Located at the junction of the Dukes, Princes and Mallee Highways, Tailem Bend is a popular stop for travellers. There is some confusion about how the town got its name. It may derive from the Aboriginal word ‘thelum’ referring to the bend in the river or the expression ‘tail ‘em’ which is short for tailing lambs. In the 19th Century Tailem Bend was an important railway town, but today it is a commercial centre for the surrounding Mallee area. Tailem Bend’s most iconic building and strongest representation of railway history is the railway station. The town used to be a hub for train passengers and railway lifestyle. Aside from the appeal of the collection in the Museum at the Railway Station, Tailem Bend also sees regular freight trains and the occasional interstate passenger train pass through. Tailem Bend’s railway identity is also embodied by its human heritage: ex-railway workers and train drivers. Some of these retired railway personnel are now volunteers (‘fettlers’) at the Railway Station, giving tours of railway memorabilia. Tailem Bend Visitor Information Outlet explains the town’s strong historical links with transport.
You can re-visit Tailem Bend’s railway heritage by following the Historic Rail Trail Tailem Bend Historic Rail Trail Map(2623 kb).
Step back in time by visiting Old Tailem Town, comprising over 110 authentic historic buildings; popular ghost and paranormal tours are available.
Visit Fred's Landing to launch a boat and enjoy a spot of fishing on the river, or a picnic at Dickson reserve with its newly established pontoon. Tailem Info Station details the town's strong historical links with transport and the importance the railway played in opening up the surrounding towns.
The Council Office in the main street is also home to the 'Coorong Art Gallery' with rotating exhibitions and artwork for sale.