A museum that steps back in time from pioneer port to seaside resort. It includes local English and French explorers meeting in 1802, whaling history and early shipping history, becoming the main export port for South Australia in the 1800s.
Former Customs House and Station Master’s Residence built 1866 consists of six display rooms filled with magnificent heritage furniture, china and linen, memorabilia from 19th century and historic photographs of Victor Harbor.
Encounter Coast Discovery Centre is a regional interpretive centre introducing visitors to the history and development of the south coast. The Discovery Centre has 3 galleries forming a timeline from pre-white settlement, through whaling and settlement, the establishment of Port Victor and the river trade and finally the onset of tourism in the 20th Century with the railways.
Relive the early days of Encounter Coast
– The magic of the Dreamtime.
– Encounter in 1802 between explorers Matthew Flinders and Nicholas Baudin.
– Our dark whaling past.
– Struggles of the early settlers.
– Changes through to modern times.
Located near the start of the causeway, the museum and gift shop is open 11 am to 3 pm Wednesday to Sundays. (Monday and Tuesdays opened on public and school holidays). The premises are wheel chair accessible. The shop is available for browsing and gift purchases but the museum has a small entry fee. Tour groups are welcome. Guided tours available by appointment.
The museum contains displays about Aboriginal pre-European lifestyle; early exploration; whaling; European settlers; establishment as a major export port; river trade; and the coming of trains setting Victor Harbor up as a significant tourist destination.
The Customs House built in the 1860s has rooms set up with displays of early 1900s items. Visitors can enjoy the beautifully maintained gardens and even view Victor Harbor’s first public toilet from the mid 1800s.