You are here:Home » Travel » Puffing Billy Tour with Healesville Sanctuary and Fergusson Winery

Puffing Billy Tour with Healesville Sanctuary and Fergusson Winery

gray line puffing billy crossing historic trestle bridge
Photo Credit: Gray Line Australia
5D4N Media Trip to Melbourne:
Fancy riding on a century-old steam train travelling through the lovely Blue Dandenong Ranges? This pristine countryside getaway, about an hour east of Melbourne, is an ideal place to find relaxation bliss during your stay in Melbourne. Enjoy old-world charm by going back in time on Australia’s premier preserved steam railway as you ride in its heritage carriages.

luxury haven media trip australia puffing billy tour
Thanks to Gray Line Australia, hubby and I got to embark on a scenic adventure with the Puffing Billy Railway. The highlights of the Puffing Billy with Australian Wildlife tour includes a trip to the Sherbrooke Forest with opportunities to feed some Australian native birds, followed with a ride aboard the Puffing Billy steam train. The full-day tour also covers lunch at a winery and chocolate tasting, before ending the journey with a visit to the Healesville Sanctuary offering lots of wildlife photo opportunities.

grants picnic ground aussie bush billy tea
aussie bush billy tea gum leaves
gray line tour aussie lamingtons vegemite crackers
Our excursion from Melbourne took us to Sherbrooke Forest located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, kicking off the morning with an Aussie style Bush Billy Tea and Gum Leaves, Lamingtons, Vegemite and Crackers at Grants Picnic Ground, enjoying an authentic Australian experience.

sherbrooke forest grants picnic ground bird feeding
grants picnic ground bird feeding sulphur crested cockatoos
Famous for its bird feeding, visitors will also get to meet the local Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, King Parrots, and Crimson Rosellas at Grants Picnic Ground. For bird lovers, you can buy a token for AUD 4 from the kiosk for seeds to feed the wild native birds as they are accustomed to a particular diet.

hardy gully nature walk forests mountain ash trees
There will be ample time for a short bushwalk with the 45-minute Grants Picnic Ground stopover. Explore the towering forests of mountain ash trees in the Hardy Gully Nature Walk trail and soak up the tranquility before riding on Australia's most notable narrow gauge railway on the Puffing Billy steam train.

gray line australia puffing billy blue dandenong ranges
gray line australia puffing billy tour review
One of Victoria's most popular attractions, the 25-minute Puffing Billy steam locomotive ride starts at Belcrave and ends at Menzies Creek. Feel the breeze running through your hair as the notable train winds through the lush rainforest echoing the locomotive’s whistle.

australia puffing billy railway sticking legs out
Puffing Billy Railway Tour in 2010
I actually went on the historic Puffing Billy ride many years back but sadly this time round, visitors are now unable to sit on the train carriage ledges due to a crash between the tourist train and a minibus sometime in March 2018. Puffing Billy has temporary banned the more-than-century-old tradition. I recalled enjoying the ride so much previously sitting with my legs hanging out of the carriage feeling so carefree. Nonetheless, it was still a good getaway reminiscing the good-old-days.

fergusson winery spit roast lunch review
A scrumptious spit roast lunch awaits you at the Fergusson Winery where you get to taste Australian wines. Diners have the option of Chicken, Fish, or their signature Beef slow roasted on a wood fired spit and personally carved.

gray line australia tours fergusson winery reviews
Make the most of your time at the well-known Yarra Valley, home to 50 wineries and 110 vineyards. The Fergusson vineyard is planted to classic French grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

gray line australia yarra valley chocolate tasting tour
yarra valley chocolaterie ice creamery chocolate tasting tour
yarra valley chocolaterie one kilo mega bar chocolate
australia yarra valley chocolaterie ice creamery shopping
Next stop, delight yourself in complimentary chocolate tastings at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Watch the art of chocolate making, and shop to your heart’s content in their choc-filled showroom.

healesville sanctuary australian wildlife rock wallaby
Australia's Rock Wallaby, also known as The Shadow
Come face to face with Australian wildlife at the Healesville Sanctuary after a satisfying lunch and wine/chocolate tasting sessions. Home to over 200 species of native animals, visitors will get to stroll through paddocks of kangaroos and wallabies and if you are lucky, you may even witness their boxing skills.

healesville sanctuary australian wildlife red kangaroo
Meet the Red Kangaroo, the largest of all kangaroos native to Australia! But do you know that Red Kangaroos are not always red? Males range in colour from pale red to reddish-brown, and their female partners are usually a bluish grey. These Red Kangaroos with long, pointed ears can jump up to 9 metres in length and 3 metres in height, and can reach speeds of more than 60km per hour!

healesville sanctuary australian wildlife koala bear
From Kangaroo Country, let us hop over to the treetops of the Koala Forest to meet the most adorable Koala Bears. These nocturnal animals spend about 18–20 hours sleeping because their metabolism is slow, an adaptation for handling a diet that is low in nutrition and hard to digest.

