Puffing Billy is one of Australia’s most well-known and beloved railways. Located in the Dandenong Ranges, near Melbourne, this 3 foot, Victorian-era coach has been departing from its base of operations at Belgrave Station for the past 100 years.
To this day, tourists from all over the world come to Belgrave station to purchase their tickets and catch a ride on this famous Victorian railway. With the Puffing Billy train still in such great condition, this comes as no surprise.
Its popularity as one of the top Australia activities comes from its authenticity. The railway has been restored to preserve this small piece of Australian heritage, with a specific emphasis on its first years in operation. An authentic 1920s train in motion makes for a novel sight.
There are many scenes along the track for viewers to see, and numerous attractions and activities to make use of along the way. Here, we list just a couple of packages on offer when visiting the Puffing Billy Railway.
- 18.2 miles on an authentic 1920s train
- The Dandenong Ranges
- Preserved Australian culture and heritage
Know before you book:
- Book online to miss the queues
- Make use of the luncheon and/or dinner options
- Special occasions can be celebrated with a themed train ride
Spanning the full 18 miles located between Belgrave and Gembrook, this Victorian-era railway winds like a snake in the wilderness. From the carriages it pulls to the track itself, you’ll think you’ve gone back in time with a ride on the Puffing Billy railway.
Traveling through the mountains, with the forests and farmlands for company, you’re never short for spectacular sights and sounds. For some, this is the best way to see this side of the world, and we’re inclined to agree.
Emerald Lake and Menzies Creek make for picturesque landscapes. And towns such as Emerald and Gemsbrook provide interesting lessons in Australian history and heritage.
With the option of lunch and/or dinner experiences, you know you’ll be treated to a luxurious cabin experience. And, if you time it right, on the last Saturday of every month, you could catch the local market at Gembrook station.
The Puffing Billy railway is one of Melbourne’s greatest getaways from the modern city. Here, you can find a gateway into the past as well as into nature. You’ll also get an authentic “Aussie” experience unlike any other.
Puffing Billy Ticket Prices 2020
A Puffing Billy railway ticket has two options. Departure either from Belgrave ($78.50 USD) or Emerald ($61 USD), with both arriving at Gembrook.
There are also more elaborate tour options available, for those looking to add to their experience. You can compare some of these options and Puffing Billy prices below:
Puffing Billy times follow a strict roster for departure and arrivals. This daily schedule begins on a normal day at 10:30 am, with finals call at 2:30 pm.
The Puffing Billy timetable is laid out on a yearly timetable and is split between 6-month seasonal periods, only closing for Christmas.
Monday – Sunday: 10:30am – 2:30pm
Best Time to Go
The majority of visitors have agreed that the Australian spring (September to November) is the best time to visit the Puffing Billy railway. This is partially due to the fact the majority of the wilderness will be in bloom and you’re likely to enjoy spectacular views.
This could also be due to the weather at this time being mostly clear, and the famously high Australian temperatures not appearing yet. It’s also not as chilly as it is in winter, which is a plus, considering the open-top carriages.
Travel Tip: Puffing Billy bookings are best done online, so as to miss the queues at the station’s ticket office.
Puffing Billy Railway Options and Packages
Puffing Billy steam train offers a pleasant variety of tour options for you to choose from, whether you enjoy a simple train ride through the forests or a trip to surrounding homesteads.
Below you’ll find our personal favorite selections that we think are great choices for you.
Halfday Puffing Billy Tour
Get a taste of the old colonial background hidden in the outskirts of Melbourne. After a brief stop at Grant’s on Sherbrooke for an old-fashioned tea and scones break, you’ll make your way to Belgrave for the start of an iconic journey.
Here, you’ll learn about the history of the locomotive station, and how it operates. Once onboard, you’ll spend the next few hours traveling the Dandenong Mountains with its awesome views. After being dropped off at Menzies, you’ll be taken by coach back to your original pick-up point.
This tour is well-suited for couples and families alike, with the trip being historical and the train exciting to see.
- Professional driver and guide
- Scones and tea at Grant’s
- Train fare from Belgrave to Menzies Creek
- Additional meals and snacks
- Full ride to Gembrook
- Stops at Emerald
Whether it’s due to time constraints or personal preference, this tour is great for those looking to free up their day. With the train going straight to Menzies, and the tour only being 5 hours or so, you can be guaranteed a scenic and enjoyable half-day trip.Check Price & Book
Puffing Billy Full-Day Tour
If you’re looking to spend an entire day away from Melbourne and really take in that fresh, mountainous air, then we suggest you make use of this full-day Puffing Billy tour.
Not only will your day be filled with train rides and scenic mountainous views, but you’ll also spend your time exploring the local wildlife and natural habitats.
With this tour offering a trip over the famous trestle bridge, to Healesville Sanctuary, you can be assured it’s a trip suited for the whole family. From Tasmanian Devils to Koalas and Wombats, you don’t get more naturally Australian than this.
- Experienced local guide
- Pick-up and drop off
- Belgrave to Menzies train fare
- Food and drink
- Full train fare to Gembrook
Need a sentence hereCheck Price & Book
Your day will be jam-packed with a variety of different things to keep you entertained. From the morning tours filled with history and culture to the train ride, and then an afternoon of wildlife and nature.
Healesville Sanctuary boasts a multitude of indigenous Australian animals. By experiencing their natural habitats via traveling through them, your connection to these mammals will only grow stronger.
- Authentic themed tour
- Scenic mountain views
- Transportation to and from Melbourne
- Prices can be on the higher end
- Does not offer the full railway trip
- Food is not provided
Specification: Puffing Billy Tickets (Timetable, Prices & Packages) 2020
Not wheelchair accessible
5 hours, 7 – 8 hours
Admission tickets, Professional guide, Transport
|Meals & Drinks|
Meals not included (available for purchase)
Pick-up and drop-off included
Couples, Families, Families with older children, Solo travelers