take the opportunity to enjoy some free time for lunch around the historical nearby wharf precinct of the Port and to view some of the historical boats such as the 1864 built “City of Adelaide” clipper ship.
In the afternoon enjoy additional time at the railway museum or visit the nearby South Australian Aviation Museum. Travel the short distance to the Semaphore to Fort Glanville Steam Railway. This 18 inch gauge railway travels 2 km along the beachfront from the popular seaside suburb of Semaphore to the historical Fort Glanville.
Visit the birth place of South Australia, Glenelg. Many visitors to Adelaide jump aboard the tramway to this picturesque beachside location to enjoy the sun and the sand, the shops and the food. Take in the history and views of Glenelg prior to being given the opportunity to stay longer and to travel back to Adelaide on the tram or head back to your city hotel aboard the coach.
DAY 2 - SUNDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2019
Today be collected from your Adelaide city hotel and travel up into the Adelaide Hills to the Steamranger Heritage Railway to travel aboard the Southern Encounter to Victor Harbor. On the way to Mount Barker we will follow the train line some of the way through the townships of Aldgate, Bridgewater, Balhannah, Mt Barker Junction and Littlehampton.
At the Mount Barker Railway station we will step aboard the Southern Encounter and start our rail journey from the Adelaide Hills to the South Coast travelling through the townships of Strathalbyn, Finniss, Goolwa and Port Elliott to arrive at Victor Harbor. The Southern Encounter train consists of 1920’s and 1940’s carriages built for the South Australian Railways and is normally hauled by one of the two operating steam locomotives Steamranger has from their fleet, 621 or RX 207.
The Southern Encounter stops at the Murray River Port of Goolwa for 30 minutes where you will be able to explore the wharf precinct including the 1908 built paddle steamer “Oscar W” and the local markets.
Once you arrive at Victor Harbor, you will have 3 hours to enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants or cafes, visit the national trust museum in the old Customs House and to travel on the only horse drawn tram in Australia , the Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram to Granite Island.
We will then return to Mount Barker on the Southern Encounter where on arrival we will travel via coach to the old german village of Hahndorf to enjoy dinner before being transferred back to your Adelaide Accommodation.
DAY 3 - MONDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER 2019
Depart Adelaide and travel into the mid north of South Australia following the main line through Two Wells, Mallala and across to the old Broad Gauge railway town of Balaklava, before arriving at Port Wakefield for Morning Tea.
Continue further north to the iron triangle town of Port Pirie, once the terminus for the South Australian Railways broad gauge railway from Adelaide, narrow gauge railway from Peterborough and the Silverton railway of Broken Hill and the Commonwealth Railways standard gauge Trans Australian Railway from Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie. Today only the standard gauge railway remains and the main Adelaide to Port Augusta line bypasses this old railway town. We will enjoy lunch in the town and also visit the local railway and national trust museum at the 1902 built Victorian Pavilion style designed Ellen Street Station building where we can explore both the local and railway history of Port Pirie.
Next travel north to Port Augusta, located on the doorstep to both the Flinders Ranges and the Outback of Australia. Visit the award winning Wadlata Outback Centre where you can explore the "Tunnel of Time" and learn about the creation of the Outback and the Flinders Ranges, travel with the early explorers who opened up the interior of Australia, experience the School of the Air and much more.
Check into your accommodation and refresh prior to our coach transfer to the Port Augusta Railway Station to meet our own charter train on the Pichi Richi Railway to Woolshed Flat. Step aboard the 1928 ex South Australian Railways Brill Railcar and enjoy a journey along the coast plains and into the majestic Flinders Ranges.
Arrive at Woolshed Flat with a fading light and enjoy a BBQ dinner as the stars and night sky appear above.
After dinner, travel back out of the Flinders Ranges through the dark of night to Port Augusta. Watch for Kangaroos along the track and enjoy the night time lights of coastal communities and towns of the Spencer Golf. On arrival at Port Augusta be transferred back to your accommodation for your night's rest.
DAY 4 - TUESDAY 1ST OCTOBER 2019
Enjoy a fully cooked Breakfast prior to boarding the coach for our transfer to the Flinders Ranges township of Quorn, home of the Pichi Richi Railway. Today we get the opportunity to travel on the northern half of the railway on the Pichi Richi Explorer.
Arrive at Quorn Railway Station to be welcomed by one of the Pichi Richi Railway's fleet of steam locomotives and heritage carriages that make up the consist of today's train. Step aboard the beautifully restored carriages and travel down the line through the picturesque Pichi Richi Pass , through 1870's built cuttings and over old bridges and viaducts to arrive at Woolshed Flat. After the locomotive turns and runs around the train, we will return back up the track to Quorn.
On arrival in Quorn, enjoy lunch prior to our guided tour of the Pichi Richi Railway depot. Inspect some of the ex Commonwealth Railway and South Australian Railway narrow gauge passenger carriages, diesel and steam locomotives including Steam Motor Coach no 1, fondly known as the "Coffee Pot".
Next head via coach to Peterborough, home to the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre. On arrival we will visit the main street and railway station precinct, home to a couple of static displays of rollingstock, a memorial and many heritage buildings and shops.
Check into our night's accommodation and take the opportunity to freshen up prior to dinner at the motel. After dinner, we visit the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre at the old Peterborough Roundhouse and workshops to enjoy the educational and entertaining Sound and Light show that will make the roundhouse come to life once again.
DAY 5 - WEDNESDAY 2ND OCTOBER 2019
Our final day of the tour will see us checking out of the motel after breakfast and heading back to the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre for a guide tour in the day. Learn more about the history of the carriages and museum by one of the friendly guides.
Travel through the mid north of South Australia, following the old broad gauge railway alignment to Terowie. Enjoy a stop to view the environs of the old platforms and what remains of the yard of this once very busy break of gauge station.
The Burra Railway Station has been lovingly restored from dereliction and is now home to a B & B, museum and a function centre. The friends of the Burra Railway Station are also in the process of restoring an old timber body passenger carriage, keeping the railway yards maintained, and have plans to rebuild the 1935 demolished arched roof over the 2 railway lines out the front of the platform. Today we enjoy a visit to this station on the closed railway and and admire the work that has been achieved by many volunteers.
After our visit, travel closer to Adelaide continuing along the old broad gauge railway to enjoy lunch in the township of Riverton. Riverton was the junction of the Clare Valley railway line and is home to a grand national trust listed railway station and building. Take the opportunity as we travel through to admire this historical station.
Our last stop our our tour is the St Kilda Tramway Museum, home to a fine collection of trams and buses from around Adelaide and the country. Enjoy the opportunity to travel on some of the operational fleet of trams prior to enjoying afternoon tea.
At the end of our time at the tramway museum we will then travel to the city of Adelaide where guests will be dropped at their hotels. On arrival in Adelaide, say farewell to your fellow travellers as our tour comes to an end.