Do you know that Koalas have pouches too? Only difference, they open down instead of upwards and Koala babies tend to remain completely inside the pouches until they're about 22 weeks old.

healesville sanctuary australian wildlife tasmanian devil
Are you aware that Tasmanian Devils are on the endangered list? Sadly, a shocking 85% of the wild population of Tasmanian Devils are affected by a facial-tumour. I am glad to learn that Zoos Victoria is committed to saving this unique species.

healesville sanctuary spirits of the sky bird show
Next, catch the fantastic Spirits of the Sky experience as these Australia’s amazing birds of prey and parrots show off their incredible skills and demonstrate their ability to fly.

victoria gray line australia puffing billy tour review
Well, the entire tour with Gray Line ended around 4pm, where the coach took us back to downtown Melbourne. The tour was well organized with friendly and professional coach captain. It was quite a fulfilling day, and there was ample time given at every stop, allowing us to enjoy at our pace.

Although we were could not stick our legs out in the Puffing Billy train like before, it was still a good mountain retreat with unparalleled views of the countryside on the world famous steam locomotive, which is hard to come by for city dwellers like us. I hope the ban will be lifted soon, and I can take my prince to ride on it in the near future.

Gray Line Australia Puffing Billy with Australian Wildlife Tour Price:
Adult AUD 218, Child AUD 109
Prices start from Adult AUD 102 and Child AUD $51 for the Morning Puffing Billy tour but I would suggest you book the one that comes with a delicious spit roast lunch at Fergusson Winery and spending time at Healesville Sanctuary to interact with the Australian Wildlife.

Music Credit:
Did you miss this clip we have put up for you in our previous post? Do show some love by Sharing and Giving Us a Like at YouTube!

Other Reads:
* This is a sponsored Media Trip by Visit Victoria, and Tour by Gray Line Australia. The author only recommends products or services she uses personally which she believes to be beneficial for her readers. Views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely by the author.


  1. Great trip and beautiful photos :)

  2. How nice, a train ride! I was last on a train when I was a little girl LOL!

  3. I love, love following you along on your Australian adventures! I'd definitely do that train ride---so fun!

  4. Great travel guide! I want to visit Australia so badly. Your photos are great. You and your husband look cute together. I love parrots, it must be cool seeing them in nature, one more reason to visit Australia are all the cute animals. I knew that Tasmanian devil was endangered, but I didn't know they are often affected by a facial tumour in the wild. It is great that the zoo is devoted to rescueing them.

  5. Lucky you! Looks like it's an incredible tour!

  6. Oh this sounds like a great way to spend the day. How fun. I like that you can get out and walk. I have serious cabin fever and can not wait to get out and do things

    Oh what great look! I know tie-dye is having a moment but I am kind of on the fence about it. But this top is so cute I would totally wear this!

    Allie of

  7. This is really great holliday idea, nice photos dear!

  8. Oh Shirley, I would be so scared to dangle my legs out from that puffing train! Sad to hear that there had been a mishap then.

  9. Sounds like a fun place to check out. I would be scared to put my legs out of the train.

  10. Beautiful.

  11. Una entrada estupenda! Espero verte pronto por mi blog! Feliz día! 🌼🌼🌼

  12. Seems you really had great time in Australia, hope I'll visit it too one day!
    Beautiful pics and very interesting reportage! :)

  13. ;)

    Adorei demais esse passeio!

    Ótimo domingo!

    Beijo! ^^

  14. So beautiful trip and super cute animals!
    Kisses, Paola.



A lovely note makes a beautiful day!
Thank you for dropping by Luxury Haven and taking the time to let me know your thoughts :)


Be the 1st to know!

Beauty and Dining Reviews

Health and Wellness Reviews

Travel Reviews

Yummy Recipes

Giveaways and Special Readers' Discounts

Get connected with the latest updates! Join our mailing list, and you will never miss a post again.