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Published February 14th 2016
See what's on offer at Middleton
If you have the urge to get away from the city for either a day trip or perhaps even a weekend and you like somewhere a little less hectic, you can't go past Middleton, on the South Coast, around 80 kms south of Adelaide (about 1 hour 15 min drive).
Middleton is reasonably quiet, although during the summer, the beach is very popular for surfing and for those seeking a beach-side holiday. During the Southern Right Whale watching season which is from June through to October, great vantage points are available at Middleton for viewing the whales' annual migration.
With a population between 800 and 850 Middleton is only 8 kms west of Goolwa and is on the main route between Goolwa and Victor Harbor.
A Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Higgins, in 1849 bought up land in the area originally for a cattle run and soon realised that the River Murray could provide a lifeline for providing goods , particularly South Australian flour, up river to the gold diggers in Victoria, by connecting the river with a railway from Goolwa to Port Elliot. Hence the reason he established the location of the town near the railroad.
The rest is history with the first iron railway in Australia built, which passed through Middleton.
With the settlement of this area came farmers, whalers and then town residents.
The Middleton Tavern on Goolwa Road at Middleton offers good wholesome country style pub meals at reasonable prices and does get quite busy, particularly on Friday nights and weekends. Would suggest you book for these peak times but otherwise should be fine to stroll on in.
The atmosphere is certainly family-friendly and the dining room is large and open, featuring a large display of nautical artefacts and photo displays of old Middleton.
Middleton Tavern is open 7 days a week from 10 am until late.
If it is simply a coffee you are after, the historic The Mill built in 1855 is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm as well as Public Holiday Mondays.
Whilst you are enjoying your coffee, The Mill is also the cellar door for Ulithorne Wines and also the venue features fine antiques and paintings by one of the owners, Sam Harrison.
Whilst you are down at the beach, if you have ever thought you would like to try your luck at surfing, a company called Surf and Sun offer surfing lessons right on the beach and cater for a wide range of learning options.
For example a family package for 2 adults and 2 children is available for a two hour tuition for $240.
You can also get one-on-one personal instruction, again for 2 hour sessions for $120, and if two people are doing it together, then only $100 for the session per person.
If you prefer to surf because you are more experienced, then Surf and Sun have a shop on the main Goolwa-Victor Harbor Road where you can buy all surf related items.
A visit to this part of South Australia wouldn't be a visit without experiencing the Cockle Train which is an historic rail journey by steam train from Goolwa to Victor Harbor, a journey of some 30 minutes.
The Cockle Train only usually operates at certain times of the year (around 140 days a year) and in February is scheduled for Sundays and Wednesdays. During school holidays it runs most days.
The opportunity arises for you to alight or join the train at Middleton should you wish.
The journey will cost you around $29 return from Goolwa to Victor Harbor, however if you decide to do the trip from Middleton to Victor, and return, it will cost you $15.
This is but a selection of what Middleton has to offer.