Tailem Bend is located 99 km east of Adelaide and 21 metres above sea level, Tailem Bend is one of those Australian towns where no one really knows the origins of its name. Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Ngarrindjeri people. They made bark and reed canoes, and lived on the fish and animals residing beside the river.

Following Captain Charles Sturt, the whole area along the Murray was opened up by overlanders who moved sheep and cattle across the land. By the 1840s there was a ferry across the Murray River at Wellington which meant that the more difficult terrain, particularly the high cliffs, around Tailem Bend were overlooked in the development of the river bank.

The town’s real roots lie in the railway. It is essentially a railway town – created when the railway came through the area in 1886. The town was proclaimed in 1887. If you doubt the importance of the railway, recall how many towns you have visited where the railway line (and the attractive local railway station) run alongside the main street.

Tailem Bend Railway Station

But as with many things, with the changes in time, the dependency on Rail has substantially reduced and now the railway station has been changed into a Museum and Information Centre.

Just down the road from the old railway station is a park with great facilities for children to play. The highlight for little boys is the RX Steam locomotive that has been converted into a playground equipment. Little boys love playing on them and making out that they are driving the train.

Declan looking out the train at Tailem Bend

The train is the RX Class Steam Locomotive No 201 which was built by the North British Loco Co. It was placed into service on the 24th October 1913 and was last used in October 1965. The Train was condemned on the 18th September 1967 and placed in the Tailem Bend Playground on the 16th November 1967.

Wheels of the RX Class Steam Locomotive at Tailem Bend

The playground is on Railway Terrace in Tailem Bend, just over the road from the Bakery (great place to get a cuppa and something to eat). There is plenty to keep the kids entertained whilst you sit down and relax. Plenty of other things to do in the playground.

The only thing you need to do is get off the main road and go into Tailem Bend proper. It is sometimes just too easy to give these towns a bit of a miss – but then you will never know what you have just missed out on !!

When you are travelling with Children, having something for them to do along the way is very important.

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