Castledare Miniature Railway

Wow! What a pleasant surprise this place was. We finally took our 2 year old to the Castledare Miniature Railway. He’s going through his Thomas The Tank Engine phase and it was the perfect place for him. He was pretty speechless for the whole 1 1/2 hours that we were there.

Castledare Miniature Railway
To start with, the cost of a ride is very reasonable. Adults at $6, kids from 2years + $3, and under 2years free. You can even buy a multi-rider for $24 which has 10 tickets on it. (Adults use 2 tickets and kids 1 ticket per ride). We ended up going twice and although we didn’t buy a mulit-rider, we were happy with the individual costs.
Although the line looked long, it moved fairly quickly. But, there was never a shortage of entertainment with the small trains coming and going and the actions of the station master and his whistle alone. All kids big and small were enthralled as miniature steam trains chuffed by.

The ride itself was comfortable enough and although not too long (maybe 10 minutes in total), it went along the river where there were people kayaking, fishing and picnicking, so there was always something to see and someone to wave to. We were fortunate enough at one point where our train ran alongside another for about 30 meters which brought cheers all round.
Castledare Miniature Railway
I cant say enough about how lovely the staff were. I think they are all volunteers there and do it for the love of trains! The girl at the ticket counter even let a woman borrow her shoes as she was wearing thongs. That’s a biggy. You and the kids must wear enclosed footwear. Crocs are good, but beware of open toed sandals as they are a no-no for the ride.
Castledare Miniature Railway
There are toilets there, but they are not pram friendly and I didn’t see any change table facilities.
There is a simple little tuck shop style area with a few tables and chairs where you can sit under cover but outdoors and have something small to eat (pie/sausage roll, crisps, ice-cream) or a hot/cold drink and watch the trains go by. Most people brought along rugs and picnics and sat along the river where there is fencing from both the trains and river but I wouldn’t let anyone out of sight just in case.
Unfortunately the council have missed out here and there are no playground or BBQ facilities at all. Just good old fashioned fun to be had by families! As long as the only reason you are going is for the trains, then it’s a great place.
Castledare Miniature Railway
There is ample parking available and I saw many single and double prams about. There is a small over bridge to cross over the lines to the river side, but it’s not too steep and is all wooden ramp.
I’d definitely recommend taking kids here and I might very well become a monthly visitor myself!!

Castledare Miniature Railway is run from Niana Station, Castledare Place Wilson every 1st Sunday of each month  11:00AM – 3:30PM. Except January. (Steam & diesel services, generally available) and from Wilson Park Station Kent St. Wilson (Kent St. Weir) every 3rd Sunday of each month from 10:00am – 2.00PM. Diesel services only.

Review by Buggybuddys member Florence
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