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The Dandenong Ranges + Australia’s century-old steam train Puffing Billy

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

When you visit Australia, you’ll see a lot of attractions, day trips and amazing things you can do coming at you. In hostels, there are travel agencies that book your special day, and on the streets you’ll find more travel agencies. I already listed the most common Australian backpack tours here, but I wanted to share some light on a really cute one I did! 

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

I decided to turn on my Grandma mode, and visit Puffing Billy and it was the most amazing and cutest day ever! Puffing Billy is an old steam train, that rides through the BEAUTIFUL Dandenong Ranges. I wanted to go to the Dandenong Ranges anyways, so all I had to do is find the right tour, that combines the two.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

It’s definitely an uncommon tour for backpackers or people my age, but that didn’t matter. I had fun! Or maybe it made it even more fun! A lot of old people and kids joined me on the magnificent ride through the rainforest and all I could think of was “THIS TRAIN WILL BRING ME TO HOGWARTS!”. In my head, I had to make it a lot more exciting than it actually was, because it’s just a train ride with a beautiful view haha.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

A lot of old people and kids joined me on the magnificent ride through the rainforest and all I could think of was “THIS TRAIN WILL BRING ME TO HOGWARTS!”. In my head, I had to make it a lot more exciting than it actually was, because it’s just a train ride with a beautiful view haha.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May
This century-old steam train continues to run on its original mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook in the magnificent Dandenong Ranges 40kms east of Melbourne.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May www.amsterdamcurated.nl-15

Puffing Billy was built to serve at the turn of the century and is a genuine relic of our more leisurely days. The Railway is the major survivor of four experimental lines used to develop rural areas in the early 1900s.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Puffing Billy Melbourne Dandenong Ranges rainforest tour

There are different stops, but in all honesty I don’t think you need to visit them all, or stick to the end. After a while you get it and then it’s more fun to do another activity like visit a cute village or enjoy a hike in the rainforest. The village (Sassafras) has a lot of cute shops like a shop filled with teapots, a classic candy store and a shop with beautiful soaps! 

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Make sure you start your journey at Belgrave Station, so you can experience Puffing Billy’s most famous landmark – the iconic Monbulk Creek trestle bridge.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

I picked a tour from Melbourne so we gathered near Fed Sq. to enter a bus. This is the thing I love most about organized tours: you just enter the bus and when you step out you’re there. So once we got there, we entered the Puffin Billy. Fun!

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

We got plenty of time after, we could do a short hike or visit a cute little village. We also had a high tea in the middle of the Dandenong Ranges park, which was the best!

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Near the place we had our high tea, there was a bird thing happening, but it did not attract me at all… look at all the warning signs haha! I had fun though, looking at others (and taking sneaky photos) while they almost got attacked by the birds.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

And then, the most Australian thing ever happened, they tried to win my heart by serving crackers with Vegemite…. uhmm, not really my kind of snack?!!

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

The thing I hate most about organized tours is that I’m always afraid they’ll leave without me haha especially when I travel alone. So usually I end up somewhere near the bus, but in this case that wasn’t a problem.

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

These yellow boxes are ALL over Australia, does anyone know what they are? Never seen them before!

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

We went with a Greyline bus, although I booked my tour somewhere else. They were not enough people to fill three buses, so we all got together. It’s a nice ride out of Melbourne, and I had two seats all to myself. Perfect for some reading, and the driver gave us a tour haha. We had to collect early in Melbourne, the sunlight was beautiful!

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

Melbourne Dandenong Ranges and Puffing Billy by Noni May

| Book your tour |

The tour I got was simply the best deal (I did a lot of research lol) because it was the cheapest + most fun one. I bought my ticket from one of the tour agencies in the CBD, but online is cheaper. Here are a few interesting combined tours you might want to book for your next Melbourne trip:

 

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