One day trip to Puffing Billy

During my initial days in Melbourne, I had started exploring the places around. I loved going out from the Melbourne city and visiting various parts of Victoria. And during one of these visits is when I found the Puffing Billy steam train. One day trip to Puffing Billy from Melbourne is a great way to spend a day out of the busy city. It is also a way to transport in time where steam engine railways were happening.

Melbourne is surrounded by some amazingly beautiful places. Ranging from mountains to the beautiful coastal towns, the city is blessed with great weekend getaways. Are you looking for ideas for one day trips from Melbourne? Then head over to the section, One day trips from Melbourne.

PIN for later reference

One day trip to Puffing Billy
PIN for later reference – One day trip to Puffing Billy

This article may contain affiliate links. For full information, please see our affiliate disclaimer here.

About Puffing Billy

One of the best steam engines in the World is the Puffing Billy steam train. Nestled in the Dandenong ranges of Victoria state in Australia, the Puffing Billy steam train is a narrow gauge heritage railway. Running from Belgrave to Gembrook stations on the foothills of Dandenong ranges, this train is a very popular touristy thing to do when in Melbourne.

Belgrave is a town located in the Dandenong ranges and is part of the Wurundjeri first nations people. The town is named after the chapel in Leeds, England.

Dandenong ranges is home to many beautiful walks and hikes, one such hike is the 1000 steps in the Kokoda Track Memorial.
One day trip to Puffing Billy
Just before the train was about to leave

The train runs every day except Christmas Day for up to six services each day. The train runs between Belgrave and Gembrook. However, the train does have stops at Emerald or Lakeside train stations. The tickets cost AUD 53 per adult for a journey from Belgrave to Gembrook and the tickets can be purchased online or at the office at Belgrave. Note, the ticket cost is cheaper if the journey is short.

The best time to visit the Puffing Billy is during the weekdays as it is very crowded over the weekends. When I visited Puffing Billy, we were allowed to sit by the carriage windows with our feet dangling outside. However, this is completely banned now.

One day trip to Puffing Billy
Note: This is no more allowed and one cannot sit by the carriage windows with their feet dangling.

Every year there is a Puffing Billy Running festival hosted on a Sunday in May. The Great Train Race, part of the festival, is a trail where runners run against the Puffing Billy steam train. The trail starts at Belgrave and has different levels of 2 kilometres to 25 kilometres. It is an annual fundraiser for the Puffing Billy Preservation society.

How to get to Puffing Billy?

Driving

Belgrave is around 45 kilometres from Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) and takes only 45 minutes by road. The route is via M1 and has toll roads.

Public transportation

Belgrave station (starting point) is one of the places in Victoria that is easily accessible by public transport. There are frequent trains between Southern cross station in Melbourne to Belgarve station. The train journey is around one hour 10 minutes and the cost for one way is around AUD 4.50 per adult. For up to date information on train timings and fare, refer Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website.

One day trip to Puffing Billy
The time at the Belgrave train station

One day tours to Puffing Billy

Even though Puffing Billy trip can easily be done with a registered tour provider, there are still many tour agencies that run one day tours to Puffing Billy from Melbourne. These tours are usually combined with some of the trails in Dandenong Ranges. I visited Puffing Billy on a bus tour from Melbourne. The tour provider was Tours to go and the cost of the one day tour was around AUD 79 per adult.

The tour includes the pick up and drop at Federation square in Melbourne and the ticket price for the train ride. Other than visiting the Puffing Billy steam train, the tour also stopped at places like Sherbrooke Forest and Sassafras along the way.

Keep an eye on Groupon website to get tours for cheap on discounted prices.

One day trip to Puffing Billy
Our train driver

Other places to see

Menzies Creek museum

The Menzies creek museum, opened in the year 2020, is a museum exhibiting the collection of railway items, including the rare operational steam and diesel locomotives. The entry into the museum is free for the train ticket holders and the museum is located at Menzies Creek station.

Sherbrooke Forest

The Sherbrooke forest is a rainforest containing a large population of Eucalyptus. The tallest tree recorded in the forest is around 92 metres. It is also famous for spotting the lyrebirds as the forest has a large number of them nesting. I did not see a lyrebird in Sherbrooke forest but I did see a lot of cockatoos (one of Australian’s native birds).

Sassafras

Sassafras is part of Greater Melbourne and is a township around 43 kilometres from Melbourne CBD. The town is famous to buy souvenirs, antiques and crafts. It also retains its 19th century charm. According to 2016 Census, there are only a little over 1000 people in the town.

Ensure to pick up a colourful souvenir in the town.

Safety for solo female travelers

Australia is generally very safe for solo female travelers and so is Victoria. I traveled to many places including Belgrave alone and had no issues whatsoever. However, like any other place, be cautious and know your surroundings, especially at nights.

Are you new to solo travel or want to solo travel but have a lot of questions? Read frequently asked questions for solo traveling.

Closing Notes

Puffing Billy steam train is definitely a fun thing to do when visiting Melbourne. It is one of its kind and the vibes for the train journey is amazing. I highly recommend taking this journey along with visiting the Sherbrooke forest and Sassafras.

For other things to do in Melbourne, read 9 things to do in Melbourne.

If you are looking for tours and trips? Then definitely check out Viator.

If you liked this article, do comment, tweet, or share this post.

Follow me on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter

Do you have a question? Or want any suggestions, and tips for travels, hikes and scuba dives? Use the Subscription box below to sign-up and get updates by email.

For savings on your travel insurance, check out the Travel Insurance Saver.

PIN for later reference

PIN for later reference - One day trip to Puffing Billy
PIN for later reference – One day trip to Puffing Billy

9 thoughts on “One day trip to Puffing Billy”

  1. My daughter lives in Melbourbe so we have been tothe cool town of Sassafras. Didn’t try Puffing Billy though. My daughter has bought a property on the foothills of Dandenong and will get to see it in 2024.

    Reply
  2. I so want to visit to Melboune as there are so many places to see and visit. Puffing Billy seems amazing place to see and visit. Would love to explore again.

    Reply
  3. I love this train. It reminds me of Noddy and the toy train. It also reminds me of the heritage trains of Shimla, Nilgiris and Darjeeling. It’s also made me plan a trip to the railway museum in Delhi. I would love a ride in Puffing Billy.

    Reply
  4. Riding a steam train is so much fun (also a bit smelly!). I went with one in Poland and in Austria. But I did not know about the Puffin Billy Steam Train near Melbourne. It must be interesting to visit the Railway Museum too and learn about the history.

    Reply
  5. I am such a sucker for trains. I always prefer train over any other mode of transportation. Getting out of the hustle-bustle of a city to witness a steam train. Please take my money 🙂

    Reply
  6. What a nice fun trip. Nice things to do and see. I would probably head to Menzies Creek Museum to relate to all railway memories of my childhood. My father being in the Railways. Sherbrooke Forest should be lovely as well.

    Reply
  7. As I love steam trains, I think Puffing Billy is a perfect idea as a trip, especially if traveling with kids. I traveled steam trains in Durango, Colorado, and it was a great adventure, so for sure, I would also love to trip on Puffin Billy. The name of the train is also so cute and funny. It’s great to know that it’s so close to Melbourne so that I can add it to my itinerary.

    Reply
  8. The Puffing Billy Running Festival sounds fun! I would love to experience it one day as running against a train is would definitely be exhilarating. Thank you for sharing this post. Will definitely keep this in mind.

    Reply

I would love to hear your thoughts, please drop a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You cannot copy content of this page!
%d bloggers like this: