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Suggested Itineraries

Puffing Billy is located in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges, adjacent to the world-famous Yarra Valley wine region.

A visit to Puffing Billy doesn't need to stop at the steam train ride. How about making a day, night or weekend of it?

We have sampled a range of suggested itineraries for you to explore; providing inspiration for planning your visit to our region.

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    FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

    Fruit, pizza and steam

    Pack a picnic blanket, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a day of fruit picking, a trip back in time on the steam train and a delicious Italian lunch. Finish off your day with rest on your picnic blanket in the park next to the station.

    Itinerary inclusions:

    Duration: 1 DAY

    Rayners Orchard
    VIEW ITINERARY | Fruit, pizza and steam

    9 am - Fruit picking at Rayners Orchard, Woori Yallock

    Start your family day out at Rayners Orchard in Woori Yallock. The tractor tours of the orchard and shop are open every day throughout the year, with U-pick open most of the year. Our Fruit Adventure Tours take you around the orchard with an expert guide.  You’ll learn about our farming practices and discover what real fruit tastes like. Rayner’s is one of the leading u pick farms in Melbourne.

    Book fruit adventure tour

     

    11 am - Morning tea at Zest Cafe, Emerald

    Zest Café is a place for people who love their great food and quality coffee served with a side of sustainability. Zest is owned by locals who love Emerald and are dedicated to supporting local producers.

    View menu

     

    12.20 pm - 1 pm: Travel onboard Puffing Billy from Lakeside to Gembrook station

    Escape the crowds and enjoy a family outing on this lesser-known part of Puffing Billy. Did you know that Puffing Billy crosses four historic timber bridges between Lakeside and Gembrook? Underway, the Railway skirts the northern boundary of the un-spoilt Wright State Forest, with large stands of Stringy Bark and other eucalypt trees. As the train climbs towards Gembrook, the lineside bush gives way to extensive views of rolling cultivated farmlands, where potatoes are still grown, and distant mountain range.

    Buy tickets online

     

    1 pm - 2.30 pm: Lunch at The Station House Pizzeria

    Walking through the heritage town of Gembrook, smell the Italian aroma wafting through the air. The Station House Pizzeria offers a newly refurbished, fully licensed, 30 seat restaurant.

    Book a table

     

    2.45 pm - 3.20 pm: Return to Lakeside station onboard Puffing Billy

    3.20 pm - 4 pm: Emerald Lake Park

    This park offers BBQ facilities and picnic tables, playground facilities, a wading pool and paddle boats for hire, and is the perfect spot for visitors with kids!

    More information

    Station House Gembrook

    Train, lake and penguins

    Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a trip back in time on the steam train and picnic lunch. Continue to Phillip Island and get up close to a variety of animals including horses, cows, koalas and penguins!

    Duration: 1 DAY

    Need pic from Phillip Island Nature Parks

    VIEW ITINERARY | Train, Lake and Penguins

    8.45 am Depart Melbourne CBD for Puffing Billy Railway, Belgrave

    10.00 am Arrive at Puffing Billy

    10.30 am Jump onboard Australia’s Favourite Steam Train
    Take a century-old steam train ride through the beautiful forests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges. 

    11.30 am Arrive at Lakeside Station Located within Emerald Lake Park
    Explore what Emerald Lake Park has to offer, including walking trails, local wildlife, free BBQ facilities, paddle boats and a wading pool in the summer.

    12.30 pm Depart Lakeside Station to return to Belgrave

    1.30 pm Arrive back at Belgrave Station and depart for Phillip Island

    3.15 pm Tour the local attractions of Phillip Island Nature Park, including Koala Conservation Centre & Churchill Island Heritage Farm

    Sunset
    Watch one of Australia’s most amazing wildlife encounters as the adorable cute fairy penguins come home after being at sea at the Phillip Island Penguin Parade

    10.45 pm Arrive back to Melbourne City Centre

    Alternatively, stay overnight on Phillip Island and take a relaxing drive to the stunning Mornington Peninsula.

    Family weekend away

    Escape to the stunning valleys of the Yarra Valley to sample world-renowned wines and stay at cosy, self-contained accommodation. Discover koalas, kangaroos, wombats, platypus and Australia’s amazing bird life in natural surrounds. Pick and eat the freshest fruits you will ever try at an orchard with over 350 varieties of fruit! Jump on board for a century-old steam train ride through the beautiful forests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges and enjoy a refreshing ice cream.

