Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne

Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne
Steam rushing out, bells ringing, birds singing, feel the forest air…. Puffing Billy Train Ride

Puffing Billy is Australia’s finest preserved, a century-old Steam Railways in the world.  This century-old steam railway was originally one of the five Narrow Guage lines of the Victorian Railways which started from the beginning of 20th century.  Let’s go for an Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne. 

Why you should go for Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne –

This beautiful, serene Rail journey takes you through splendid and magnificent Dandenong Ranges located on the outskirts of East Melbourne(Australia).  Passing through lush Fern gullies, Mountain ash trees, and beautiful forests, this 24km mountain track from Belgrave region to Gembrook station is mostly recommended a Day trip from Melbourne.  The spectacular views and pristine pollution free atmosphere of Yarra Valley would surely captivate your mind and heart.  Victorian styled interiors, open styled carriages, gushing steam from the engine are the unique features of this specialized Rail Journey.  These special carriages are having the special feature of sitting down on windows, through which you can hang your legs outside and enjoy the forest air. 

Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne
Steam Engine of Puffing Billy Train

Things to know about Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne –

  1. It starts at Belgrave station in the Dandenong Ranges which is about 40 km from East Melbourne.
  2. How to reach Belgrave from Melbourne- There are three options to reach this ancient styled steam railway station. You can drive down till here. The second option is to use Public transport from Melbourne CBD area.  From Flinders Station(main station of Melbourne) catch the direct train to Belgrave (Belgrave Line). It would take 70 minutes to reach here.  For using Melbourne’s public transport, You need an MYKI card – an official public transport card of Melbourne. MYKI cardholders get some small discount for Puffing Billy to (* check it before) From Belgrave station, you have to take a small walk for Puffing Billy Railway station. (Check Google Map or take maps from Belgrave station).  The third option is to book a local Day Tours from Melbourne.
  3. This rail journey from Puffing Billy station onwards is 25 km in total and takes around 1 hr. 50min till Gembrook station(last destination of this trip). The train passes very slowly with chugging and whistling sounds.  

    Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne
    Steam Engine of Puffing Billy Train
  4. Puffing Billy Train passes over an iconic wooden bridge – Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge and stops at Menzies Creek, Emerald Lakeside, Cockatoo and Gembrook(last point). Passing over the wooden bridge is the main attraction of this rail ride as whole train curves around which can be captured through cameras. A perfect place to capture many photos of the moving engine with steam rushing out from it.  

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    Train passing over an iconic wooden bridge
  5. Make your first or lunch stop at Lakeside which is a perfect picnic place. You can lie down, unwind yourself with chirping birds, take a boat ride in the lake or play with your kids on the swings.  
  6. Many local and International Tour operator offers Puffing Billy Train ride as a Day Tour from Melbourne which covers Healesville Sanctuary, Penguin Parade on Phillip Island and Wine Tasting at Yarra Valley.
  7. The Puffing Billy Train runs around four times daily with morning and afternoon departures from Belgrave.
  8. You can also book for specialized rides on this steam engine based on many unique themes which run on special days and times. These rides are DAY OUT WITH THOMAS – Thomas inspired Train ride.  MURDER MYSTERY DINNER – Solve Murder Mystery with the darkness of Dandenong Forest ranges with all characters dressed up in Victorian styled are traveling with you.  This is a late evening specialized train option.  RHYTHM & BLUES TRAIN – Jazz Music and Entertainment by Melbourne Blues Band, Black & Blue while on the train and also on the stops in between of the ride.  DRIVE THE STEAM ENGINE – Get an opportunity to drive down this steam locomotive for the day and learn how to oil the brakes and refilling water in the engine. (Must be 18 years older to avail this train ride).  STEAM & CUISINE Luncheon (Dining carriage on the whole ride).  These all rides have to be booked in advance through Puffing Billy official site.
  9. Listen to sounds of birds and you may be lucky enough to spot the exotic and famous Australian Bird species.  
  10. You can actually get the glimpse of ancient styled railway stations, guards waving at you, bells ringing which signifies departure or arrival of the train. The whole area transports you to many generations back.  
Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne
Going for a ride with Puffing Billy

