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Puffing Billy Train Trip


polly
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We took a ride on Puffing Billy yesterday. Was fantastic, except we completely underestimated how cold it is in the Dandenongs. Quite a few degrees below where we came from. So my first tip: Dress as you would if you were going to a snowy place! (and take blanket)

The drive is very beautiful. Ferntree Gully literally looks like the name. You drive through a deep valley with houses and trees up the sides. Lots of little shops along the road and a few markets.

We arrived a few minutes before the first train left. Huge sign up, first train already sold out. Then we saw the queue. We were the second to last family to get tickets for the next train. We got onto the next to last carriage, which turned out to be a blessing. Firstly, it was a closed carriage (you can open the windows) so it was a little warmer than the open ones. Secondly, it wasn't open, so the kids weren't tempted to sit with their feet out like the people do on the other carriages. Thirdly, the conductors were in the carriage right behind us. They REALLY love their jobs. They were hanging out their windows the whole trip and telling us all about each toursity thing we past. Fourth, being so far behind, you get some nice views of the front of the train when it goes around corners.

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My daughter had an awesome time. The first time she heard the train whistle, she yelled "Elephant Noise"! She got so excited every time the whistle blew. We heard a lot of that and "twain noisy" :) She had her face out the window the whole way.

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We took the train to Emerald Lake Park ($71 for a family ticket). It is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. The park feels huge, spread around a beautiful lake. There are little pedal boats (with three kids, no way we were getting on those ;)) and some cafés around. We also noticed a model train exhibition (forgot to go see that) and there is some sort of museum at the end of one of the walking tracks. We first found a sunny spot next to one of the playgrounds and had a great picnic. The kids went to see the ducks on the lake. They are amazingly tame. (Next time we will remember to take some bread.) Then we went for a walk to the wishing well. It feels like walking through a rain forest, with huge trees and ferns and some beautiful fungi growing everywhere. We walked on a beautiful bed of the brightest orange leaves. The kids loved making wishes and keeping them secret (well, the little one actually just liked throwing money).

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We then rushed to catch the first train back to Belgrave. My younger son had developed a fever, so we thought it better to go back as quick as possible. My recommendation though is not to take that train. It is the lunch train, so it doesn't have any closed carriages unless you bought tickets for lunch (a bit more expensive). Luckily my husband is so big, so he put the little one inside his jacket and there she slept.

The train seems to be a popular backdrop for wedding photos as well. (Notice the gumboots ;))

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All in all a fantastic outing that we can recommend to any family.

Some different photos are on my blog.

Slideshow: http://s270.photobucket.com/albums/jj117/p...mview=slideshow

Edited by polly
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Stunning pics Polly! Looks like an amazing trip.

I am totally awed at how beautiful Mebourne looks - it is somehow very European-looking.

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Thanks Gizmo :) I have heard that comment before. Never been to Europe, so can't compare, but it does seem very 'cosmopolitan'.

It is still amazing to me how easily you can live the kind of life you want here, with minimal sacrifices it seems. If you live in Belgrave, I think you only travel about an hour and a half to get to the city. You would really love it. And the city is a real city, if that makes sense.

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Hi Polly

Yes, once again, am in awe of your stunning pic's!

What a wonderful experience that must have been for young and old alike!!

EricaC

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Wow, it looks beautiful...definitely going on my list of things to do on our LSD

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Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful !!! Seems like a dream ...

I absolutely love that old, colonial style and feel - sturdy and nostalgic all in one. Gorgeous !

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Thanks Gizmo :) I have heard that comment before. Never been to Europe, so can't compare, but it does seem very 'cosmopolitan'.

It is still amazing to me how easily you can live the kind of life you want here, with minimal sacrifices it seems. If you live in Belgrave, I think you only travel about an hour and a half to get to the city. You would really love it. And the city is a real city, if that makes sense.

Makes perfect sense. We are definitely going to do a Melbourne trip sometime in the future - looks too beautiful for words!

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YES! It has now just come to me, that is what that train reminds me of..........

the train Harry Potter and co travelled on!

Well close I think LOL!

EricaC :)

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Well Gizmo, you guys better come and visit us us well if you make a trip to Melbourne! :(

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  • 5 weeks later...

Polly, thanks for the lovely pics... we are hoping to go in two weeks time... I am a little confused though... is it a round trip (do u end up where u started?) - I must say, it reminded me a bit of Canada.... We are hoping to maby book into a BB as there seems to be so much to do in that area.

Lisa :ilikeit::D

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lisabella, we went there, got off, had a picnic, then got on one of the trains going back.

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