Nestled amongst the towering rainforests, cool fern gullies and native flowers of the Emerald Lake Park precinct, the Lakeside Visitor Centre combines its natural surroundings with the authentic sights, smells, and sounds of Puffing Billy Railway to offer guests a cultural hub with world class facilities.
Dine in at the modern café, collect a picnic hamper and explore the walking trails, go swimming (during summer!) or jump on a paddle boat in the cool waters of Lake Treganowan, discover steam artifacts in the Lakeside Hall before jumping on board your steam train, or host an event in a private function room.
Whether you're after outdoor adventure or total relaxation, the Lakeside Visitor Centre is the perfect destination to meet, eat, drink, and spend your day whiling time away with family and friends!
After a big day of outdoor adventure and family fun, reward yourself with a delicious bite to eat! Morning Tea, lunch or a quick cup of coffee, the Railway Café caters to all tastebuds.
Functions and venues
Set in the scenic surrounds of Emerald Lake Park, the Lakeside Visitor Centre features indoor and outdoor event spaces, local food and wine, and inspiring group experiences. Celebrate anything from birthdays and private dinners to an engagement party or milestone event.
Every day, there is plenty to see and do off the rails. Hire an e-bike and explore the Eastern Dandenong Ranges Rail Trail. Team up with your friends for paddle boating on the lake. Learn all about the Railway in the Lakeside Hall. Or simply settle into the Railway Café with a coffee flight and a good book.
Start your journey on board our open-side carriages through the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, with lush fern gullies brushing past and Mountain Ash trees towering overhead.
The Lakeside Visitor Centre, adjacent to Lakeside Station and sitting at the heart of the Railway, was developed to enhance the visitor experience within the surrounding Emerald Lake Park precinct.
Renowned architects Terroir designed this cutting-edge facility in stark contrast with the neighbouring heritage station, while retaining a connection to place through design features that reflect the region’s rail heritage and environment.
The new state of the art 2,500sqm building features expansive windows that bathe the centre in daylight while providing unparalleled views of moving steam locomotives, as well as interior Tasmanian Oak and exterior Silvertop Ash hardwood cladding.
Enhancing the visitor experience further are purpose-built indoor and outdoor event and dining space configurations and an historical interpretive zone - the Lakeside Hall - that give guests a glimpse into the early days of steam train travel.