Renovations are underway at the home of the South Australian Whale Centre, the historic Railway Goods Shed.
The facility is closed to the public to enable the works to be undertaken. It is expected the renovation will be complete in June 2021 for the start of the whale watching season.
The South Australian Whale Centre Education Service offers a range of programs and activities for school and community groups in a unique marine experience.
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.
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 initail 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 enthrall 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.