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National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide
National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide

National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide

76 Lipson St, Adelaide, Australia, 5015

The Basics

A visit to Adelaide's National Railway Museum is an interactive, family-friendly one; visitors can climb aboard steam engines, see dining cars and historic carriages, take a free train ride, and get hands-on with interactive displays. The museum operates the Semaphore Railway ride to Fort Glanville most weekends and for much of high season, and it offers occasional driver experience days on its historic engines. It’s also possible to join a National Railway Museum ghost hunt.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Train buffs large and small will love this shrine to the locomotive.

  • With buttons to press, levers to pull, and a train to ride, the National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide is a great choice for families with children.

  • Consider bringing a picnic as food options are limited to vending machines.

  • Prices are family-friendly: Children under 5 go free, those between 5 and 15 get discounted admission, and there's a family package rate.

  • The National Railway Museum is wheelchair accessible, with free wheelchairs, accessible bathrooms, and parking reserved for disabled people.

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How to Get There

Once the goods shed of Port Adelaide docks station, the National Railway Museum sits in a heritage area of the Port Adelaide suburb, about eight miles (13 kilometers) northwest of central Adelaide. Catch the train from Adelaide Railway Station to Port Adelaide Railway Station—it's less than a 15-minute walk—or take a bus, including the 230 and 254 from King William Street. Alternatively, free parking is available nearby.

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When to Get There

The National Railway Museum is open from morning until afternoon seven days a week, closing on Christmas Day and opening at noon on Anzac Day (April 25). Weekends, especially over Australian school holidays, are busy; older railway buffs will prefer the lower volume during the week.

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The Tea and Sugar Train

Railways played a major role in opening up the large and sparsely populated nation of Australia, with the first lines completed during the 1850s. Adelaide's National Railway Museum holds part of one of Australia’s most-loved trains, the Tea and Sugar, which serviced remote communities. The train brought mail, fresh meat, banking, medical services, and even theater performances to South Australia and Western Australia between 1915 and 1996.

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