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Home / Blog / Explore Puffing Billy Railway in Melbourne – TBO Academy

Explore Puffing Billy Railway in Melbourne – TBO Academy

October 12, 2022
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Melbourne is all things fun and trendy. The city boasts exquisite dining options, exhilarating sports abundant opportunities to experience art, and steam locomotives. Puffing Billy Railway is one such timeless experience for both residents and visitors. Puffing Billy offers energetic adventure, a touch of nostalgia and cultural backgrounds. Thanks to the tireless efforts of more than 300 volunteers, the railway, which was initially built in 1900 to serve the local communities that lived in the hills and carried anything from passengers to timber, livestock, potatoes, and plants, is now a popular tourist destination that welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to visit and experience a century-old tradition every day of the year except Christmas. The rail runs through the naturally preserved mountain giving a unique blend of thrill and serenity to the visitors from around the world. 

Puffing Billy Railway in Melbourne

Puffing Billy Tickets

Return Journey Family (2A+2C) Adult 16+ Years Adult 16+ Years Child (5-14) Years Infant (0-3) Years
BELGRAVE TO LAKESIDE $153.50 $61.00 $48.00 $31.50 $0
BELGRAVE TO MENZIES CREEK* $100.00 $40.00 $32.00 $21.50 $0
BELGRAVE TO GEMBROOK $196.50 $78.50 $62.00 $39.50 $0
LAKESIDE TO GEMBROOK $153.50 $61.00 $48.00 $31.50 $0

* Available on specific Belgrave - Menzies Creek departures only.

# Concession fares are available to Australian bearers of Health Care, students, Seniors, companions, Pensioner Card or New Zealand Gold Card.

Best time to visit Puffing Billy Railway

Puffy Billy runs every day except on Christmas. The best time to visit Victoria for Puffing Billy is in spring( September to November) or Autumn(March to May) months. One should avoid visiting during the holiday season for a quieter experience.

How to reach Puffing Billy Railway

The Puffing Billy Station is accessible by metro or by bus. One can visit the Belgrave station through the Metro Belgrave line or by bus from Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs.

History of Puffing Billy Railway

Since its opening in 1900, Puffing Billy has transformed greatly over the years. The railway served as the means of transport for the locals and was used to transfer goods from one place to the another. In 1950s governement was going to close the station as the maintenance costs were very high. However, the locals think differently and wanted to save the station and its heritage for themseleves and the generations to come. In 1962 it was opened again with the focus on tourism in the region. It has become a living museum over the years attracting tourists from around the world.The railway travels through some of Victoria's most picturesque and pristine landscapes, including lush forests, deep gullies, and fern gullies, providing passengers with a delightful and nostalgic journey. The experience is enhanced by the practice of allowing passengers to sit with their legs dangling from the carriages, a practice that would not be permitted on a standard railway.

Points Of Interest for Puffing Billy Railway Route

There are many points of interest along the Puffing Billy Route like Belgrave station, lush green Menzies Creek, Emerald Lake Park, Lakeside station and much more.

Experiences

Puffing Billy Railway Station provides a number of experiences including a memorable journey with freedom of the mountains, Menzies Creek adventures, Lakeside sittings, enticing picnic packs and more. Let us explore them one by one in the blog. 

1. Train Journey

From Belgrave to Lakeside

Train Journey

The journey starts at Puffing Billy Station Belgrave, the railway headquarters. Shopping and dining options are available, only a short walk from Belgrave Township.

From Belgrave, Puffing Billy travels through the southern reaches the stunning Sherbrooke Forest, an excellent example of a rainforest known for its native "Mountain Ash" trees, a type of eucalyptus and the tallest flowering plant in the world.

Within minutes you will travel over the Puffing Billy Railway Trestle Bridge - the most famous landmark. So, be ready with a camera.

After an hour-long ride, you will reach Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside station, situated in the scenic Emerald Lake Park. Beautiful Lake Treganowan, Lake Nobelius, gardens, natural bushland, native and exotic species, and numerous fern gullies and open eucalypt forests may all be found in the park.

BELGRAVE TO LAKESIDE TIME AT LAKESIDE LAKESIDE TO BELGRAVE
Journey time | 1 hour Approx. 2 hours Journey time | 1 hour


From Belgrave to Menzies Creek

Belgrave to Menzies Creek

Starting from Belgrave, Puffing Billy travels through the southern parts of the stunning Sherbrooke Forest, an excellent example of a rainforest known for its native "Mountain Ash" trees, a type of eucalyptus that is the tallest flowering plant in the world.

You will cross the Puffing Billy Railway Trestle Bridge – an iconic landmark.

After a 25 minutes journey, you will be at Menzies Creek Station. This is the place to dig into the rich history of Puffing Billy at Menzies Creek Museum.

