This is an all day steam train journey from Mt Barker to Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The Southern Encounter operates on the first and third Sundays from June until the end of November.
ALL ABOARD AT MT. BARKER!!
Starting from Mount Barker station in the mid morning, the train winds down the eastern escarpment of the southern Mt Lofty Ranges, passing through several abandoned station sites.
We cross the Angas River and enter lovely Strathalbyn where many Scottish migrants settled in the early 1800s. If you like antiques, you will find plenty here and lots more to see, it's a very nice country town.
Afterwards, we continue southwards across the plains and well away from the main road and across the Currency Creek viaduct and on to Goolwa. At Goolwa, the train stops alongside the river wharf and we have 4 hours to explore Goolwa.
NexT, is the seaside town of Port Elliot, then the Train climbs the cliffS and we have a perfect view of the beach below and Southern Ocean - in winter the home of Southern Right Whale.
Last stop is Victor Harbor for a 3 hour stop-over.
Then it was time to return to Mt. Barker station after a very enjoyable days outing!
Everyone receives a Southern Pack filled with discount vouchers for meals and activities in Victor Harbor and Port Elliot.
Train Operating Dates for 2012
August Sundays 5th and 19th
September Sundays 2nd and 16th
October Sundays 7th and 21st
November Sundays 4th and 18th
Mt Barker......... 10.00am
Strathalbyn .. 10.45am
Goolwa ..... 12.15pm
Victor Harbor arr. 12.45pm
DEPART VICTOR HARBOUR
dep. ............. 3.45pm
Mt Barker 6.05pm
FARES IN 2012
From Mt Barker (Return)
to - Adult Child Senior Family
Goolwa $53 $28 $46 $127
Victor Harbor $69 $36 $61 $165
From Strathalbyn (Return)
to - Adult Child Senior Family
Goolwa $34 $18 $30 $82
Victor Harbor $48 $25 $42 $115
Children under 5 years travel FREE but are not issued a seat
Children 5 to 15 years travel at CHILD fares
Seniors fares apply to holders of State Government issued Seniors Card
Family fares apply to groups of 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children
Limited seats only available from Strathalbyn
Group discount fares are available if you prebook for a group of 10 or more.
YOU MUST BOOK
1300 655 991 From anywhere in Australia for a local call fee
From outside Australia +618 8263 5621
8.30am - 5.30pm, Monday - Friday
9am - 5pm, Saturday
Or you can book online at the web-site listed below.
The Mount Barker Railway Station is from where you catch the "Tourist" Trains.
This nice Station was built in 1883 out of Aldgate Freestone, to a standard railway station design.
It also included a Stationmaster's quarters within the main building at the southern end.
Adjacent to the northern end were once refreshment rooms of timber construction which were used up until 1963, and photographs of the time show chairs and tables (some built on cut off tree trunks) with white linen laid out under the adjacent poplar trees.
The building is now shared between SteamRanger and local Arts and Crafts organisations who operate a small shop, art gallery and local information centre
This is a Catholic Church located near the centre of Mt. Barker. To me, it is a beautiful Church, architecturally different to any others I have seen. It was built in 1911, and I do wish I could find out more!
If you like Churches, then you MUST SEE this one!
Weekend Mass Times
Saturday (Vigil) 6 pm
The main street [Gawler Street] of Mt. Barker is a one-way street with parking available.
This tree-lined street is quite pleasant to walk along, to window shop or to pop into the shops and have a look at what is available.
Along the street are lots of heritage buildings built in many different styles. As usual, the Banks are very nice! One building that stands out, is double story with lacework verandahs, dating back to 1884. Some of the small cottages are now shops
All I had to do was a short walk from the Catholic Church to see the Dunn Memorial Church.
In 1847, the first Wesleyan Church in town, was a slab hut built on land along Cameron Road near Dunn's mill. The services in the slab church were conducted by Reverend J. Hall who preached morning and evening, daily
Later, in 1851, the first stone church was built, and now forms part of what is now the Uniting Church Lecture Hall.
