Ride through the rolling Dandenong Ranges on one of Australia’s oldest operating steam trains and explore the native wilderness that surrounds this town.
Tucked into rolling hills and native forests, Belgrave is a major town in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges. The historic town is home to a collection of charming cottages and heritage attractions that date back to its settlement in the middle of the 19th century. Walk, drive or ride a quaint locomotive through the surrounding temperate rainforest and get to know some of the region’s magnificent flora and fauna.
Stroll down Main Street to discover some of Belgrave’s local treasures. You’ll find a selection of cafés serving regional and organic produce, as well as galleries, antiques stores and craft shops. Catch a new release at the Cameo Cinema, which dates back to the 1930s and has an open-air cinema at the rear. Take a seat on a bench at Belgrave Town Park to see a view over the town.
Make your way to Belgrave’s Puffing Billy Railway station to find the terminus of the historic locomotive. Puffing Billy is a heritage narrow-gauge stream train that weaves through the cool rainforests of the Dandenong Ranges and lush pastoral land to Gembrook, 24 kilometres (15 miles) away. Disembark at one of the townships, including Menzies Creek, Lakeside or Emerald, located along the railway line. You can also simply enjoy the scenic trip from the dining carriage. Spot the train chugging over a historic wooden trestle bridge from a viewing area in Belgrave’s eastern limits.
Make the most of Belgrave’s pretty parklands by bringing your walking shoes and a picnic to Belgrave Lake Park or Birdsland Reserve. Both waterways are fed by Monbulk Creek and support a stunning array of birdlife. Encounter a stunning collection of indigenous flora at the Baluk Willam Nature Conservation Reserve.
Reach Belgrave by train or car from Melbourne, which is 35 kilometres (22 miles) away. Belgrave’s main train station is situated nearby the Puffing Billy Railway station. The town’s large selection of accommodation options makes it a great place to base your adventures in the nearby Dandenong Ranges National Park, an awe-inspiring wilderness reserve amid the hills.