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Puffing Billy Steam Train - Dandenongs
Duration: Full Day
Location: Dandenongs
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Dandenongs Ranges, Puffing Billy & Cockatoo's - 1 Day VIP Group

 

Delve in to the delights of the Dandenong Ranges, explore the magical Aboriginal sculptures, quaint artists villages, towering Eucalyptus forests and ride on iconic Puffing Billy steam train.

We’ll begin the day heading up into the nearby Dandenong Ranges, with its quaint artesian villages and magical green forests. Our first stop is the mystical artistry of the William Ricketts Sanctuary, a sculpture garden with Aboriginal dreamtime figures set amongst the towering forest. Next we visit Skyhigh at the top of Mount Dandenong with views across Greater Melbourne and the bay. You’ll enjoy a walk through the National Rhododendron Gardens, which are host to the brilliantly coloured blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils.

You’ll be served a sumptuous, gourmet a la carte lunch with tea/coffee on the deck of Ripe Cafe among the tree ferns.

After lunch, you’ll visit Sherbrooke Forest to hand feed the wild cockatoos before boarding the much-loved Puffing Billy Steam Train for a romantic and scenic trip through the mountains to Lakeside Park. Take a quick visit at a local artisan bakery for coffee and cake before we head off on a short Kangaroo Viewing Trail to view the iconic Australia animals that roam wild in a local reserve.

On our drive back we show you the iconic Bathing Boxes of Brighton that Melbourne seaside towns are famous for. These colourful beach huts were once used for changing in and are now a favourite tourist experience. We then drop you back in St Kilda or Melbourne city round 5.00pm.

 

Tour Highlights

 

 

  • Aboriginal Sculpture Sanctuary
  • Gourmet A La Carte lunch, tea & coffee (Optional)
  • Mountaintop Skyhigh Panoramas
  • National Rhododendron & Botanical Gardens  
  • Puffing Billy Steam Train Ride ( 30 min)
  • Sherbrooke Forest
  • Hand feed wild Cockatoos
  • View Wild Kanagaroo’s
  • Hotel City pick -up & Drop Off

 

FAQ

Whats Included

All fee’s and entrance’s, expert guide, a lar carte lunch with tea & coffee, 30 minute steam train ride, 

Whats for lunch

Lunch is a gourmet a la carte menu at Ripe Cafe in Sassafras. You receive mains and beverage (tea / coffee / soda). We sit outside and dine alfresco on the deck among the ferns and trees if weather permits. 

Decide on the day

How long is the drive

The drive to the Dandenongs is approx 1hr. We specifically designed this tour to be close to Melbourne to avoid long driving times.

Departure time & return

Tour Picks up from your accommodation 9.00am

We return approx 5.15-5.30pm

What Type of Vehicle?

The vehicle will vary based on the group size. For small groups we either use a Mercedez Viano or a Toyota commuter. If group is above 12 we use a 24 seater. Usual average group size is 8-10 passengers.

  •   Today was a lovely day touring the 12 Apostles with my mom and dad! We went on a helicopter ride, had coffee with wonderful treats to go with, learned about aboriginal artwork, had lunch at the breathtaking lighthouse, and more amazing stops along the way....More

    thumb MorganMiller12357
    2/16/2018

      My family and I had a truly memorable day with Steve. Not only did he take us to some wonderful spots that were in addition to the usual tourist areas, but he is incredibly knowledgeable about so many different topics. We would highly recommend Great...More

    thumb Tony R
    1/14/2018

      Today was a lovely day touring the 12 Apostles with my mom and dad! We went on a helicopter ride, had coffee with wonderful treats to go with, learned about aboriginal artwork, had lunch at the breathtaking lighthouse, and more amazing stops along the way....More


    2/16/2018
  •   This was a great day tour out of Melbourne. We especially enjoyed the William Ricketts Sculpture Gallery. The rhododendron gardens were beautiful and the lunch was very good. The guide also did a great job.

    thumb Dream521454
    11/28/2018

      We booked Steve for a guided wine tour of the Mornington Peninsula. Steve was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the region as well as the wines produced in the area. He planned a great day allowing us the chance to get to see the...More