The Reverend J. Dann, who was only 21 years old, walked to Mt Barker from Adelaide to take over the parsonage of the new stone church. The Minister's Parsonage was built in 1857.
Dunn Memorial Church, as it stands today, was built in 1881 with money donated for the purpose by John Dunn [of Dunn's flour mill.] Another building was added in the early 1950's to the right of the new church, and was used for many years as a Kindergarten and Sunday School.
It is now known as Dunn Memorial Uniting Church.
A drive along Druids Avenue is a must if you want to see some delightful old cottages. Some have been added and added to as the family has grown, and others are rows of attached cottages.
Nice cottages, and a nice street lined with deciduous trees which are a picture in Autumn.
Dumas House has been here since 1910. It was named after Charles Dumas, the founder of “The Courier” newspaper in the 1860’s, a paper that still is going strong today.
Charles became well known and was elected to parliament in 1898 and represented this district until his retirement in 1902.
The home is made from local stone, and in the yard is an English Oak Tree planted by Charles himself. The house has been heritage listed and restored and now open to the public to stay here.
The name Auchendarroch is Scottish-Gaelic for "holy place of the oaks"
This is the most stunning historic building in Mt. Barker. It originally had 4 main rooms on each level when built in 1860 by scottish immigrant, Lachlan McFarlane.
In 1878, the property was sold to former Premier, Robert Barr Smith, who enlisted a young English architect to build a 30 room Mansion around the old hotel. This and the Heritage gardens containing lots of Rose's are still their today.
The Robert Barr Smith family used Auchendarroch as their summer home for 45 years.
From 1922, the property was utilized as a rest & convalescent home and an Air Force hospital. The original William Morris 'Spring Thicket' wallpaper still remains in the Ballroom, the fireplaces and grand staircase are original. In the yard are the old Oak Trees.
Auchendarroch House is now a "house & Tavern' and can be used for functions. Located out the back, are the 7 Mt. Barker Cinemas and a 3D Cinema.
Happy Hour is 5 - 7pm from Monday - Saturday.
The Mount Barker summit was where the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal people came for their ceremonial and burial sites.It is believed to be the most significant Aboriginal sacred sites near Adelaide.
The Mount Barker Summit Scenic Drive took us up the Summit along a dirt road. All the way up, the views are good. The road didn't take us right to the top, but to a parking area where there are notice boards on what walks to do and what you will see. The path is rough, so be careful walking, and if you aren't too fit, then you may want to stop at the first look-out and picnic ground.
Great views from here!
The Summit entrance is open during daylight hours only.
We have walked to the 1st lookout and seen a good view, now we are going to continue to the summit itself.
Once at the top, the views are better again! There is a stone cairn on the top which tells visitors that the mountain was originally known as Yaktanga and Wommu mu Kutra to the east and that it was once an ancient burial site.
I liked it when I saw a bronze map at the top pointing out the mains sights of what I was looking at.
It was a nice clear day, so we could see the town of Mount Barker where we had come from, Mount Lofty in the north and in the distance, Lake Alexandrina.
Views are also to Adelaide and the Murray River and Coorong.
It is pretty rugged at this look-out. Cliffs stick out of the Mountain, I managed to clamber on some for more good views.
MOUNT BARKER SUMMIT..... I would say A VISIT TO THE SUMMIT IS A MUST!
A visit to the Mount Barker summit is more than just views. The vegetation is what is found in this area. I saw big Grass Trees, these are the Mt. Lofty Grass trees. The Banksia's and Correa's were both in flower and I saw a New Holland Honey-eater feeding off these, too quick for a photo though! There is a chance of seeing some different Birds, such as Blue Wrens, Pardalotes, and Eastern Spinebills. We saw some Wallabies, and you may see a Shingle Back or Sleepy Lizard. These are slow moving and harmless, unless you put your finger infront of their mouth, then they will latch onto it, and won't let go. Expect pain!
The old Flour Mill was built in 1844. It. The information board near the footpath, gave me all the information I needed.
See photo for info.