Before you visit

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Important things to note before you visit

 

We have put together this page to help answer any questions you may have before your visit to Puffing Billy. Including what to wear, what to bring, how to get here, etc. If you are looking for any information not available on this page, please visit our  FAQs page.


Can I park at Belgrave?

There is limited parking available for visitors to Puffing Billy’s Belgrave Station, and as such we do recommend catching public transport. We are located right next to Belgrave Metro Station, with a path from the Belgrave Metro platform to Puffing Billy (kindly use the Journey Planner below to find Metro Train departure times).

If you do choose to drive, please allow plenty of time to find a parking space before making your way to the Belgrave Booking Office.

You may also wish to start your journey at Lakeside and travel to Gembrook return, as there are more parking facilities at Lakeside Station. kindly note that these are paid parking spaces.

* Please note, no Parking is available at 1 Old Monbulk Road, this is a drop off point only.

What if I require a disabled parking space?

There are limited disabled parking spaces located at Gate 4, 1 Old Monbulk Road. Appropriate parking stickers must be displayed. Please note that access to the booking area from these spaces is relatively steep. 

If I choose to travel one-way to Lakeside, is there a bus back to Belgrave?

No. Public transport back to Belgrave is not available from Lakeside station, and Puffing Billy does not provide any other form of transport. If you choose to travel only one way, you will need to organise your own transportation from Lakeside station, i.e. a family member picking you up or a private transportation company collecting you. There is no taxi rank at Lakeside and taxi service in the area is limited.

Can I bring a pram on the train?

Yes. However, due to the narrow carriage doors (as our carriages were built in the early 1900s), only folding or narrow type pushers can be accommodated on Puffing Billy. 

I or a member of my party requires a wheelchair. Can we book to travel on any train?

If you or a member of your party is travelling in a wheelchair, please contact us prior to making your booking so that we can assist you in accommodating your needs. You can contact one of our friendly customer service team members during business hours (9am-5pm AEST) Monday-Friday and from (9am – 12 pm AEST) on Saturdays on (03) 9757 0700 (+61 3 9757 0700 international).
Please note that there are limited wheelchair spaces available on each of our Excursion Trains, visit our Accessibility page for more information.  

Wheelchair access is not available from Emerald Station due to the heritage nature of the platform. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Can I purchase a concession fare?

Concession fares are available to Australian bearers of Health Care, Student, Senior, Companion or Pensioner cards. (Verification on the day may be required).

I booked my ticket for the 11:10am train, but have arrived early. Can I swap my ticket for the 10:30am train?

Unfortunately we are unable to change your tickets for another train time. All tickets purchased online are non-transferrable and non-refundable as per the terms and conditions at the time of purchase.
Please take your online booking confirmation to the Booking Office window when you arrive to receive your tickets.

Occasionally, you may have booked a later train departure as tickets to an earlier train were sold out online, only to find that tickets are available for the earlier train at our Booking Office. A small percentage of our tickets are allocated to be sold at the station for each train. These are sold on a first come, first served basis, which is why we recommend booking online to guarantee that you are able to travel on your desired day. However, as mentioned above, we will not be able to swap your online booking for one of these tickets.

Can I book my return journey?

No. All return tickets are open return and visitors may choose to return on any journey they please. If there is a particular time train you would like to catch, we recommend arriving approx. 15 minutes prior to the departure time.

What should I wear?
Our traditional heritage carriages were built in the early 1900’s, please be aware they are open-sided and do not have heating or air conditioning.  We recommend that you check the weather forecast before your visit so you are able to dress accordingly. It can be especially cold over the winter months, so please make sure you dress warm (coats, jumpers, scarves, gloves) and bring appropriate weather proof clothing.   

Please click the weather below to see the weekly forecast.

 
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Carriages are open-sided and guests are welcome to hang their legs out the window during their journey.

What should I bring?

