The Cockle 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.
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 Experience
The Cockle Train is based at our 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.
COVID-19 Return to Service - June 2020:
Cockle Train services will operate to the blue timetable on the following dates:
June 6th, June 7th, June 8th, June 21st and June 28th.
Wednesday services will not operate during the month of June & Wednesday July 1st.
Various timetables apply during different times of the year, and an operating day is associated with a special event. Please match the coloured header, with the colours on the above calendar.
The Cockle train does not have reserved seats
Passengers can buy their Cockle Train tickets online or from Victor Harbor, Pt Elliot or Goolwa station ticket offices on day of travel. We recommend purchasing online so we know to expect you!
Offices open at least 30 minutes before the first train departure of the day.
At Victor and Goolwa stations we accept cash, VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards and most bank EFTPOS cards.
Port Elliot station only accepts cash.
Click HERE to make a booking online.
Please note: All online bookings must be made a maximum of 48 hours prior to intended travel, to ensure our booking officers can process the purchase and have your tickets available at the departure point on the day of your visit.
Family Tickets are 2 Adults and 2 Children, aged 4 and above.
Children under 4 travel free.
Seniors fares are only available on presentation of a Seniors Card.
|Return Fares||Single Fare|
|Goolwa to (or v.v)||Adult||Child||Senior||Family||Adult||Child|
|Middleton to (or v.v)||Adult||Child||Senior||Family||Adult||Child|
|Pt. Elliot to (or v.v)||Adult||Child||Senior||Family||Adult||Child|
Hot Weather Policy
In the event a total fire ban is issued for the Mt Lofty Ranges, trains scheduled to operate using steam locomotives will be substituted by diesel railcars or diesel locomotives.
Likewise, in the event the forecast for Victor Harbor is expected to be 35 degrees Celsius or above, Cockle Train's will not operate.