Looking for a great family outing that is great value and fun for the whole family? This certainly fits the bill!
SASMEE (South Australian Society of Model and Experimental Engineers) Park runs a variety of ride-on model steam trains. It is located at Millswood and is open to the public on the first Sunday and third Saturday of each month from 2 to 4.30pm.
We must emphasise that fully enclosed footware is required for train rides and that children riding must be accompanied by an adult. For safety reasons SASMEE is strict about these rules.
SASMEE Park is an idyllic setting with shady trees and a big pond where you can look out for steamships, sailing boats and even a submarine.
However the main attraction are these wonderful ride-on model steam trains which are lovingly looked after and operated by the members of this Society.
There are two railways to ride on from two Stations – the SASMEE Park Station and the Millswood Station.
Just a little tip – the SASMEE Park Station is the first one you will come across when you enter the park so many people line up at this one, sometimes not realising that there is the Millswood Station over the other side of the park (walk around to the left of SASMEE Station and follow the path or go through the park and over the bridge). We found the line-up to be a little shorter at the Millswood one.
There are tunnels to go through, bridges to cross or go under, and signals operating. It is also located right by Millswood Train Station so trains on the Noarlunga line will regularly go past, adding to the train atmosphere.
You will see evidence of the history of SASMEE Park dotted around the stations.
Other things to look out for are:
- The steam house with operating engines – ask if you can sound the whistle
- The oldest working steam engine actually manufactured in SA
Please be aware that proper fully enclosed footwear is strictly required for riding on the trains.
Yes, there are line ups for the train rides but when we visited last, we were there for over 2 hours and got 7 rides in. I have to say I didn’t notice any meltdowns or tantrums in the line-ups. Kids don’t seem to mind lining up so much when there is fun to be had.
The entry fee is only $6 per person (Adults and Children 3 years and over, as at January 2015) and includes unlimited rides. When you usually pay at least $5 per person, per ride on amusement rides at most events, this is really great value, especially as we got 7 rides while there.
Sometimes it’s the extra things like snacks that make a family outing expensive (like buying nibbles at the movies) but the canteen was cheery and cheap too.
We had a couple of hot drinks and a crispy cup of hot chips for $5.
You can of course bring your own snacks or a picnic. There are picnic tables and seating but not a lot of shelter apart from shady trees.
Parties are welcome there. Hosts can prepay for guests and arrange for ticket vouchers prior to the day. However be aware that they cannot reserve spaces in the park so best to get there early. The parties there on the day we visited all brought their own table and chairs.
SASMEE is a volunteer organisation so all the drivers, canteen ladies and other members run this to provide a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy this park and the train rides.
Please remember to thank them for doing a great job and to help them keep the park tidy. We had such a great time there and you guessed it…my kids did not want to leave!
For more information and to see their calendar for open days, visit the SASMEE website here.
Please note that it is CASH only – no EFTPOS/Credit Card facilities are available.
For other similar Clubs and Societies in SA visit the Australian Model Engineering website here for details. The MV Rail in Morphett Vale is similar (at Wilfred Taylor Reserve, Wheatsheaf Road, Morphett Vale). See their website here.
What: SASMEE Park Train Rides
When: The first Sunday and third Saturday of each month from 2 to 4.30pm. (Gate may open as early as 1:30pm to assist getting people in).
Where: Millswood Crescent, Millswood SA (directions here)
Who: Train fans, Families