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The Horse, the Cockle and the Coast Day Tour

8 Hours

Private tour

Family friendly

Railway Tour

Learn how the horse and the cockle have influenced the South Coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula

Explore the South Coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula and experience a piece of railway history aboard the Steamranger Heritage Railway's ever popular The Cockle Train. Travel along one of Australia's oldest railways between the mighty River Murray at Goolwa to Middleton, Port Elliot and Victor Harbor.


Once at Victor Harbor, take the historic horse drawn tram to Granite Island, a throwback to the 1850s when the entire railway line was operated by horse. 

Tour Details 

Private touring

$ 265 pp - 2 guests

$ 240​ pp - 3 guests

$ 220 pp - 4 guests

$ 200 pp - 5 guests

$ 175 pp - 6 guests

Tour code​



9:00 am  

Selected Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays

Also daily during the SA school holidays

Adelaide hotel pickups prior to 8.30 am 


5:15 pm

What's included

Intimate, private touring, morning pickup and post tour drop off from selected Adelaide Hotels, informative commentary by a local driver/ guide, bottled water.

Regions visited

South Coast and Victor Harbor

McLaren Vale 

Fleurieu Peninsula


Leave Adelaide and travel south following the Adelaide coastline towards Aldinga. Climb up through the Mount Lofty Ranges past Mount Compass and through dairy pastures and vineyards. Learn more about the development of agriculture in the region as we travel towards the mouth of the Murray River and the river port township of Goolwa.
On arrival at Goolwa, explore the wharf area and the rich river history amongst the riverbank. Pay a visit to the old Goods Shed or inspect the paddlesteamer Oscar W.
                                                                                                                              Step aboard the The Cockle Train and enjoy the journey along one of Australia’s most picturesque railways as the train cuts through the wheat fields to Port Elliot and to the South Coast beaches and sand dunes onwards to Victor Harbor. This line was the states first railway venture and the country's first public railway built to move goods from the Murray River paddlesteamers to sailing ships at the deep sea port of Port Elliot.

Whilst at Victor Harbor enjoy some free time for a bite to eat from one of the many cafes, fish and chip shops or bakery. After lunch, travel along the jetty to the nearby Granite Island on board the Victor Harbor Horse Tram, an icon of South Australia.

Once we have explored Victor Harbor, depart for the return drive back to Adelaide. Enjoy passing vineyards and wineries of the McLaren Vale wine region where we stop at the township of Willunga for an inspection of the disused railway line, now the Shiraz Trial bikeway.

From Willunga take the short drive to McLaren Vale for a visit to the Almond Train shop which has been established in 2 early 1900's timber passenger carriages.

Travel back to Adelaide following the recently extended Seaford railway line. 

  • Adelaide's South Coast to McLaren Vale 

  • River Port of Goolwa

  • Historic riverport buildings including the old Goods Shed

  • Paddle Steamer Oscar W

  • Picturesque coastal railway

  • Steamranger's The Cockle Train between Goolwa to Victor Harbor

  • Victor Harbor Horse Tram to Granite Island

  • Seaside holiday town Victor Harbor

  • Ex South Australian Railways steam locomotives and rollingstock  

  • Lineside photo opportunities

  • Disused Willunga railway station and the Shiraz Trial

  • The Almond Train at McLaren Vale



  • We do require guests to purchase their own tickets for attractions and meals. We do this so guest have options for meals and levels of fares on the train, etc. e.g. Adult, concession, child, family fares are available. Some guests may wish to travel one way on the Cockle Train and some do return journeys. As this is a private tour, we are happy to adjust the itinerary on the day to delivery what you would like to do. (We are happy to include ticket purchases and meals for your group in your tour, however this will be at an additional cost to the advertised price.)

  • There is a range of different meal options at Victor Harbor from bakeries and cafes to sit down multicourse options at hotels and restaurants.


  • This tour is a private tour but can be conducted for groups larger than 6 people.


  • If you are representing a larger group, we can tailor an itinerary to suit your group size and budget. We can supply larger vehicles for groups with the following capacity:12, 20, 24 and 50 guests. Please contact us for more information.

  • Due to the distance traveled, we will only collect from Adelaide cruise ship guests no later than 8.00 am with a return by 6.30 pm. Additional fees may apply for this service. Please ensure these times work with your ships scheduled arrival and departure times.

  • ​​A surcharge may apply on public holidays dependant on the size of the group travelling.​​


The Horse, the Cockle and the Coast Day Tour          
What to Bring          
  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sunscreen

  • Hat

  • Camera

  • Warm clothing through the cooler months of the year.

  • Umbrella during the winter months 

Tour Bits & Tips          
  • May to October is a great time to go whale watching. The Southern Right Whales make their annual migration from Antartica to the warmer waters of Encounter Bay to give birth and nurse their young.


  • 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.                                            

  • The Steamranger Heritage Railway maintain and operate over 80 kilometres of railway line, making it the longest preserved railway line in Australia.                                      

  • Encounter Bay was named by Matthew Flinders after his encounter on 8 April 1802 with Nicolas Baudin, the commander of the Baudin expedition of 1800–03. It is the site of both the mouth of the River Murray near to Goolwa and the tourist towns of Middleton, Port Elliot and Victor Harbor.

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