South Australian Heritage Railways 5 Day Discovery Tour 2019

From AUD $2,429.00
  • Duration: 5 Days (approx.)
  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Product code: RE912E5B/280919

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.

Day 1 - Saturday 28th September, 2019 

Departing from Adelaide / included - Morning Tea / National Railway Museum/ Semaphore Railway/ Glenelg Tram

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 early beginnings and the development of the railways of South Australia.

Continue down to the historical area of Port Adelaide, the museum capital of South Australia and home to the National Railway Museum, the South Australian Maritime Museum and South Australian Aviation Museum. The Port Adelaide area, which dates back to the 1830’s, is slowly being developed into a tourism hub with a large number of historical buildings , landmarks and treasures benefiting from government, community and private investments.

Be guided around the National Railway Museum by museum staff and be entertained by some of the stories within 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. Visit one of the many hotels or eateries in the area whilst viewing some of the historical boats such as the 1864 built “City of Adelaide” clipper ship.

After lunch continue exploring the National Railway Museum or if you have an interest in aviation, visit the nearby S.A. 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.The railway is operated by the National Railway Museum and is enjoyed by families and railway enthusiasts during the school holidays and Sundays from October to April.

The birth place of South Australia is the suburb of Glenelg. Many visitors to Adelaide jump aboard the tramway to this picturesque beachside location to enjoy the sun, the sand, the shops and the restuarants. 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 on the coach.

Day 2 - Sunday 29th September, 2019

Departing from Adelaide / including - Steamranger Southern Encounter to Victor Harbor/ Dinner at Hahndorf

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.

Steamranger Heritage Railway is the operating arm of the Australian Railway Historical Society in South Australia and was formed in 1952 and is still going strong today thanks to the commitment, devotion and hard work of over 200 volunteers.

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. The Tram travels across a 630 metre causeway to the picturesque Granite Island. Approximately 100,000 visitors annually enjoy this experience and it has carried more than 2 million passengers since 1986.

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

Departing from Adelaide / including - Port Pirie Station Museum / Wadlata Outback Centre / PRR Brill Railcar/ Accommodation at Port Augusta

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, which was once the terminus for the South Australian Railways broad gauge railway from Adelaide, narrow gauge railway from Peterborough and Broken Hill and the Commonwealth Railways standard gauge Trans Australian Railway from Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie. Only the standard gauge railway remains today 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 we travel to Port Augusta, the town 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 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. Watch the shadows grow longer as the sun gets lower in the west on this second day of Day Light Savings. 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 the 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

Including - Pichi Richi Explorer/ Depot Tour/ Steamtown / Light & Sound Show / Accommodation at Peterborough

This morning we indulge in a fully cooked breakfast at our Port Augusta accommodation prior to boarding the coach for our transfer to the Flinders Ranges township of Quorn, home of the Pichi Richi Railway. Today we enjoy 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. Take a photo or two of the locomotive turning and running around it's train prior to preparing to travel back to Quorn. On departing for the journey back up the line, sit back and imagine the challenges of rail travel over 100 years ago as this line started to play a major role in connecting the nation from east to west.

Once back in Quorn, we will enjoy lunch prior to travelling the short distance to the outskirts of the town and to the depot of the Pichi Richi Railway. Be guided around on a tour of the depot and hear more about the history of the volunteer railway that started back in 1974. 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 we head via coach to Peterborough, home to the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre. On arrival, 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 accommodation for the night 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. The Centre was formed after the closure of the Steamtown Railway Preservation Society which operated from 1977 to 2002 on a section of the Peterborough to Quorn railway line.

Peterborough has a rich railway history, which was not too far unlike Port Pirie, with all three gauges of railway being represented at one time. The Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre opened in 2009 around the triple gauge turntable and roundhouse and in this time has won many awards for not only it's museum collection, but also the Sound and Light Show that has been presented on most nights to groups of holiday makers and travelers from right around the world.

Tonight we will enjoy viewing this educational and entertaining production from the comfort of an old carriage in the middle of the turntable where through the magic of sound, light and the collection of old heritage locomotives and carriages, the roundhouse will come to life once again.

Day 5 - Wednesday 2nd October, 2019

Including - Burra Railway Station Museum/ Riverton/ St Kilda Tramway Museum

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 guided tour in the daylight. 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 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 now closed railway line 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 Australia. 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 and we will say our final farewells.

Please download the tour brochure at our website for further information and terms and conditions.

Price : $2429 per person

Single supplement $159

Please be aware that you will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Adelaide for Saturday and Sunday. Tour accommodation only includes Monday and Tuesday nights.


The tour includes the following:

  • All coach travel from Adelaide and return
  • Entrance into the National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide with travel on the Semaphore to Fort Glanville Beach Railway
  • Travel on the Glenelg Tram from Glenelg to Adelaide
  • Travel on the Steamranger Heritage Railway's "Southern Encounter" from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor and return
  • Travel on the Rail Tours Australia private rail charter operated by Pichi Richi Railway from to Port Augusta to Woolshed Flat and return
  • Travel on the Pichi Richi Explorer from Quorn to Woolshed Flat and return
  • Entrance to Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre's "Sound and Light Show" and guided tour.
  • Entrance and tram rides at the St Kilda Tramway Museum
  • 2 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners
  • 4 Morning Teas and 2 Afternoon Tea
  • 2 nights accommodation on Monday and Tuesday night only. Please note that guests are responsible for booking their own Adelaide accommodation.
  • Rail Tours Australia host

Please download the tour brochure at our website for further information and terms and conditions.