Why is this icon journey called the "Cockle Train"? In early days of settlement the local residents would take a horse drawn train to Goolwa to collect Cockles from the sandy beaches near the Murray mouth. It was a great day's outing and thus gained its name.
The Cockle Train is based at the Goolwa Depot and commences its run each day at Goolwa station, in the historic Wharf Precinct alongside the River Murray. After crossing the main Goolwa to Victor road the line heads off across the plains to Middleton, picking up or dropping off passengers on request, and then to Port Elliot where it reaches the Encounter Bay coast. The station here is operated by the local National Trust and features a small historical museum.
After leaving Port Elliot the train climbs to the top of the coastal cliffs and passengers then experience some of the most picturesque coastal scenery on the Fleurieu Peninsula, with nothing separating you from the beach below and a perfect view of the Southern Ocean - in winter the home of Southern Right Whale.
Cockle Train services will operate to the following timetable:
Goolwa 10.00am 12.15pm 2.45pm
Middleton 10.10am 12.25pm 2.55pm
Pt Elliot 10.15am 12.30pm 3.00pm
Victor Harbor 10.30am 12.45pm 3.15pm
Victor Harbor 11.00am 1.30pm 3.45pm
Pt Elliot 11.10am 1.40pm 3.55pm
Middleton 11.15am 1.45pm 4.00pm
Goolwa 11.30am 2.00pm 4.15pm
Trains will be formed by heritage railcars, steam and diesel locomotives - contact the booking office closer to your intended day of travel to confirm.