    3/22/2018

      Late review but here goes, brought the family to tour Melbourne on the 12th of December. Steve our guide for 2 days was very knowledgable about the history and stories of where we went, which was the Great Ocean Road, Dandenong Ranges and the Puffing...More

    thumb Ignasia I
    1/08/2019
  •   Wonderful day from beginning to end. The lunch was good and we enjoyed Steve's company. However, we find out there was a new interesting bakery just opened where others in our group had lunch. Would suggest they omit option to pay for lunch ahead. We...More


    2/21/2018

      My wife and I used Steven for a private tour of Phillip Island and Great Ocean Coast. These were two separate trips each lasting about a full day. He was very professional and knowledgeable of the area. We had decided on a private tour which...More

    thumb Gregory M
    8/30/2018

      We had a fabulous day touring the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles with Steve. Steve was a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide who kept us moving throughout the day. Starting with pick up at our hotel in the morning until he dropped us...More


    2/21/2018
  •   Our guide Steven Andrew picked us up at our hotel in St. Kilda at 7:30 am and got us to the far end of the Great Ocean Road first, to see the 12 Apostles before the big tour buses would arrive. On the way we...More

    thumb Patty M
    1/25/2019

      We booked Steve for a guided wine tour of the Mornington Peninsula. Steve was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the region as well as the wines produced in the area. He planned a great day allowing us the chance to get to see the...More

    thumb meadowsatm
    3/22/2018

      Excellent tour. Steve Andrew was our tour guide and driver and he was wonderful. Very knowledgeable of the area and took us to some pretty awesome places. Check out the pics they tell the tale. He even supplied rainbows all over Australia😊


    3/20/2018
  •   Steve was professional and accommodating to our requests, highly recommended. The itinerary he put together was excellent and the group was impressed!

    thumb Alex D
    6/04/2019

      Steve was very informative and interesting, wonderful selection of locations to visit. Recommend the lunch option. Recommend the tour!

    thumb gvrunner99
    3/16/2019

      We had a superb day in Yarra Valley with Steve and the weather was fantastic. Lunch at Terra warra was excellent and we visited a good combination of small boutique wineries as well as the established iconic ones. My partner loved the plush leather seats...More

    thumb KonsciousKritters
    4/29/2017
  •   Super fun day with Steve,our informative, articulate guide. We saw a non touristy side of just outside of Melbourne in the Dandenong mountains. We saw moving art celebrating aboriginal culture in a serene forest, fed enormous whitecockatoos, enjoyed the green wonderland of the botanic garden,...More


    2/08/2018

      After reviewing several private tour offers of the Ocean Road & the 12 Apostles, my friend and I decided to choose Great Private Tours which provided us a decent tour quote. Steven, the owner of the company, was our guide and drove us for nearly...More

    thumb JoseRizal
    9/16/2018

      Wonderful day from beginning to end. The lunch was good and we enjoyed Steve's company. However, we find out there was a new interesting bakery just opened where others in our group had lunch. Would suggest they omit option to pay for lunch ahead. We...More

    thumb travelgail2018
    2/21/2018
  •   Can't tell you how happy my group was with the Great Private Tours experience! We were visiting from the US (Los Angeles and New York) and for many of us it was our first time to Melbourne or Victoria. Steve set up a multi-day itinerary...More

    thumb TBentsen
    8/28/2017

      Excellent tour. Steve Andrew was our tour guide and driver and he was wonderful. Very knowledgeable of the area and took us to some pretty awesome places. Check out the pics they tell the tale. He even supplied rainbows all over Australia😊

    thumb joker2222222
    3/20/2018

      Steve drove my husband and I to the Yarra valley and we had a lovely time. He was very flexible and helped us tailor the day to suit our interests. We highly recommend him as a tour guide to those interested in a private and...More


    6/10/2018
  •   Highly recommend Steve. He was knowledgeable & really helpful. Nothing beats a private tour with a great smile. The kids love him too. We traveled in a family of 14 with 7 young children. So imagine the chatter & chaos! But Steve was really good...More

    thumb revsg
    6/09/2019

      Our all day tour with Steve was the highlight of our trip to Melbourne. Each step offered a different experience.The pace was perfect. Do not miss this once in a life time experience.