HISTORY OF PUFFING BILLY | Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne

This train started in the early 1900’s with an aim to connect and develop rural areas of Dandenong Forest regions. It was launched on 18th December 1900. Earlier it was used for transporting good, forest sources and by local villagers. But in the modern world, after the development of roads, this is now a tourist attraction which also serves a purpose to understand the past of Railways when steam Engines were the first type of Engines to drive the train.  A heavy landslide in 1953, blocked railway track and because of many losses, it was closed.  Reopened in 1962 till Menzies Creek(1st station after Puffing Billy) and in 1988 till Gembrook Station(Last station), this railway track is well known ancient railway track in Australia. 



Booking.com

Tips to be considered for Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne –

  1. Tickets sell out very fast in Summers (peak tourist season of Australia), so book ahead from their online site or start early from your home to catch the first train so that crowd can be avoided.
  2. All stations across this narrow gauge railway line have Restrooms, Parking, and a small, Basic Café/Restaurant.
  3. Don’t carry heavy or big luggage with you as there is limited space in the wooden carriages of this train. Carry a small bag pack with essentials and a foldable stroller(if traveling with kids).
  4. When there is a risk of Forest Fires, then these steam engines are replaced by Diesel Engines.
  5. Wheelchairs accessible upon request.
  6. Spent some time besides the Emerald Lake. A perfect picnic spot.
  7. Don’t wear loose-hanging clothes or footwear if you want to sit hanging out from the train.
  8. It runs all the year round except the Christmas Day.
  9. There are not many Big eateries, so it is better to bring snacks or packed lunch with you.
  10. Don’t miss the chance to take pictures with the guard, cutouts of steam engines, Thomas the Engine and steam from the engine.
  11. If you are going on a family trip with children then you can buy a special Family ticket with concessions. But you should be 2 Adults+Children (not more than 4).
Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne
Steam rushing out, bells ringing, birds singing, feel the forest air…. Puffing Billy Train Ride

Go for a chugging ride across the rugged bushlands, fern gullies and temperate forests of Dandenong Ranges.  This trip is not only famous among the children, but adults would surely enjoy it.  Not many International travelers know about this place, though it is very famous in Australia. But I recommend it to add in your itinerary while doing Day trips from Melbourne. 

Amazing Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne
Hanging out from the Puffing Billy Train

There are many other famous Day trips from Melbourne – Scenic Drive across Great Ocean Road. Click here to read more on it. 

Read about things you need to know before you visit Australia. Check this Melbourne official tourist website for more information.

I did this trip when I was living in Melbourne and I used public transport for this trip. Using Melbourne Public Transport is quite easy and cost-effective. This trip takes a half day if you don’t stop much on all stations and can quickly cover all things. 

So, until then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………

All photos are taken by me and use of photos without permission would result in legal action.

DISCLAIMER – The content of the blog is solely my views of a place or a thing. This is not to offend any class, religion, ethnicity or nation. My views can change from time to time. This blog may contain some advertisements or links to commercial products and for that, this site is not responsible after you click those advertisements.  We are the independent owner of this site and views expressed in this are our own. All photographs are owned by me.  There can be slight differences in distances, locations or some details for which I (owner) am not responsible.  This post may contain some affiliate links, means at no additional cost to you.  I will earn if you will click through affiliates and make a purchase

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84 Comments

  1. I also used to live in the state of Victoria, Australia a while back and never got around to doing this tour. On my next visit, I would really like to experience the Victorian outback on this train, particularly given the history and character and charm of the train itself. Also love the various other themes that the line offers for adults and the fact that you can take a break for lunch in nature before returning home again.

    1. Yes Nicole, not many people knew this hidden secret near Melbourne, but it is worth visiting place with history and nature charms

  2. I love old steam trains, and the Puffing Billy looks utterly fabulous. Love the scenery you pass through, perfect to see the habitat and enjoy the old steam railway. On my list for our one-day-we’ll-make-it visit to Melbourne!

