Strathalbyn was once connected by broad gauge horse tram to Goolwa and Victor Harbor from 1869, and the line was extended to Mount Barker and Adelaide and upgraded for steam engines from 1884. It was cut off again in 1995 when the main line was converted to standard gauge. SteamRanger still run historic tourist trains on the isolated broad gauge line, including stops at Strathalbyn.
The mining company Terramin will soon establish an underground zinc mine with the decline portal and much of the above-ground operation situated in a quarry east of the town, injecting an estimated $29 million dollars into the local economy and creating around 100 jobs. The mine will yield zinc and lead, with small quantities of silver, gold and copper and is expected to operate for seven years. This proposal is opposed by "The Residents For A Future Strathalbyn Inc." who are concerned about ecologically unsustainable development within their district.