Home » About the South Australian Whale Centre » SA Whale History

From Railways to Whaleways – SA Whale History

The SA Whale Centre’s prominent location in Victor Harbor owes much to the former use of its 150 year old heritage listed building. The building was first used as a railway goods shed in the late 1800s, which explains a few of the mysterious features of the Centre.

150years

The black markings on the interior walls are soot, the hallmark of the steam engines that used to pull into the building to unload their freight. If you look outside at the ends of the Centre, you can see the railway tracks that still run underneath the east end of the building. Inside the Centre, a huge brown crane marks the spot where it would swing freight from the trains on to platforms in the goods shed.

At one stage in its history, the building was also used to house the famous horse trams that run along the causeway to Granite Island. The trams now have a new glassed Tram Barn of their own located near Warland Reserve.

The SA Whale Centre gave the historical old railway goods shed a new and exciting purpose in 1994. During the initial renovations the building was given a new roof, floor and the cellar was cleaned out to create the space that is still used today. Some of the original exhibits still enthral visitors today including the 3D mural and Sperm Whale vertebrae.

The Centre has undergone a number of redevelopments over its lifetime, the most recent of which took place in 2008, helping to bring the Centre and its exhibits into the new millennium.


OPEN: Daily 10:30-5pm (excluding Christmas Day)
South Australian Whale Centre, 2 Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor SA 5211
Tel: 08 8551 0750   Fax: 08 8551 0751   Email: whalecentre@victor.sa.gov.au