  3. This looks like an amazing ride, Yukti. Would love to do this with my 5-year-old. And thanks for giving us so much information on the train. I had heard of the Day Out with Thomas but did not know of the other specialized rides. This post is very helpful.

  4. The Puffing Billy looks like the stem engine trains of Ooty and Darjileeing. Very interesting and informative post. I am a lover of train journey,never miss Puffing Billy next time in Australia.

  5. This is fantastic. Steam ngines make me nostalgic, there’s something very poetic about them which is missing in the modern modes of transport. The details you provided will be very helpful for us

  6. I absolutely love trains! It’s actually one of my favourite ways to explore a country! Australia is at the top of my travel list and i will make sure to add The Puffing Billy to it! Thank you for sharing this nice experience with us!

  7. I’ve never been to Australia but this is one of the things I definitely want to do! Steam engines are so nostalgic and somewhat romantic to me so this feels like something I definitely want to do with that special someone! Thanks for such a thorough post 🙂

  8. I am reminded of the chugging toy train if the Nilgris. As a daughter of a Railwayman , I love trains and find them very comforting. Will add this to my must-experience list as I am planning for a Melbourne trip may be next year-end 🙂

    1. Thanks Meenakshi, it is always great to hear the whistling sound of train and good to know that you are the daughter of railway man – Indian railways biggest rail network

  9. What a great addition to any Melbourne visit! I think that hanging out of the Puffing Billy train adds to the appeal of the ride. It’s good to know that it’s wheelchair accessible too. Thank you for the detailed explanation on how to get there for us using public transportation. Great idea to bring a lunch and have a picnic in summer.

  10. This train ride seems so amazing. What a great addition to any Melbourne visit! Thank you for the detailed explanation on how to get there for us using public transportation. Will add this to my must-experience list as I am planning for a Melbourne trip may be next year.

  11. Wow what a brilliant post about an equally brilliant way to travel and a personal favourite of mine . The Puffing Billy is Australia’s finest preserved trains I must say as I have not seen or heard of anything like this. It does remind me a bit of the steam train which runs to the queen of hills Darjeeling I must say. The views from the Puffing Billy as it crosses the wooden bridge just be brilliant. thanks for sharing and hope can take a ride on this some day.

    1. Thanks Amar, yes I must say, this ride is wonderful as it takes you through the beautiful forests and you could even spot exotic, Australian birds or plants species.

  12. There are so few steam trains around today that this looks like a wonderful day out if you are a fan. I am sure that kids would have ball on the ride, especially if they are able to hang their leg out of the window on the trip 🙂

  13. This post brings back a childhood memory: A train journey I took from Kalka to Shimla. I LOVE train travel. This tour seems like tailor-made for me 🙂 I’m planning to visit my friend in Melbourne. Will surely add this into my itinerary.

  14. I did this journey more than 20 years ago and it was great to do with kids. I believe this year they have banned people hanging their legs and arms out of the train because a tourist bus actually ran into the train (?) so that has ruined it for everyone.

  15. Thanks for this recommendation. Was in Australia this year in the beginning but only covered Sydney and Cairns. I need to go back and explore more! I had not found this when I did a courtesy search for Melbourne for things to do. So thanks for brining it to light. IT does remind me a little of the Toy Train in Darjeeling.

  16. My son loves trains so much and since we’re visiting Melbourne next month — will make sure not to miss this. I know that he will enjoy this tremendously.Thank you for sharing about this amazing bill tours. So excited to see these scenery up close.

