The Southern Encounter

The Southern Encounter operates on the first and third Sundays from June until the end of November.

The journey commences from Mount Barker station - a pleasant 20 minute drive from Adelaide along the South Eastern Freeway.

621 prepares to depart Mt Barker with a Southern Encounter

621 prepares to depart Mt Barker with a Southern Encounter

Leaving Mt Barker mid morning, the train first climbs up to the crest of the line and then winds down the eastern escarpment of the southern Mt Lofty Ranges, passing through several long abandoned station sites which bear testimony to the importance of this branch line a century ago.

Crossing the Angas River you then enter the historic township of Strathalbyn where many Scottish migrants settled in the early 1800s, influencing the early architecture which is still evident today. The town is well worth a visit to explore its well stocked antique shops and cafes.

The journey then continues southwards across the plains and well away from the main road native bushland unfolds from your carriage window and kangaroos and other animals might be seen trying to keep pace with the locomotive! Then its across the towering Currency Creek viaduct and on to Goolwa.

At Goolwa, the train draws alongside the river wharf and passengers alighting here have over four hours to explore local attractions, have lunch on the riverside, visit the Steam Exchange Brewery in the old goods shed or take a short river cruise.

Beyond Goolwa the train then meanders westwards to the picturesque holiday settlement of Port Elliot before cresting the cliffs where passengers can experiemce some of the most picturesque coastal scenery in the State, with nothing separating you from the beach below and a perfect view of the Southern Ocean - in winter the home of Southern Right Whale.

Then into Victor Harbor for a three hour stopover.

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Book Now

The Southern Encounter Experience

As well as proving an opportunity to sample the stunning Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu scenery, the Southern Encounter journey is full of excitement and surprises along the way.

The two and a half hour journey is a great experience for everyone, particularly on a misty winter’s day. ……… and your ticket entitles you to valuable extras! – everyone receives our popular Southern Pack filled with discount vouchers for meals and activities in Victor Harbor and Port Elliot.

Train services operate:

Sundays *3rd, *17th, *31st May – CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS



2nd (CANCELLED DUE TO COVID), 16th, 30th August – WE ARE BACK!!! Diesel-hauled trains on the 16th and 30th August.

6th, 13th (Extra train now open for bookings) & 20th September

4th & 18th October (First Class option for 18th October (TBC))

*1st & *15th November 2020(Santa Special (TBC)).

*denotes services may be diesel hauled.





  Return Fares Single Fare
Mt Barker to (or v.v) Adult Child Senior Family Adult Child
Strathalbyn $36.00 $19.00 $32.00 $90.00 $24.00 $12.50
Goolwa $58.00 $30.00 $51.00 $144.00 $38.00 $20.00
Pt. Elliot $69.00 $36.00 $61.00 $172.00 $46.00 $24.00
Victor Harbor $75.00 $40.00 $66.00 $188.00 $50.00 $26.00

 Special discounts apply! 

$60 Adult return fares and $30 Children. Phone bookings ONLY - call us on 1300 655 991!


Children and Seniors

Children under 4 years travel FREE but are not issued a seat Children 4 to 16 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.


Click HERE to make a booking online.

Alternatively, call 1300 655 991 to make a booking by phone.