Step into Spring at Puffing Billy Railway these school holidays!

Yassss! It’s almost the end of term three and the start of school holidays and that can only mean one thing! It’s time for a trip to Puffing Billy Railway ! It’s the perfect time to get outside, keep the kids moving and exploring, and make family memories that will last a lifetime.  

Start your outdoor adventure on board Australia’s favourite steam train as you all dangle your legs from Puffing Billy’s traditional open-side carriages; a truly iconic experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Feel the wind in your hair and watch the trees pass by in front of your feet as the train winds through the most magnificent scenery of the Dandenong Ranges, only one hour from Melbourne. This is truly magnificent and the kids will love it!

From Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October, passengers travelling to Lakeside Station will discover a free spring-themed arts and crafts activity zone at the Lakeside Visitor Centre for little ones to enjoy. You can also stop in at the Centre’s free Lakeside Hall Museum, home to a collection of steam artefact displays, including Puffing Billy Railway’s first ever locomotive, 3A, and also see the ‘Animal Tales’ photographic exhibition currently on show from award-winning artist Karen Alsop.

Once you’re all puffed out, take a seat at the Railway Café and choose from a range of tasty treats to indulge in, like satisfyingly crunchy baguettes, sweet and puffy Danishes, delicious beef and chicken burgers or even tender calamari. 

The lakeside views are stunning and the perfect spot for a picnic before you take advantage of the various outdoor activities available in Emerald Lake Park. Families can hire a COG Bikes Australia bike and ride through the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Trail, jump aboard a paddleboat* to play on Lake Treganowan, visit to the Emerald Lake Model Railway & Miniature World* for a look at one of the largest model railways in Australia, or take to one of seven walking tracks through the lush green foliage of the precinct, with plenty more picnic spots along the way. 

Pre-book an adult or children’s picnic pack and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding manna gums, tall chestnut and oak trees, and blossoming tree ferns of the forest, before jumping back on board, legs out and all, for the return journey. 

Passengers aged between 2 – 15 travelling on Friday 23rd September are encouraged to wear their favourite footy colours to celebrate the AFL Grand Final and redeem a special prize from the Lakeside Visitor Centre gift shop. 


Train services available during the school holidays

Monday – Friday 

  • 10.00 am Belgrave to Lakeside return
  • 11.15 am Belgrave to Lakeside return
  • 2.15 pm Belgrave to Lakeside return

Saturday – Sunday  

  • 10.00 am Belgrave to Lakeside return
  • 11.15 am Belgrave to Gembrook return*
  • 12.20 pm Lakeside to Gembrook return*
  • 12.45 pm Belgrave to Lakeside return

*Leg dangling is not permitted from the Lakeside to Gembrook section of the railway line.
*Lakeside Paddle boats and the Emerald Lake Model Railway & Miniature World are operated by separate businesses. Entry fees apply.

About Puffing Billy Railway:

Puffing Billy Railway is Australia’s (and the Wilson’s) favourite steam train and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. The railway, which commenced operation in Australia on December 18, 1900, is a genuine relic of more leisurely days.

The historic steam train ran regularly in the Victorian mountain district and was built to serve at the turn of the century to transport goods and passengers throughout the district. The railway travels 24kms through the forests and fern gullies of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook – the original terminus of the line – and is one of only two survivors of five experimental narrow-gauge lines used to develop rural areas in Victoria during the early 1900s.

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