Victoria Melbourne Aquarium Botanical Gardens Puffing Billy Phillip Island Great Ocean Walk Day 1 - Koala day Day 2 - shoreline sights Day 3 - up and down Day 4 - to the Apostels Day 5 - finishing up Wilsons Prom Short walk Daywalk Overnight hike The burned gum trees Tree fern jungle Sealers cove over the ridge at the camp ground Tasmania
General Marsupials Birds More animals Trees
Puffing Billy is the reconstruction of an old narrow gauge steam railway. Originally built for the farmer's business, it is now entirely for the delight of tourists and railway enthusiasts. According to the information onsite, the train is run by a bunch of professional workers and a group of volunteers.
I went there by local train from Flinders Street. It took me a while to get to Belgrave, the starting point of Puffing Billy. Coming from Europe, one easily forgets Australia has slightly different dimensions. That problem apparently is well-known at the ticket-counter, too. The lady there refused simply to sell me a ticket to Gembrook, the terminal station. She said, if I had nobody to pick me up there, it would be really difficult to get away there and I better should take half the track to Lakeside and then return to Belgrave. And indeed: it was a nice ride and did for the day.
When entering the train, nobody is interested in the formerly good seats - everyone goes for the cars that were for goods and animals. One can sit in the windows there to enjoy the views and photographic opportunities. I enjoyed to see many of the passengers are Chinese these days - looks like more and more of them can affort longer and more special travel.
Right at the beginning of the track one passes the most scenic bridge of the part until Lakeside - make sure you get a good spot at the window - or outside of it!
Anyway, the railway track most of the times goes trough gum and fern tree forrests, something I could enjoy for hours. Only sometimes, one side opens up to provide wide views across the country and to the ocean.
During one of the several stops along the track, I heard one of the insiders saying that one over there was the original Puffing Billy - well, here it is.