    thumb Connie P
    10/22/2018

      Our trip to Melbourne was one of the most memorable trips we’ve had and a big reason for this was traveling with Steve in his lovely van and sharing conversations with him! We had planned two tours with Steve- Day 1 - Covering the Yarra valley, William Ricketts sanctuary, Puffing Billy and Brighton boxes. Day 2 - Covering Wilsons promontory and Phillip island. Steve was active in helping us plan our days before landing in Australia and came up with best ways to build trips customised to our taste and comfort. Flexibility in travel plans is something which most tour operators don’t appreciate and provide, but I think Steve understands a traveler’s mind very well and so he teamed up with us even when we changed our plans last moment ( truly appreciate this attitude). We got great insights into customs,people and places of Australia during our drive time and he elaborated on the facts and history which helped us connect better with the place. He is extremely punctual and still accommodated politely when we got late or stayed around in a place for more time than possible. During a hill climb, my mom got extremely tired and couldn’t walk further up and he happily walked down with her to make her comfortable ( Thanks and we truly appreciate your understanding). He knows some really good bakeries and cafes. So if you’re a foodie you’re with the right... Our trip to Melbourne was one of the most memorable trips we’ve had and a big reason for this was traveling with Steve in his lovely van and sharing conversations with him! We had planned two tours with Steve-
    Day 1 - Covering the Yarra valley, William Ricketts sanctuary, Puffing Billy and Brighton boxes.
    Day 2 - Covering Wilsons promontory and Phillip island.
    Steve was active in helping us plan our days before landing in Australia and came up with best ways to build trips customised to our taste and comfort.

    Flexibility in travel plans is something which most tour operators don’t appreciate and provide, but I think Steve understands a traveler’s mind very well and so he teamed up with us even when we changed our plans last moment ( truly appreciate this attitude).

    We got great insights into customs,people and places of Australia during our drive time and he elaborated on the facts and history which helped us connect better with the place.

    He is extremely punctual and still accommodated politely when we got late or stayed around in a place for more time than possible. During a hill climb, my mom got extremely tired and couldn’t walk further up and he happily walked down with her to make her comfortable ( Thanks and we truly appreciate your understanding).

    He knows some really good bakeries and cafes. So if you’re a foodie you’re with the right tour guide.

    He puts in every effort to try and make every request possible- A big differentiator from other operators!

    All in all a worthwhile trip with loads of memories and funny time! More

    pracheea2018
    8/16/2019
  •   Great guide!!! Highly recommend. There were more stopes/sites than I thought there would be. Even saw roo and emu in the wild.


    4/30/2018

      We had a wonderful day touring the Dandenong Ranges with our guide, Steve. From the moment we were picked up, the seven of us had a fantastic day. Steve was very knowledgeable about so many pertinent aspects of the tour and the greater Melbourne area,...More

    thumb Bob H
    11/19/2018

      We had a wonderful day with Steve at Wilson’s Prom. He thought of our interests,comfort and well being the entire day. The walks were perfect and the food delicious. Steve knew where to spot wildlife! We learned about the area. We would highly recommend a...More

    thumb Scuzzle192
    9/07/2018
  •   Steve picked us up at our hotel in St. Kilda in his Mercedes van, roomy and comfortable which is important if you're going to be driving around for almost 12 hours! There were five of us including Steve and we hit it off immediately especially...More

    thumb GoCougsHolmberg
    2/10/2019

      Super fun day with Steve,our informative, articulate guide. We saw a non touristy side of just outside of Melbourne in the Dandenong mountains. We saw moving art celebrating aboriginal culture in a serene forest, fed enormous whitecockatoos, enjoyed the green wonderland of the botanic garden,...More

    thumb jinjeet
    2/08/2018

      My parents and I went on two trips with Great Private Tours - Great Ocean Road and Philip Island with Dandenongs. It was my parents' first visit to Melbourne and I was very keen on making it a special and memorable experience for all of...More

    thumb Vishwesh M
    1/11/2018

 

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