"Belgrave, Puffing Billy, Lakeside" Belgrave by lisa_aruliah

Belgrave Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 100 photos

The begining

This trip was planned as a surprise for me (as I had planned the last trip as a surprise). The only thing that I was told was that I would have to drive and would be given directions on how to get there. The drive to my surprise was beautiful and at times familiar to the route taken on my trip to Marysville. After about 2 hours of driving and a constant stream of 'are we there yet?', I was told that I would see the biggest clue of where we were going, and that is when I saw the big Puffing Billy sign. I was super excited as I've always wanted to go on the Puffing Billy. We had about 15 mins to find a parking spot, run to the station, buy a ticket and board the train.

On Puffing Billy

Our journey on puffing billy began at Belgrave. As I wanted to sit as close to the engine as possible, we sat in the first carriage. Unlike with other trains, you can sit on the window sill with your legs hanging out and almost everyone does this. If you decide to sit in the first carriage be warned, you will get covered with soot, breathe in smoke and hear the almost deafening sound of the horn, but it's worth it. My first breathtaking moment was going over a bridge (I'm scared of heights). But it was lots of fun having my legs hanging out and over a bridge. Through out the trip, people wave out and honk as the train passes by. We stopped at stations along the way and managed to get some good photos as well. The journey both ways offer the avid photographer ample opportunity to get some fairly decent photos. The flora along the way is spectacular. If you are sitting on the left side of the train on its journey from Belgrave, you will see the place where the 1953 landslide occurred and covered the tracks. The houses along the tracks are beautiful to look at and I wouldn't mind retiring there one day :). The view from the right side of the train is spectacular. I wanted to soak up as much scenery as I could and take photos at the same time. After about 2 hours we reached our destination - Lakeside.

Lakeside & the journey back

Lakeside is a beautiful, picturesque place that I would recommend to anyone. Less than 50 meters from the station, on one side, you have the model railway display. This display is fantastic even for someone who has very little knowledge about model trains. It features about 2kms worth of track, 100s of trains, landscapes which are built in great detail, push button participation...we spent an hour in there?at least! The gentleman in charge pointed out interesting parts of the landscape, gave us the opportunity to take 'night shots' of the entire place by switching off the lights and was basically really nice. I had the biggest smile when I walked out.

Many people go straight to the lake and rent out the paddle boats. There were also a few people with fishing poles trying their luck. I for one wanted to go bush walking. So we followed a bush walking track. I cannot describe the beauty and silence we felt walking. We decided to head towards the wishing well. I don't know much about the names of the various plants and birds but everything felt so right. The saying 'take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints' have never felt more apt than at that moment. We reached the wishing well and made our wishes (can't tell you what they were or they might not happen! :) ). We then walked back and then decided to walk to the heritage museum, but turned back half way as we didn't want to miss the last train back.

The way back on Puffing Billy was more a peaceful enjoyment of a day well spent. We got back to Belgrave and had a massive burger with the lot (has become a tradition to have a burger with the lot at every destination we go to).

A must do for everyone visiting/staying in Victoria. You need at most a day, I would reckon and it would be a day well spent!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Puffing Billy, Lakeside
  • Last visit to Belgrave: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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