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.
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 drive past the seaside town of San Remo, named after the famous Italian Riviera resort. Next up, you will visit the Warrook Homestead. It is a historic working farm and you will be able to hand feed the adorable kangaroos and wallabies.
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.In winter, the tour ends around 9pm. 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.
The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details. They’re a nice bunch, and will happily answer any logistical questions you may have. Please give them a call before 4pm on the day prior to departure. Failure to do so may result in cancellation.
Voucher information: No need to print! You can show your voucher on your smartphone or other devices. (But if you’d rather print a copy – that’s fine too!)
So there’s no last-minute rush please arrive at the start point 20 minutes early.
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.