Southern Encounter Experience


  • Picturesque Adelaide Hills 

  • Mount Barker township

  • Fleurieu Penisula and Encounter Bay

  • Free time at Victor Harbor

  • Coastal railway where the train runs along the beachfront

  • Murray River Port of Goolwa

  • Historical Port Elliot

  • Victor Harbor Horse drawn tram

  • Mount Lofty Ranges

  • Ex South Australian Railways heritage carriages

  • Ex SAR steam locomotive RX or 620 class 

  • Murray River Paddle Steamer Oscar W

  • Heritage precinct of Goolwa and Victor Harbor

  • Whale watching from June to October

  • Local Festivals and Markets

Victor Harbor Township
Victor Harbor Township

press to zoom
Visit Strathalbyn
Visit Strathalbyn

press to zoom
Steam Train Tourist Railway
Steam Train Tourist Railway

press to zoom
Victor Harbor Township
Victor Harbor Township

press to zoom

Travel from the City of Adelaide through the lush green Eucalypt forests of the Adelaide Hills to the township of Mount Barker, home to the SteamRanger Heritage Railway.

Board the popular Southern Encounter train for our journey that takes us back in time when the railways were the only way to travel throughout the countryside of South Australia.

Our train pulls away from the Mount Barker Railway Station as we make our way out of newer residential subdivisions and into the rolling hills and pastures of the Mount Lofty Ranges, through the gums and past the grazing livestock with the odd kangaroo bounding along the fence line to move away from our historical engine and carriages.

Past through the township of Strathalbyn where the heritage listed railway station and yard is just like stepping back in time to the 1950’s. Sit back and listen to the clickety clack of the rail as we travel over the plains through wheat fields with the odd splash of the vibrant yellow canola.

View the might Murray River at the riverport of Goolwa as we retrace the journey of Australia’s first public railway when the paddle steamers would off load their wheat, wool and freight to the railway which connected with sailing ships at the deep sea ports of Port Elliott and Port Victor.

These days the coast line between Goolwa Beach, Middleton, Port Elliott and Victor Harbor is where many South Australians take their summer break and holidays, enjoying the cooler temperatures and gentle sea breeze.  Winter time brings in a new visitor to the region attracted by the beautiful coastline, Southern Right Whales.

With Whale season in full swing between the months of June to November, a sighting is ever possible as our train travels through the sand dunes on what is one of Australia’s closest beach railways.

On arrival at Victor Harbor enjoy free time to explore the historical port town and holiday village. Enjoy lunch at one of the many hotels, bakery, fish and chip shops, cafes or restaurants. Or perhaps enjoy a spot of shopping in the main street, Ocean Street.

Other historical attractions include the South Australian Whale Centre, the National Trust Museum, Customs House and Station Master’s Residents or enjoy a trip on the Horse Drawn Tram to then explore Granite Island.

Reboard the train after our 3 hour stop over to take our journey back up to Mount Barker. Sit back, relax, take in the fresh sea air and recharge the batteries after a great days outing to Victor Harbor.

At the end of the day enjoy being dropped back to your city accommodation. 



DEPARTS: 08.30 am from Adelaide Central Bus Station and selected city hotels. 

RETURNS: 19.15 pm (7.15 pm)

DATES OF TRAVEL for 2021: 

WHATS INCLUDED: Adelaide accommodation pickup and drop off, travel by road from Adelaide to Mount Barker, informative commentary through the Adelaide Hills to Mount Barker, train journey on Steamranger Heritage Railway's Southern Encounter train from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor and return, return road transfer from Mount Barker to Adelaide.