Port Elliot National Trust Historic Railway and Seaport Centre is located in the heritage listed Port Elliot Railway Station, which also includes a renovated railway shed.
The railway station is an exposed timber frame building featuring steeply pitched, corrugated-iron roof and comprised a Station Master’s Office, Open Waiting Room and Ladies Waiting Room. It now features an award winning historical interpretative display: Sea Port 1852—1864; and Railway 1854. The Centre has family history research facilities as well as current South Australian family and local histories for sale. Tickets are sold for Cockle Train trips (run by Steam Ranger Heritage Railway).
The original Goolwa to Port Elliot line was opened in 1854 and was the first in Australia to operate on iron rails. Constructed in 1853, this horse drawn railway extended directly onto the jetty at Horseshoe Bay. It was originally built to haul cargo from the river port at Goolwa to the sea port at Port Elliot.
The first station at Port Elliot was a small wooden sentry box-like structure which opened in 1866 but later blown away during a storm. In 1865 a new stone passenger station was constructed but this had to be replaced after a realignment of the tracks. A galvanised iron structure was later built in the 1870s before the present station was completed in 1911.
As well as running the museum, the Port Elliot branch of the National Trust organises information stalls at Lakala Fair, Port Elliot Show and other community functions; and also history walks departing from Port Elliot Railway Station.
The group meets on 2nd Thursday of every month at the Port Elliot RSL Club The Strand, Port Elliot (the former Court House 1866) at 8pm sharp