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Puffing Billy & Penguin Parade From Melbourne

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Key Highlights

  • Explore the lush Dandenong ranges
  • Up-close and personal encounters with amazing Australian wildlife
  • Ride Australia′s oldest steam railway
  • See the world-famous Penguin Parade of Phillip Island
  • Sample authentic billy tea
  • Fantastic photo-opportunities around every corner
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?



    Approx 13 hours

    Start time

    8:10am. Please confirm hotel pick-up time with local activity operator.

    Meeting Point

    Pick up from most Melbourne inner city hotels.
    (Please mention your hotel details at the time of booking. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 24 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details.)

    Ending Point

    You will be dropped off at your Melbourne city hotel

  • Overview & Itinerary


    Enjoy some of the finest attractions in Victoria on this exciting away day from Melbourne.

    Leave the city behind and head for the beautiful Dandenong ranges. Stop at Grant’s Picnic Ground to hand-feed colourful Australian birds such as the crimson rosella, sulphur-crested cockatoo and pink-chested galah – a perfect photo-opportunity

    Step back 100 years when you ride the magnificent Puffing Billy steam train through the mountains. Admire the views out of open carriages as the vintage train chuffs through luxuriant forests of giant trees.

    Visit a koala sanctuary and stroll along high-level boardwalks for close encounters with Australia’s most popular animal.

    The highlight of your day will be the evening Penguin Parade on Phillip Island. As dusk falls, cute little penguins emerge from the surf and toddle up the beach to the safety of their burrows.

    It’s a sight not to be missed, and the Penguins Plus package gives you priority seating in the area with the greatest concentration of penguins.


    Your exciting Puffing Billy & Penguin Parade From Melbourne tour starts when you are picked up from your hotel in Melbourne.

    Relax in a comfortable coach and look out of the windows at the beautiful landscape of the Dandenong Ranges National Park.

    There will be a stop in Sherbrooke Forest in the heart of the Dandenongs. Listen out for the delightful birdsong from the forest. At Grant’s Picnic Ground you can hand-feed colourful Australian birds such as the crimson rosella, sulphur-crested cockatoo and pink-chested galah.

    During the morning you’ll stop for a traditional Aussie snack of billy tea, Lamingtons (little sponge cakes dipped in chocolate and coconut) and vegemite crackers.

    The next treat in store is a 30-minute ride on the Puffing Billy train, one of the world’s best preserved steam railways. This train with its characteristic red carriages is a century old and still running on its original mountain track through the Dandenongs.

    Departing from Belgrave you’ll trundle through lush forests full of ferns and soaring mountain ash trees. Enjoy stunning views and marvellous photo-opportunities from the open carriages. You will alight from the train at Menzies Creek and continue with the coach tour.

    After driving through the hills, the tour stops at the lovely little village of Sassafras. Here you will have about 30 minutes to explore the delightful antique and craft shops. You might even find a little something to take home with you!

    After lunch (payable direct), you’ll visit the seaside town of San Remo, named after the famous Italian Riviera resort. A bridge in the town centre provides a link from the mainland to Phillip Island. Crossing over to the Island you can enjoy afternoon tea at Churchill Island, the site of Victoria’s first European settlement.

    You will visit the famous Koala Conservation Centre on Phillip Island. Here you can stroll through eucalypt woodland and come face-to-face with koalas in their natural habitat. The Centre’s tree-top boardwalks mean that you get exceptional views of these delightful animals.

    Afterwards, you will be taken to Summerland Beach for the highlight of the day - the internationally renowned Penguin Parade.

    Phillip Island boasts one of Australia’s largest colonies of Little Penguins. Each night, these delightful birds – the world’s smallest penguins – toddle ashore to the safety of their burrows in the dunes after their daily fishing expedition. This penguin homecoming is one of nature’s most enchanting spectacles.

    Your tour includes the exclusive Penguins Plus experience. This includes priority seating at the Penguin Parade as well as access to the “Penguins Plus” boardwalk. With Penguins Plus seating you are placed in a high penguin traffic area, close to the ground, and will enjoy a more intimate experience than from the main viewing platforms.

    Penguins Plus also gives you a complimentary hot drink and a souvenir gift.

    In winter, the tour ends around 9:00pm. In summer, with longer daylight hours the tour may end around 11:30pm. At the end of the excursion, you’ll return to Melbourne and will be dropped off at your inner city hotel.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned coach
    • English-speaking guide
    • National Park fee
    • 30-minute Puffing Billy steam train ride
    • Bush Billy Tea with lamingtons, vegemite and crackers
    • Penguin Parade, Penguins Plus premium viewing area
    • Souvenir gift
    • Complimentary hot drink
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    Passengers must reconfirm tour and pick up details before 1600h (4:00pm) on the day prior to departure. Failure to do so may result in cancellation.

    Please carry a copy of your voucher with you.

    Check in 20 minutes prior to the departure time.

    In special circumstances the itinerary may be altered. A suitable alternative will be provided. Customers will not be refunded in this case.

    No form of photography is permitted at the Penguin Parade

    Phillip Island Nature Parks will be undertaking an enormous project to upgrade the existing Penguins Plus facility. These works will be carried out from May to November 2015 which will mean that this area of the Penguin Parade will be completely
    inaccessible during construction. Customers will continue to be treated to premium viewing of the penguins' arrival with reserved priority forward seating at the General Viewing area. A free drink will still be offered in addition to a complimentary seating cushion. We are confident that the Penguins Plus alternate arrangement will be an equally enjoyable experience (and even more comfortable with the provision of a seat cushion)!

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have
  • Reviews
    • Wonderful Day

      We had a great day, the morning was a bit slow but the afternoon tour was excellent. Bus drivers were very informative and very nice....

      Tanya M Res
    • Penguin Parade was the BEST!

      Loved the Penguin Parade and the upgraded seating area. What great fun and unbelievable sightings just 6 feet from viewing area. The afternoon trip was well worth the time and...

      Dennis R Fromholzer