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Southern Encounter to Victor Harbor

Southern Encounter Experience Tour Anchor
Relive yesteryear with heritage train travel to Victor Harbor 

​​Step aboard the Steamranger Railway's  "Southern Encounter" Train and take the journey back in time travelling along the Victor Harbor Tourist Railway. Enjoy being transported back to the days when the railway was king in heritage carriages dating back to the 1920's. Be hauled by vintage steam and diesel locomotives that escort the train through the picturesque Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula countryside, past gumtrees and farming land, and along the Encounter Bay coastline to the holiday town of Victor Harbor. 


​​Enjoy informative commentary through the Adelaide Hills to the Mount Barker Railway station, train travel from yesteryear travelling in 1920s built heritage railway carriages and vintage steam or diesel locomotives, view the mighty River Murray at the port township of Goolwa, home to the paddle steamer the Oscar W, Free time to explore the attractions of Victor Harbor, experience train travel along the beach of Encounter Bay, Travel along Australia's first public steel track railway between Goolwa to Victor Harbor and take the journey on the horse drawn tram from Victor Harbor to Granite Island.

Tour Details 



Tour code



8:30 am  

Adelaide hotel pickups from 8:00 am 


7:15 pm

What's 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.    

Regions visited

Adelaide Hills 

Fleurieu Peninsula 

Victor Harbor


Start your day being greeted by your friendly guide at your hotel or prearranged pickup location within Adelaide. Your guide will ensure that your experience with us will be relaxing and enjoyable and if you have any special requests on the day, please make sure to let them know.


As our guides are passionate locals, they are more than happy to give additional advice on other attractions or places to visit during your stay in Adelaide.

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 to a 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. Travel through the gums and past the grazing livestock with the odd kangaroo bounding along the fence line moving away from our historical engine and carriages.

Past through the township of Strathalbyn where the heritage listed railway station and yard is a step 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 during springtime.

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, the Southern Right Whales.

With whale season in full swing between the months of June to November, a sighting is always 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 seaside 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 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 you will be collected by the coach at Mount Barker and dropped back to your city accommodation.


The Southern Encounter Experience          


What to Bring          
  • Comfortable enclosed walking shoes

  • sunglasses

  • hat

  • camera

  • warm clothing as the heritage train can be cold in the cooler weather

  • Wet weather clothing for the slight chance of a shower whilst exploring Victor Harbor

Tour Bits & Tips          
  • The train journey travels along the longest preserved railway in Australia with a total distance of 80 plus kilometres.                                                                         

  • Victor Harbor is home to four hotels and other eateries including a bakery, a fish and chip shop and a Subway all within a 3 minute walk from the railway station.                                                   

  • The horse drawn tram that travels to Granite Island employees a team of six or so Clydesdale horses to pull the tram across the causeway throughout the year.                                                

  • If you are feeling hungry on the train trip, walk to the cafe car where you can purchase light snacks and drinks.                                           

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