Soldiers Memorial Gardens

RSL Club rooms September 2013

The gateway to the Coorong and the mighty River Murray and Lakes system, Goolwa is a popular holiday spot within easy reach of Adelaide.

This charming old river port is steeped in steam and riverboat history. In its heyday between 1850's to the 1880's, Goolwa was a prosperous port at the end of the Murray Darling river system. However, after the Morgan to Port Adelaide railway opened in 1878 the river trade on the lower reaches dwindled and the town declined to become a small regional centre. 

Today, visitors may explore some of the area's pioneering history at the National Trust Museum on Porter Street. Also worth seeing are the Steam Ranger Heritage Railway and several wineries which are within reach of the town.

The former horse stables currently owned and used by the Goolwa RSL have been extensively renovated over recent years but still remain faithful to the district heritage. 

These impressive stables were, with the associated Railway Superintendent's House, probably the first substantial buildings erected at Goolwa. Built in 1853, they are historically important for their links with the earliest phase of South Australia's railway history. These stables housed the horses that worked the Goolwa-Port Elliot Railway line, and continued as such until the horses were auctioned in 1885.

(See Railway Horse Stables pdf. at bottom of the page)

Architecturally, this limestone building still retains its stable appearance and construction detail, with many early features still evident. In 1946 the building was purchased by the Goolwa RSL sub-branch, to be used as their club rooms and meeting area.

Robert Plummer,
20 Dec 2013, 13:53