Puffing Billy Steam Train

Puffing Billy Heritage Steamed Train
Puffing Billy Heritage Steamed Train

A narrow gauge track and heritage steamed train; Puffing Billy is Australia’s oldest railway in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges. Australia’s finest preserved steam railway is only 60-minutes from Melbourne CBD.

Do you know that there are more than 600 dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly so that Australia’s most popular steam railway can run every day except on Christmas Day? More than a century old iconic steam railway began its operation in 1899 and continues to route on its initial mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook in the outstanding Dandenong Ranges, 40 kilometres east of Melbourne.

Puffing Billy will lead you on a journey into the past, open air coaches take you to the beauty of lush fern valleys, beautiful view of mountains, and deep into peaceful rainforests which will take your breath away. The sound of evocative train whistles, the steam engine with the sight of billowing steam and beautiful scenery will thrill and excites your ride.

I took my parents to Puffing Billy when they visited me for the first time in Melbourne, Australia. My parents enjoyed a lot as they never experienced a steam train ride abroad. We just fell in love with the scenery, had a great picnic, purchased and shared food and most importantly shared lifetime memories together at Puffing Billy.

You can also check my blogs on Cheap Holiday Destinations in Australia (Melbourne and many more), Romantic Getaways Victoria and Day trips from Melbourne.

Here I have mentioned how to reach there, what you will see, the evolution of railways and many more.

Getting There

My parents at Belgrave Station (sign which will take you to Puffing Billy )
My Parents at Belgrave Station (sign which will take you to Puffing Billy )

You can take the Belgrave train from Melbourne CBD and get off at Belgrave station which will take around 70 minutes. Belgrave station has all signs which will take you to Puffing Billy railway station.

Puffing Billy Ticket Options

Booking Office but now you must book online
Booking Office but now you must book online

All visitors must book their tickets online only and there are plenty of options to choose from.

General Admission

There are three options right now, Belgrave to Lakeside return, Belgrave to Menzies Creek return and Belgrave to Gembrook return. Time tables vary according to the season so it’s better to check before buying your buy tickets.

Selby on the way to Gambrook
Selby on the way to Gambrook

Lunch and Picnic Packs

Pre order variety of and delicious lunch and picnic packs are available to cater for families, couples, kids and adults. You can pre order along with your train tickets which can be collected as follows: lunch at Belgrave station and picnic packs at Lakeside station.

Hire Carriage even 

You can organise a surprise birthday party, engagement, propose to your partner or you want to spend a great time with family and friends, all you can do by hiring an exclusive carriage. You and up to nine guests can enjoy a wonderful time in a stunning spaced open side carriage. 

Steam and Cuisine Luncheon

Heritage dining carriages, the majestic three-hour steam train journey will relax you and gives you a first class travelling and dining experience. It has very limited seats and it gets filled very fast so I strongly advise you to pre book well in advance to enjoy underneath the pressed-metal ceilings of the completely enclosed carriages.

Train and Lunch at the Packing Shed

Nobelius Packing Shed
Nobelius Packing Shed

Two course meal made with local fresh food and beautiful scenery at historic Nobelius Packing Shed. The Steam train passing through the outstanding beauty of the Dandenong Ranges followed by learning about the history and enjoy a delicious meal at Nobelius Packing Shed.

Train, Menzies Creek Museum and Morning Tea

Menzies Creek Museum
Menzies Creek Museum

Tickets give you free entry into the museum, hot beverages along with scones and a return journey Belgrave to Menzies Creek. You can enjoy more than 80 exhibits, carriages, a rail tractor and many more at the new historic museum.

Dog Express

Dog Express only at Puffing Billy
Dog Express only at Puffing Billy

Now you don’t have to leave your pooch at a kennel or alone at home. You and your four-legged family member can travel on this amazing steam train. Enjoy lush fern valleys and a beautiful view of mountains with your furry friend on a special Lakeside to Gembrook service.

You can also enjoy meals in dog friendly cafes and enjoy walking trails with man’s best friend. For the best and adorable journey with your furry pals, please read their terms and conditions before you book.

You can also book accommodation or dog friendly camping site near Puffing Billy Stations.

Day Tour With Thomas

Day Tour with Thomas
Day Tour with Thomas

Have you ever seen Thomas and friends? even if you dont, I have great news to share as with Puffing Billy you can enjoy day tour experience Thomas the Tank Engine from Gembrook Station. A great day for old and young Thomas  sight see-ers alike or enthusiasts! Such a unique opportunity, lots of activities, and many more only at Puffing Billy.

Puffing Billy Route, Time Table and Map legend 

Journey Map at Puffing Billy
Journey Map at Puffing Billy

Puffing Billy route, timetable and map legend as shown on their website.

Things to see and explore on your Puffing Billy journey

Parents Ready for Ride
Parents Ready for Ride

Fasten your seat belt as now you are going to explore an amazing and breathtaking steam train journey.