  17. This looks like such fun! It seems like a great way to sneak in some history for the kids (and adults!) during a vacation, too. Haha

  18. I’ve never been to Australia before, but I indeed love trains, probably as much as Sheldon Cooper would. And wow… This Puffing Billy looks like a fun thing to do while in Melbourne. Now that one of my close friends moved to Australia, I think it’s time to probably plan out a trip to the down-under, including this exciting tour. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  19. Its so fascinating to learn that the stream railways are still preserved in some part of the world. Puffing Billy Tours from Melbourne sounds so exciting. Being on a 24km mountain track seems just the perfect way to spend a day when visiting Melbourne. Good to know that there is a public transport too, to get to Belgrave station. I could actually sense the chugging and whistling sounds looking at the beautiful pictures of this steam rail experience. Loved the concept of specialized rides. Important to note how much to carry along considering the limited space in the wooden carriages of this train. Thanks for the tips to make a choice!

  20. I wish I had known about this when I was in Melbourne, I would loved to have done this. It looks great fun especially the murder mystery dinner.

  21. Love train rides and the Puffing Billy one looks like so much fun. And it even includes stops for lunch and a cool history for ending up in Melbourne. Looking at your photos it reminds me of the trains in India with people hanging off the sides.

  22. Woooow, I love all these photos of trains! There are these special very famous train routes, like the ones to Machu Picchu or in Sri Lanka, but I feel like every second train journey should be spectacular! Thanks for sharing the article, very interesting read!

  23. A train ride that lets you sit on the window with your legs dangling out! I’m in! This post has reminded that it has been far too long since my last train ride and I always enjoy them as you see such beautiful parts of the countryside. Keeping this in mind for when I head that way!

  24. I love traveling by train and this looks so cool! It’s nice that you can break up the trip with a stop by the lake for lunch, just perfect! I’ll definitely check this when I visit Australia.

  25. A very iconic ride of Australia! I’ve heard lots about Puffing Billy. It’s a great way to see some of the country. I love the sound of those Victorian styled interiors and open carriages. And of course seeing the steam come from the engine – it all makes for a very authentic experience! And very much like you’ve gone back in time a hundred years – that’s great they’ve kept the authenticity of the age. Melbourne is a great city for sure.

  26. I used to love visiting steam trains as a kid, I think a visit to the Puffing Billy would be like a blast from the past! Melbourne is actually on my list of places to visit from NZ early next year, so I’ll be keeping this in mind for then. I’ll be sure to strap on my shoes before boarding!

  27. Oh….. I love these narrow gauge trains and we in India call them toy trains. I am in love with these train journeys. The main charm of these trains is the slow movement through naturally beautiful places.
    These carriages with big windows are perfect to experience the forest.

  28. I’m a big fan of these old steam trains, and so would really enjoy this. The views are great too, and I love picnics anyway, so would definitely bring one along, and maybe some wine too! The name’s so memorable, I won’t forget it!

  29. Living in Melbourne we’ve visited the Dandenongs to hike a few times but never got on Puffing Billy for some reason!! But after seeing this I really want to make the effort to do it when we are back!

  30. Puffing Billy Tours looks similar to Toy Train ride between Shimla and Kalka in India. I just love train journeys. And when you can enjoy the scenic landscapes while traveling in a heritage train like this, it makes so many memorable moments. Thanks for sharing. I am definitely going to do it.

  31. THis sounds like such a fun tour. I love train journeys and even better when it’s a tour. I’d love to get a glimpse of the ancient styled railway stations. Will have to bookmark this!

  32. I wish I had known about this train ride when I was in Melbourne. I would have loved to do the murder mystery dinner even though I would be scared, haha.
    Great tip about the lose clothes when you want to site outside the train, I wouldn’t thought about that.
    I hope to go back to Australia one day and do this train ride as well 🙂
    Thanks for the tip!

  33. I am a huge fan of old, historic, narrow guage and other steam engines, and the Puffing Billy looks like it would be a great tour. Will have to add this to my list of trains I want to ride in the world for sure — next time I am in Melbourne.

  34. That looks like a great train ride, and what a fun way to see the surroundings. The train looks really fun to sit on, love how you can just hang out the wooden carriages. Really appreciate the tips you gave, if we ever manage to make our way to Australia, we’ll keep this in mind!!

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