Since the settlement of Peterborough in the 1800s, the railways were incredibly important to the district, with the town being the ‘crossroads’ of Australia, linking north, south, east and west. In 1880 the lines linking Port Pirie and Adelaide were opened, followed by the line to Orroroo to the north, and finally Broken Hill/Silverton to East and the NSW border.
It wasn’t just freight and ore which passed through Peterborough, the Old Ghan did from 1929 with the original narrow gauge tracks still in place. The first transcontinental (Brisbane to Perth) started passing through Peterborough from 1917, and the first Indian-Pacific passenger express did so too from February 1970, and continues to do so today.
Unfortunately the railways has all but left the town, however the assets and memories of that great steam era has been preserved at the Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre at the western end of town, which is well worth a visit!
Click here for a link to Steamtown and the tours and viewings they have on offer.
Consequently, over the last few years the local Council has set aside money and utilised many Government Grants to improve the lifestyle and appearance of the town to hopefully encourage tourists to the area. As a result of this, the town has won many awards in the statewide KESAB Tidy Towns Competition for its continued improvement and innovative approach.
The following link to the Peterborough tourism website (www.visitpeterboroughsa.com.au) has a lot of information on areas around Peterborough to visit, such as the Greg Duggan Nature Reserve, History Walk and Steamtown. There are also many attractions in the region which are detailed, such as Dragons Rest Habitat Gardens, YMCA Building including the Meldonfield Collection, The Burg and the Black Rock Gallery. Included in the site is a large database of the local businesses, services and accommodation, as well as lots of other information.
Also available is Peterborough's new Mobile Guide/App, for free! Simply click here on: www.tourpeterboroughsa.com.au and then request the link to your email address. This Guide is best viewed on a mobile phone or tablet.
Another exciting venture which has been created, is the Heritage Rail Trail. This fascinating journey which takes you from Broken Hill to Port Pirie via Peterborough, or vice versa, tells the story of a nation built on the railways, and how it transformed the region. Click here to go straight to the trail mobile guide where there are live maps, interviews with men that worked on the railways, stories and much much more: www.daytrippa.com.au/heritage-rail-trail/full-guide/home/
Click here for our latest Peterborough Tourism Brochure: Tourism Brochure(5097 kb)
Visitor Information Centre - located at Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre, 1 Telford Avenue (the western end of Main Street), is open 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm.
October 2015 - Stop Press - New attraction open in Peterborough!
Come along to the Times Printing Office to experience the atmosphere and workings of an original Print Shop, complete with new Interpretive Centre.
Jervois Street, Peterborough.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10am - 2pm (or by appointment)
Entrance fee $5
Tel: 08 8651 2122, 08 8651 2047
Click here to learn more about the exciting changes at the Town Carriage and Visitor Information Centre.
Peterborough Tourism - SA Tourism Award Winner 2015, Destination Marketing.
Steamtown inducted into Hall of Fame after winning the Tourism Category at the Regional Awards in 2014.
Steamtown has been awarded a "Certificate of Excellence 2015" by TripAdvisor for consistently delivering superior customer service and again in 2016:
Examples from Trip Advisor:
"Trains" - Well worth it, even if you don't like trains it is worth every penny, tour guide very informative and loves his job and light show sensational.
Visited October 2016
"Informative" - Went to the centre and did the day tour which was great.Our guide was very knowledgeable and gave great insight to the way the trains ran. We went back later for the sound and light show which was amazing. While watching the trains being lit up somewhere out of nowhere we were watching a big screen all about the golden..
Visited October 2016
"Incredible" - The Sound & Light Show us definitely worth a visit, as well as the guided tour through Steamtown, we would like to thank our guide Becci for her very interesting & informative history of Steamtown. We also enjoyed Becci company for lunch after, thank you. Do not miss a chance to visit Steamtown
Visited October 2016
"A must do" - We had a guide who had exceptional knowledge of all the old trains and carriages and the history of steam in the town. It was a fantastic tour.
Visited September 2016
Please click here to see Peterborough's Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre clip on YouTube, created by the Local Government Association's 'Awareness' Campaign.