Your delightful Puffing Billy Craft Shops & Devonshire Cream Tea tour starts when you are picked up from your hotel or from Federation Square in Melbourne.
You will travel in a comfortable coach through Melbourne's eastern suburbs heading for the beautiful Dandenong Ranges 35 km east of the city. On reaching the hills you will stop at Grant’s Reserve, nestled in a valley. Here you will enjoy a traditional Devonshire Tea of homemade scones, served warm with jam and cream, and tea served in china tea cups – a real treat!
Grant's Reserve is a paradise for bird life and will be you'll be serenaded by the wonderful birdsong from the forest. You can also hand-feed colorful Australian birds such as the crimson rosella, sulphur-crested cockatoo and pink-chested galah. Gaze up at the magnificent mountain ash trees – the tallest flowering plants in the world.
Next, you will travel the short distance to Belgrave, home of the famous Puffing Billy Steam Train, where you are in for a real treat! This century-old steam train is maintained in its original glory and runs to this day on its own mountain track from Belgrave to Gembrook. Here you'll go back in time as you get on board for a 30-minute ride through the heart of the rainforest.
You'll see the locomotive depot that services and maintains the train, head through the gorgeous Sherbrooke Forest and ride over the old Trestle Bridge. Just before Menzies Creek you can see stunning views of Port Phillip Bay before heading through Paradise Valley and on to the townships of Emerald and Gembrook.
From Gembrook you will then be on your way to the lovely little village of Sassafras. You'll be travelling through thick rainforest that is home to all sorts of wildlife, so keep an eye out for lyre birds and wallabies. Once in Sassafras you can take your time to explore the delightful antique and craft shops dotted throughout the village. You might even find a little something to take home with you.
At the end of the excursion, you’ll return to Melbourne. You have the option of being dropped off at your city hotel or at a central location such as Federation Square or Swanston Street. Your driver will ask guests for their drop-off locations towards the end of the tour.