Puffing Billy's iconic plume of steam has been spotted winding its way through the Dandenong Ranges since the turn of the 20th century. Tracing a scenic 24-kilometre trail through the ferny forests of the Dandenongs, Puffing Billy rolls along Australia's oldest steam railway – one of the most well-preserved in the world, in fact.
Originally built as an experimental narrow gauge line to connect the townships across the mountains, Puffing Billy has stood the test of time to become one of the most legendary attractions in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. Enjoy a trip back in time on this century-old railway, straight from the days when the journey was just as important as the destination.
The Puffing Billy Railway chugs along from Belgrave to Lakeside and onto Gembrook, passing through many tiny towns in between. On your journey you will be privy to the picturesque sights of the eucalypt-clad Sherbrooke Forest, the timber Trestle Bridge and the historic Nobelius Packing Shed, which today serves as an elegant function venue. As the train approaches Menzies Creek station, you can even catch a glimpse all the way out to Port Phillip Bay.
Towering forests give way to rolling farmlands and wide rivers are bridged across the mountain ranges on this eye-opening excursion. Like a living museum, Puffing Billy is a preserved pocket of time from the hey-day of regional Victoria. Locomotive enthusiasts will, of course, relish the experience, but there's more to love than just the romance of the rail.
Emphasis on authenticity is ensured right down to the fine details – even signage and staff attire is period dated from the 1900s to 1930s! Kids will simply love a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine in Autumn and Spring, while jazz evenings and "murder mystery" nights serve to inject a little culture into the cabin. Take advantage of the "Steam and Cuisine" luncheon or weekend "Dinner and Dance" proceedings, or simply sit back and watch the landscapes change before your eyes from the open-sided carriages.