    Duration: 1 DAY

    Puffing Billy 2048px Tony Evans Photo Puffing Billy 11464
    VIEW ITINERARY | Family weekend to Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley

    Day One

    7.00pm
    Check into your cosy, family-friendly cottage at Emerald Ridge B&B.

    Day Two

    8:00am
    Enjoy your self-contained breakfast in your cottage. 

    9.00am
    Depart for Rayners Orchard, Woori Yallock

    Discover life on the land and pick your own fruit on a tractor tour at Rayners Orchard before enjoying a coffee or homemade ice cream. 

    11.30am
    Depart for Puffing Billy.

    12:20pm
    Jump onboard Puffing Billy at Lakeside station for a century-old steam train ride through the beautiful forests and fern gullies of the Dandenong Ranges.

    1.00pm 
    Enjoy an Argentinian feast at renowned Gembrook eatery The Independent.

    2.45pm
    Depart onboard Puffing Billy, returning to Lakeside station

    3.20pm
    Return to your cottage for a well-deserved rest!

    Evening
    Enjoy dinner at one of the local eateries such as Bam Bam Italian in Avonsleigh.

    Day Three

    10.00am
    Check out from your cottage and make your way to the Yarra Valley. 

    11.00am
    Delight your sweet tooth with a visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice creamery.

    12.00pm
    Enjoy a delicious lunch of sharing platters at YarraWood Estate - with a cool climate glass of wine to match! 

    2.00pm
    Explore a bushland haven for Australia wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary.

    4.00pm
    Return home from a weekend full of adventure and meaningful connections!

    Bam Bam Italian

    Emerald Ridge B&B

    U-pick in Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

    Find yourself in an orchard this season.

    Fruit always tastes better in the sunshine, under the very tree it grew on! Fill up your baskets with the freshest fruit of the season.

    Duration: 1 day

    U Picktrail Hero

    Trail courtesy of Yarra Ranges Tourism.

    Top family experiences in our region

    How many ways are there for kids to have fun in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges? The answer is endless!

    Trail courtesy of Yarra Ranges Tourism.

    Top Family Experiences Yarra Valley Dandenong Ranges

    COUPLES AND FRIENDS

    Wildlife, balloons, steam & cuisine

    Enjoy a romantic couples weekend in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, complete with hot air ballooning, dining on board a train, wine tasting, and Asian Fusion cuisine!

    Global Ballooning
    VIEW ITINERARY | Wildlife, Balloons, Steam & Cuisine

    FRIDAY

    7 pm Check in to Yering Gorge Cottages, Yering

    Yering Gorge Cottages features 13 self-contained, beautifully appointed one, two and five-bedroom cottages. All cottages include separate living and bedroom areas, and guests can relax on their wide balcony watching the kangaroos graze, whilst enjoying a glass of local Yarra Valley wine.

    SATURDAY

    Pre dawn - Balloon ride at Global Ballooning, Yarra Valley 

    Join this spectacular floating experience by booking a specific flight date or purchase a gift voucher for a special occasion. Enjoy a truly remarkable experience of a sunrise hot air balloon flight with Global Ballooning Australia - a world-class experience.

    9 am approx: Champagne breakfast at Balgownie Estate included in your ballooning ticket.

    12.30 pm - 3.30 pm: Travel onboard the First Class Puffing Billy Steam & Cuisine Luncheon

    Relax and unwind with a majestic three-hour steam train journey as you take in the scenic vista of the Dandenong Ranges. Indulge in a delicious seasonal three-course menu or Grazing Platter filled with a selection of cured meats, fine cheeses, and Devonshire Tea. All tickets include your selected meal, 2-hour train journey and 1-hour spare time at Emerald Lake Park.

    4 pm - 6 pm: Explore the quaint village of Olinda in the Dandenong Ranges. 

    6 pm - 8 pm: Enjoy Asian Fusion cuisine at Olinda Tea House 

    Olinda Tea House is a modern yet incredibly relaxing Asian fusion restaurant, specialising in Devonshire tea, lunch and dinner al a carte menu, banquet menus, functions of all kinds, exquisite desserts and authentic oriental high teas.

    8 pm: Take the 45-minute drive back to your accommodation at Yering Gorge Cottages

    SUNDAY

    10 AM: Check out from Yering Gorge Cottages following breakfast in your cottage

    10.30 am - 3 pm: Explore wineries, gin distilleries and points of interest in the Yarra Valley wine region before starting your journey home. 

    Olinda Tea House

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