Belgrave Station, our starting point

Interestingly in December 1900, when Puffing Billy started, Upper Ferntree Gully was the starting point of the journey which later became part of the suburban train station. A new station was developed and started the journey from Belgrave to Lakeside or Gembrook.

Dad Enjoying Ride
Dad Enjoying Ride

You can buy souvenirs, food and drinks at Belgrave station and it is also where maintenance and repairs take place on the Puffing Billy. Around Belgrave station, you can do plenty of shopping and eat excellent food before you start your adventure.

Look outside and watch out for Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge

Trestle Bridge
Trestle Bridge

Have you come across a photo of a steam train passing from Timber Bridge? That’s the Puffing Billy train passing from the iconic and most famous landmark of Victoria, the Monbulk Creek trestle bridge.

Kids are Loving Ride
Kids are Loving Ride

Watch out for the bridge just a few minutes after you start your adventure.

First stop – Menzies Creek Station and Museum

Menzies Creek
Menzies Creek

Just before you arrive to Menzies Creek Station, extensive views of Port Phillip Bay can be seen on any sunny day. It’s a single rail line but here only you can view trains pass by. Menzies Creek Museum is free to visit all train and non-train travellers.

Menzies Creek Museum
Menzies Creek Museum

It has more than 80 exhibits, carriages, a rail tractor, an operational boiler house and a themed play area for children. You can purchase hot and cold refreshments along with food from Little Toot Café

Emerald Station

Emerald Station
Emerald Station

This station is found at the highest elevation point on the line. It is also worth pointing out that Emerald station’s building is the only one that has remained intact till now. Surrounding green hills, Emerald offers toilet and picnic facilities, cafes, bakeries and shops.

More Views From Train
More Views From Train

Nobelius Packing Shed

Once upon a time, a very popular Nobelius & Co. nursery used to export seeds worldwide. Puffing Billy’s well-known restored ‘The Packing Shed’ is now famous for evening dining events and popular for weddings venue.

Beautiful Lakeside Station

Mom at Emerald Lake Park
Mom at Emerald Lake Park

Out of all three destination rides, Belgrave to Lakeside is by far one of the favourites and most popular steam train rides. It is the ideal place to breathe in fresh air and enjoy family time.

Me and Dad at Lakeside Station
Me and Dad at Lakeside Station

Perfect place for picnics as it offers BBQ facilities and picnic tables. Riders can purchase lunch from kiosks also. Not only kids but adults also enjoy paddle boats.

Spot Beautiful Bird
Spot Beautiful Bird

Kids will not be bored as there are playground facilities to entertain them. Enjoy the breathtaking view and look out for exotic plants and native wildlife on walking trails.

Attention please this is your final stop – Gembrook Station

Gembrook Station
Gembrook Station

Gembrook Station is the last stop on the Puffing Billy ride and it takes a little less than 2 hours one way from Belgrave station.

More Views From Train
More Views From Train

There are great picnic areas and BBQ facilities at the park next to the station or you can enjoy dining options in the town.

Pay tribute to comrades at The Gembrook Avenue of Honour who sacrificed their lives in World War II.

Online Shop and Shop at the station

By purchasing toys, gifts, souvenirs, climax DVDs, games, books and other items from online shop, you are playing a significant role in the preservation and maintenance of Australia’s oldest and finest preserved steam railway, Puffing Billy.

So what do you think? Would you go to these amazingly beautiful places to get some fresh air?

 

Where is Puffing Billy?

A narrow gauge track and heritage steamed train; Puffing Billy is Australia’s oldest railway in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges. Australia’s finest preserved steam railway is only 60-minutes from Melbourne CBD.

Getting There
You can take the Belgrave train from Melbourne CBD and get off at Belgrave station which will take around 70 minutes. Belgrave station has all signs which will take you to Puffing Billy railway station.

How old is Puffing Billy?

More than a century old iconic steam railway began its operation in 1899 and continues to route on its initial mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook in the outstanding Dandenong Ranges, 40 kilometres east of Melbourne.

How long does Puffing Billy take?

There are three options right now,
1. Belgrave to Lakeside return It takes around 60 Minutes (single journey) and for return you should allow around 3 hours,
2. Belgrave to Menzies Creek return It takes around 30 Minutes (single journey) and for return you should allow around 2 hours, and
3. Belgrave to Gembrook return It takes around 1 hour and 50 Minutes (single journey) and for return you should allow around 5 hours .

Time tables vary according to the season so it’s better to check before buying your buy tickets.

What to do at Lakeside Puffing Billy?

Out of all three destination rides, Belgrave to Lakeside is by far one of the favourites and most popular steam train rides. It is the ideal place to breathe in fresh air and enjoy family time.

Perfect place for picnics as it offers BBQ facilities and picnic tables. Riders can purchase lunch from kiosks also. Not only kids but adults also enjoy paddle boats.

Kids will not be bored as there are playground facilities to entertain them. Enjoy the breathtaking view and look out for exotic plants and native wildlife on walking trails.

3 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.