Ride the Cockle Train between Goolwa & Victor Harbor

Ride the Historic Cockle Train between Victor Harbor and Goolwa.

The Cockle Train is a favourite activity for many families visiting or living down south on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  The train travels along the oldest steel railed railway in Australia dating back to 1887 when it was constructed to provide a link between the River Murray and the ocean wharfs at Pt Elliot and later at Victor Harbor.

The view from therein is spectacular – it climbs to the top of the coastal cliffs and passengers can experience some of the most picturesque coastal scenery on the Fleurieu Peninsula.  From the train windows there is nothing separating you from the beach below and a perfect view of the Southern Ocean – in winter the home of Southern Right Whale.

The number of trains operated varies through the year. Passengers can buy tickets at any of the three stations for one-way journeys in either direction along the line or you can select a round trip. Trains wait for about 30 minutes at both Goolwa and Victor and roundtrip passengers can extend this period by returning on a later train.


Trains are generally formed by their fleet of heritage Redhen and Brill Railcars, along with assistance from diesel locomotives. Steam is featured during most school holiday’s and on days the Southern Encounter operates from Mt Barker.

The train ride is a 1.5 hour round trip, or 30 minutes each way.

Buying Tickets:

The Cockle train does not have reserved seats.  Passengers can buy their Cockle Train tickets from Victor Harbor, Pt Elliot or Goolwa station ticket offices on day of travel.  Offices open at least 30 minutes before the first train departure of the day.  


Running Days:

  • Sundays, Wednesdays (+Saturdays October-April)
  • SA School Holidays

The Cockle Train does not run everyday – check the timetable here for confirmation.

Why is this iconic journey called the “Cockle Train”?

In early days of settlement the local residents would take a horse drawn train to Goolwa to collect Cockles to be used for bait, from the sandy beaches near the Murray mouth. It was a great day’s outing and thus gained its name.

things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Steamranger website or follow them on Facebook.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: Steamranger Heritage Railway Facebook 


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