Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Melbourne, Australia Day 2: Puffing Billy, Australia's Favourite Steam Train

Date of Visit: 1 October 2012

Second day in Melbourne mark the official day where I wandered alone. Nervous? Scare? Worry? Apparently, I wasn't cause I ever wandered around London alone few years back. But somehow, being a solo traveller wasn't really my favourite type of travelling at all. Just read "Runaway Juno - Sometimes, I Don't Really Care for Solo Travel" and you know why I dislike of solo travel. I still prefer to travel along with my friends or even with my family better.

As I was alone, I decided to go to those famous spots that easily accessible by train. Coincidentally, I came across this Puffing Billy from Kaki Berangan's blog and even my friend highly recommended me to go to this place too. Without thinking any longer, packed my bag with some snacks and water and ready to explore Melbourne alone.

So, what is this Puffing Billy anyway? Puffing Billy is the oldest stream train in Australia and one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. With the open-sided carriages, one will be amazed and mesmerised with the stunning views and beautiful forests throughout the journey when the train travels through the forests, fern gullies and farmlands of the magnificent Dandenong Ranges.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 01
#1: From Flinders Station, wait at the Platform 4 heading to Belgrave Station, it's where Puffing Billy's primary starting point is located. 

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 02
#2: Wait for the right train to arrive and not every train in Platform 4 is heading to Belgrave Station. I learn my lesson when I was in London where I simply jumped in into the wrong train.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 03
#3: After almost an hour train ride, finally reach Belgrave Station, the last station. Just follow Puffing Billy's direction and the ticket purchasing counters are few minutes walk away.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 05
#4: Luckily I arrived 15-20 minutes earlier to board on the train.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 04
#4: The fare information

I choose the one from Belgrave to Lakeside (Emerald Lake) because I want to spend more time to explore Melbourne city center later on. For more details especially the timetables, services and fare, click HERE. It is advisable to check the timetable first in order to avoid from wasting your time to wait for the next train.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 06
#5: As a smart traveller, I bought the return ticket instead. The reason why I got AUD28.70 only (that's 30% discount) because I got this discount voucher from Melbourne's Visitor Guide Book which I took from Melbourne's Visitor Centre. 

Travel Tips:
Visit Melbourne's Visitor Centre at Federation Square of Flinders Street to look for more guides, advises, handbooks, brochures, maps and even discount vouchers which are applicable for some famous tourist spots.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 07
#6: The overview of Puffing Billy. It's free seating by the way but I prefer to sit on the right-hand side instead for more stunning views.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 08
#7: Another type of Puffing Billy's train that it's still functioning.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 09
#8: The train officers

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 16
#9: From Belgrave, the Billy's first stop was at Menzies Creek.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 10
#10: The beautiful countryside view

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 15
#11: Exactly an hour ride on this steam train, finally Billy reach Lakeside or known as Emerald Lake.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 11
#12: Canary? Parrot? Ok, I really confuse!

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 12
#13: Emerald Lake Park, which offers pleasant walks, a pool and paddle boats but only in the summer time. 

It was pretty cold when by the time arrived this lake and I believe there's no one ever thought of getting wet or even soak into the pool in this kind of weather. Given less than an hour stop at the Lakeside, most of them were here mainly for family picnic. How I wish I could do so but I was alone - only with the accompanion  my chocolate stick snacks which I bought from Hong Kong few days ago on my left-hand side and water bottle on my right-hand side. Sounds so pathetic right! And that's was my lunch anyway, in case if you are wondering cause having a proper meal in Melbourne was indeed cost a bomb to me.

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 13
#14: Puffing Billy across the Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge

Day 2 Melbourne, Australia - Puffing Billy 14
#15: Looks like the kids were pretty enjoying themselves hanging their legs out the windows

Overall, I pretty enjoy the train ride as well, like the rest of the kids. Just that I didn't hang my legs out from the windows cause I worry I might accidentally drop my camera or even my smartphone due to my clumsiness. This attraction is indeed highly recommended especially for those family who travel with their children along cause I believe they will enjoy as much as I did. And in case if you are travel in a group, don't forget to pack some foods and do picnic! Oh boy, I love to do that again someday - like I did quite number of times when my friends and I was in United Kingdom.

13 comments:

  1. I've traveled alone twice but I still took the hotel tours for my sightseeing. You sure ventured further than me on your own. Worth it because I see that you explored quite a bit on the puffing billy.

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  2. Hi D...

    Wow.. i really like the view of pics 14 and 15. Do they really allow kids to sit like that in the train? it looks quite dangerous.

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  3. Thank you for this lovely blog entry. I have also a blog and written briefly about the experience my wife and I had on Puffing Billy in February, 2013. We loved it. I would highly recommend it. It is always fun to go on a train ride and besides, you want to go for the scenery. It was awesome. I like your commentary and the way you have laid this out. Mine will get improved later once I am able to access all of the Puffing Billy pictures we took.

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  4. Wonderful view.....How I wish i were there too.

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  5. The kids are so brave to hang out their legs to enjoy the view.

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  6. What a wonder land... like the train the most huhuu :D

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  7. Geez... I hate travelling alone cos it feels so lonely and sometimes awkward. I prefer to go with boyfie la cos friends also not all are good travelling partners :p

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  8. Looks quite similar with the North Borneo Steam Railway, doesn't it? Seems like something fun to do when in Melbourne..

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  9. one word 'Superb'!!! the train is more like a themepark train but wahlau eh so nice to be able to ride on a steam train itself.

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  10. great blog, keep sharing. For cheap tickets for Istanbul visit euroafricatravel.!!

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  11. Hi, is it better to take the train to gembrook or just emerald? which is better in your opinion? thanks!

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    1. Hi there! I can't give u advise on this cause I haven't been to Gembrook yet. But in the case where you have plenty of time, you could stopby at Gembrook instead of Emerald.

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