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Travel on the South Coast Wine Train with SteamRanger, Hauled by Steam Engine 621
The South Coast Wine Train is a new way to experience the delights of South Australian wines on an exciting new tour. Combining travel on the SteamRanger heritage railway with wine tasting at scenic Langhorne Creek wineries, this new rail tour includes the best of Fleurieu Peninsula regional food and sightseeing too.
Not only will the South Coast Wine Train appeal to visitors to South Australia, but railway enthusiasts and people who miss the good old days of regional train travel in SA will love this tour too. The tour is organised by Adelaide based company Beyond the Vine Wine Tours, who offer an extensive range of ways to enjoy the best of South Australian wines on their tours.
Guests on the tour are picked up from their city hotels and taken by coach to Mount Barker railway station in the Adelaide Hills, where the SteamRanger Southern Encounter train will be waiting to whisk you in style through the beautiful Mount Lofty Ranges to the pretty town of Strathalbyn. From there it's only a short coach trip to Langhorne Creek, which has been noted for its quality wines since the 1850's.
You will get to taste quality award winning wines at two premium Langhorne Creek wineries - Bremerton Wines and Bleasdale Vineyards, with time to learn about the wines and appreciate the heritage surroundings. I always get hungry after tasting some of my favourite wines, so it's fortunate that the next stop is for a two-course lunch at the Finniss General Store, which specialises the finest foods from the local region.
Steam Exchange Brewery at Goolwa on the River Murray
After travelling through the scenic vineyards of Currency Creek the next stop on the wine tour is Goolwa on the River Murray. You have the choice of tasting more wines from 90 Mile Wines or sit outside on the deck with a beer or whisky at the Steam Exchange Brewery. On your way along the coast to Victor Harbor keep your eyes peeled for Southern Right whales, which are often seen during the cooler months.
At Victor Harbor railway station you will re-join the South Coast Wine Train for the return trip to Mount Barker where SteamRanger heritage railways are based. The SteamRanger Southern Encounter train is usually hauled by the iconic Duke of Edinburgh steam engine, however if it is unavailable an alternative SteamRanger locomotive may need to be used. This may be a diesel locomotive, or one of the heritage railcars from the fleet. Whichever engine is used, the scenery along the Encounter Bay coast is breathtaking, so be sure to bring a camera to capture some happy memories.
Take an Exciting Rail Tour Through the Adelaide Hills on the South Coast Wine Train
For a tasty highlight on the return journey, order an optional extra on the rail tour: a shared platter for two of cheeses, smallgoods and local regional produces ($35 extra). Upon arrival at Mount Barker your coach will be waiting to whip you back through the beautiful Adelaide Hills to your hotel in Adelaide.
For the latest information about the South Coast Wine Train see the Beyond the Vines Wine Tours website or Facebook page. There are a series of dates available when you can take this memorable trip throughout the year, and you should book early to avoid disappointment.
Ride SteamRanger's Southern Encounter to Strathalbyn Railway Station
Well Dave "you've done it again" as Mr. Magoo would say.The trip you describe(but not in full) was once on offer..I went on it...just to Strath. by train then to Langhorne Creek only and back to Strath. returning to Adelaide and starting in Adelaide as well.The Langhorne Creek Wines..especially the reds are superb as you have alluded to.The two wineries you mention are two of the best in the district...but there are others as well, as you no doubt know of.The Finniss General Store I have shopped at many ,many years ago,but have not eaten/dined there.It now seems to be making quite a fine reputation in an area that most people outside the district would never have heard about.(unfortunately the Milang Rail LIne no longer exists , that once passed through there).This tour should appeal to many tourists...they just have to know it exits..I was not aware of it until I read your article.The photo of the mighty steam engine is a ripper!