Some of the key items we recommend bringing with you include:

In the summer time:

CAMERA!
Picnic lunch
Sunscreen
Sunglasses
Hat
A water bottle
Money for any purchases (food/souvenirs/boats at Lakeside)

In the winter time:

CAMERA!
Picnic lunch
Coat
Extra jumper
Scarf and gloves
Close toed shoes and warm socks
Money for any purchases (food/souvenirs/boats at Lakeside)
 

Again, please be sure to check the weather forecast on your day of travel so you can dress appropriately.

Can I wear high heels?

Guests may wear any shoes they choose, however, one of the highlights of taking a ride on Puffing Billy is being able to hang your legs over the sides of the carriages, and it is important that you are wearing appropriate shoes for this experience.
Remember that in winter it may be wet, we recommend wearing close-toed shoes and warm socks to ensure you are comfortable for your journey.

Will it be cold on the train? (WINTER)

All of our carriages are open-sided (please see photos below), and in the cooler months it can be extremely cold; warm clothing (e.g. coats, jumpers, scarves, gloves, etc.) will ensure that you have a comfortable and enjoyable journey. As we mentioned earlier, it is important to check the weather forecast on the particular day of your visit.

Will it be hot on the train? (SUMMER)

The summer holidays are a very busy time for us and temperatures in Melbourne can exceed up to 40 °C (104 °F). All our carriages are open-sided and do not have air-conditioning. Please ensure you check the weather forecast on your date of travel and dress accordingly. Remember to wear a hat and sunscreen. We also recommend carrying a water bottle on very hot days to stay hydrated.

Please note that throughout the year during peak times carriages may be quite busy. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.
Peak times include:

School holidays
Christmas and New Year
Chinese New Year
Easter School Holidays
Victorian Public Holidays

Should I bring lunch? Or can I buy lunch there?

Our canteen style cafes located at Belgrave and Lakeside offer a selection of cakes, hot food, sandwiches, and hot & cold beverages (cash & EFTPOS payments available).
You are of course more than welcome to bring your own lunch to take with you on the train to enjoy at your destination.

Why not pack a picnic? There are beautiful parks located at both Gembrook and Lakeside Stations, where you can enjoy lunch with your family and friends when you arrive - don’t forget to pack a picnic blanket! Feel free to take advantage of the free Barbeque facilities on offer at the parks!

Please note that there are no pub or restaurant facilities located at Lakeside. You may choose to journey to Gembrook where there are a range of local restaurants where you could go for lunch – these facilities are not owned or run by Puffing Billy and you may need extra time to enjoy a meal at one of these establishments.

Are there bathrooms at every station?

Bathroom facilities are available at the following stations:

Belgrave (baby change facilities - inc. microwave)
Menzies Creek
Lakeside (baby change facilities)
Gembrook (baby change facilities)

If you are traveling to Lakeside, we do recommend using the facilities at Belgrave prior to departure, or at Lakeside when you arrive. The train will make a short stop at Menzies Creek to allow passengers only traveling to this station to disembark. It is not encouraged to use the bathroom during this short stop, however let a conductor know if you have a little one who can’t hold on!

What can I do at Lakeside Station?

Lakeside station is located in the stunning Emerald Lake Park. There are several activities available to suit all ages:

Go for a walk along one of the many beautiful walking tracks (there is 10km of walking tracks in Emerald Lake Park!)
Take in the native and exotic plant life and see if you can spot some of the birds and wildlife that inhabit the area (swamp hens, kookaburras, rosellas, echidnas, and black wallabies are just some of the animals you may see in the park.)
Take a casual stroll around the lake with your family and friends
Enjoy a picnic in the park
Take the kids for a paddle in the wading pool (summer months only)
Go for a ride on a paddle boat on the lake (separate enty fee)
Model Railway (separate entry fee)
Have a play in one of the two playgrounds

What can I do at Gembrook Station?

Enjoy a picnic in the local JAC Russell Park
Have a play with the kids
Take a stroll along one of the signposted walks in town
Enjoy lunch at one of the many local restaurants or pub
Visit on the 4th Sunday of the month and you can combine your train ride to Gembrook with a visit to Gembrook Market!