The museum also has a themed play area for children and Little Toot Café, offering plenty of hot and cold beverages.

BELGRAVE TO MENZIES CREEK TIME AT MENZIES CREEK MENZIES CREEK TO BELGRAVE
Journey time | 25 mins 1 hour Journey time | 25 mins


Lakeside to Gembrook

Lakeside to Gembrook

The journey starts at the Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside Station.

From Lakeside, you will head towards Gembrook through Wright Forest and over three historic trestle bridges before the landscape opens to hills and farmland. Gembrook is a small, charming town with great things to do.

TIME AT LAKESIDE LAKESIDE TO GEMBROOK TIME AT GEMBROOK GEMBROOK TO LAKESIDE
OPTIONAL | Explore Lakeside Visitor Centre and Emerald Lake Park Journey time | 45 mins Approx. 1 hour Journey time | 45 mins


Belgrave to Gembrook

Belgrave to Gembrook

After a 1-hour journey, you will arrive at Lakeside Station, and from here, the journey will continue for Gembrook through Wright Forest.

BELGRAVE TO GEMBROOK TIME AT GEMBROOK GEMBROOK TO BELGRAVE
Journey time | 1 hour and 50 mins Approx. 1 hour Journey time | 1 hour and 50 mins


2. Picnic Packs

Picnic PacksPre-book a scrumptious picnic pack to enjoy your ride over the slopes, down the valley into the rich woods on the first mountain track and enjoy your midday bite and later set up lunch at Emerald Lake Park.

Two packs are available, one for adults and the other for kids.

3. Carriage hire

Carriage hire

Memories are the best souvenirs one can take home. This heritage steam railway will ensure one have plenty of memories to pack and take home. Enjoy comfort and privacy of your own in the exclusive carriage with your friends and family.

Experience a ride over the hills, down the valley and into the lush forest on the original mountain track and set lunch up by Emerald Lake Park when you arrive. The lake park is pet-friendly that increases the fun and ensures that no one is left behind. 

4. COG Bikes Australia Bike Hire

COG Bikes Australia Bike Hire

Exploring the Dandenong Ranges is more fun on two wheels! In partnership with a local family-owned and operated bicycle company, COG bicycles Australia. You can rent a bicycle from the Puffing Billy Railway Lakeside Station bike hub.

Whether going via train or driving into the region on a beautiful, radiant day, choose from a range of standard bike trails, e-bikes, balance bikes or youngsters' pedal bikes, and investigate the Eastern Dandenong Trail that runs close to Puffing Billy between Emerald and Gembrook.

5. Steam & Cuisine Luncheon

Steam & Cuisine Luncheon

Sit back, chill and enjoy a three-hour train journey that will make you feel you are on the sets of Narnia. Soak in the scenic beauty of the Dandenong Ranges. Also, enjoy a three-course gourmet meal cooked by the head chef of the Puffing Billy Railway.

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6. The Puffing Billy Dog Express

The Puffing Billy Dog Expres

The Puffing Billy Dog Express allows visitors to bring their four-legged fur friends to enjoy the ride. The Emerald Lake Park has plenty of walking tracks for you, your family and your fur buddies. All the fur buddies will enjoy a 40-minute journey through the Wright Forest. On their arrival in Gembrook, they will have plenty of time to play and wander.

7. Menzies Creek Museum

Menzies Creek Museum

Menzies Creek Museum covers 1160 sq. meters and has more than 80 exhibits. One has to pay $0 entry charge to explore the museum. Those who wish to visit the museum as non-train travelers are also welcome along for free.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What days Puffing Billy Railway runs?

A1. Puffing Billy Railway runs all days every year except for Christmas.

Q2. How do I get to Puffing Billy Railway?

A2. Puffing Billy's Belgrave station is easily accessible by Metro Train from Melbourne CBD.

Q3. Can passengers dangle their legs out of carriages when on the Puffing Billy Scenic Railway?

A3. Puffing Billy Railway is unique in its tradition of letting passengers' legs dangle out of the carriage by sitting on the sill.

Q4. Can I book tickets in advance for Puffing Billy?

A4. Yes, it is advisable to book tickets in advance to avoid any inconvenience.

Q5. Is puffing billy suitable for children and the elderly?

A5. Yes, Puffing Billy is a family-friendly attraction and provides various facilities like wheelchair assistance for the disabled and elderly.

Author
Deepti Shangari
Deepti Shangari, a seasoned senior content writer, whose passion to write, manage and conquer knows no bounds. To her, the world is an ever-changing symphony of ecstatic motion, a mesmerizing dance of evolution and unfolding. With each passing moment, the vibrant tapestry unfurls before her very eyes, inspiring her to craft literary pieces that transcend the ordinary.