Featured guest review:
‘A great tour. Our guide Edward was great and very knowledgeable. We went to a rainforest and had tea and scones, which were lovely. We then we got to feed the cockatoos. Next, we went on Puffing Billy, which was a lovely train ride with wonderful views. We then went around the three wineries. There were plenty of samples, which were all beautiful (and that’s coming from someone who usually hates wine!) We had a great day!’ Saamantha4
- Take in the majestic Mountain Ash forests and fern-clad slopes of the Dandenong Ranges
- Enjoy a ride on the Puffing Billy steam train
- Indulge in a traditional Devonshire tea of warm homemade scones served with jam and cream
- Get up close and personal with some of Australia’s stunning native birds
- Journey through Victoria’s premium wine growing region — the Yarra Valley
- Visit three amazing wineries (including famous Rochford Wines) and taste a range of their finest drops.
- Guided tour with commentary
- CBD hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Comfortable air-conditioned transport
- Friendly and knowledgeable local guide
- Ride on Puffing Billy steam train
- Morning tea and snacks
- Wine tastings at three Yarra Valley wineries.
Adults: AUD $175pp
Children (0 to 12 years): AUD $110pp
What you can expect
This Puffing Billy and Yarra Valley Winery Tour from Melbourne is a fabulous opportunity to see two of regional Victoria’s most spectacular natural landscapes — the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Valley — in one superb day out. No visit to the Dandenongs would be complete without a ride on Puffing Billy — the restored vintage steam train that’s been thrilling visitors of all ages for decades. In the afternoon, wine lovers of all levels will enjoy ‘grape grazing’ at some of the Yarra Valley’s top cellar doors.
You’ll be picked up from your CBD accommodation or Federation Square, before heading east from the city towards the Dandenong Ranges. The drive takes around an hour, depending on traffic. You’ll journey through magnificent forests of Mountain Ash (the tallest flowing plant in the world), and quaint towns and villages. [More]
Your first stop on this Puffing Billy and Yarra Valley Winery Tour is the picturesque Grant’s Picnic Ground — a wildlife-rich area within the Sherbourne Forest. After a short walk through the tranquil bushland, you’ll enjoy a delicious Devonshire tea of homemade scones, jam and cream. You’ll also have the chance to hand feed some of the local parrots and rosellas.
No visit to the Dandenong Ranges would be complete without a ride on Puffing Billy, and that’s where you are headed next. The iconic steam train travels between Belgrave and Gembrook, and the journey is an opportunity to travel back in time to a more leisurely era. It’s also a chance to immerse yourself in the temperate rainforest of the Dandenongs. Sit back, relax and enjoy as you pass through the lush landscape.
The Puffing Billy railway came into service at the turn of the 20th century as part of a drive to develop rural parts of Victoria. Today the service is one of the state’s premier tourist attractions, and one that appeals to all ages.
After a magical morning, your next port of call is the fabulous Yarra Valley — just over an hour’s drive north of the Dandenongs. You’ll enjoy stunning scenery throughout the trip as the mountain vistas gradually give way to rolling green hills dotted with picturesque vineyards.
Your first stop in the valley is renowned Rochford Wines. Here you’ll have the chance to purchase lunch (own expense) and sample their range of delicate pinots, zesty chardonnays and several other varietals during a guided wine tasting. Make sure you climb the spiral staircase to the viewing tower for sweeping views across the property. Take your camera!
The tour includes visits to another two of the Yarra Valley’s leading wineries. Estates regularly visited on this Puffing Billy and Yarra Valley Winery Tour include Dominique Portet, Domaine Chandon and De Bortoli Wines. Whichever cellar doors you visit, you’re guaranteed that the experiences will be memorable ones – complete with award-winning wines and more magnificent views.
Relax on the leisurely afternoon journey back to Melbourne. You’ll arrive at your point of departure at around 5.30pm – just in time to head out and enjoy the city’s fabulous dining scene. Your newfound wine knowledge will come in very handy!
Anita R (5/1/2019) – Via TripAdvisor
Our driver/guide Paul Chilton was an excellent driver. I always felt safe. He gave an informative commentary as we rode out through the Melbourne suburbs. All of our stops were well planned and we had plenty of time at each venue. I enjoyed the morning tea, experiencing the cockatiels and lunch at the first winery. I personally didn’t care for the wines at the tastings but they were professionally presented and we all had time to taste and shop. It was warm in the valley. I was told it was 120F but I checked the conversion later on Google and found it was 108F. The venues and the bus were air conditioned so the short forays into the warm temp were fine. We had a final stop for ice cream. Paul was very accommodating in getting us all back to our hotels or evening venues. The main reason we took this trip was for the train. Unfortunately, a diesel engine substituted for the steam one because of the weather. It was still a pleasant ride.
405peter (21/12/2018) – Via TripAdvisor
You’ll need to be up early as coach tours start before nine and for many hotels you need to go to Federation Square where all tours start from although some do hotel pick ups. Be aware that returns often hit heavy traffic and it can be easier to walk from the square or nearby so make sure you know the area near your hotel so you can be dropped closer if possible. The coaches are modern and comfortable the drivers give good commentaries. There is an early stop for cream tea 'in the morning'. This is busy and the scones aren't very good but outside you can feed the white cockatoos that come by the dozen. Puffing Billy is a narrow gauge railway run largely by volunteers. They have a number of steam engines all in great condition. It was tradition to sit on the window sills with legs out but that has stopped after an accident. The line is pretty with serious curves and some amazing views through the trees. The coach meets you and you commence visits to three wineries. The first is a large operation and you can book lunch here. The second is smaller and the third is rustic but probably most fun. Each describes its products well and you can taste. Return is around five p.m.
Saamantha4 (2/11/2018) – Via TripAdvisor
A great tour. Our guide Edward was great and very knowledgeable. We went to a rainforest and had tea and scones, which were lovely. We then we got to feed the cockatoos. Next, we went on Puffing Billy, which was a lovely train ride with wonderful views. We then went around the three wineries. There were plenty of samples, which were all beautiful (and that’s coming from someone who usually hates wine!) We had a great day!
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