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.
#1: From Flinders Station, wait at the Platform 4 heading to Belgrave Station, it's where Puffing Billy's primary starting point is located.
#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.
#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.
#4: Luckily I arrived 15-20 minutes earlier to board on the train.
#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.
#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.
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.
#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.
#7: Another type of Puffing Billy's train that it's still functioning.
#8: The train officers
#9: From Belgrave, the Billy's first stop was at Menzies Creek.
#10: The beautiful countryside view
#11: Exactly an hour ride on this steam train, finally Billy reach Lakeside or known as Emerald Lake.
#12: Canary? Parrot? Ok, I really confuse!
#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.
#14: Puffing Billy across the Monbulk Creek Trestle Bridge
#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.