Australian Rail Safari: Melbourne

Melbourne | 24th - 4th Sept/Oct 2023

Join the Glenbrook Vintage Railway as we travel on this Australian Rail Safari to Melbourne!

Our great Australian Rail Safari of Melbourne takes in all the best that Melbourne and surrounds has to offer! We visit bush, desert and coastal areas, and discover the rich history that Australia's 'Garden State' has to offer!  Join us on a unique rail tour that highlights not only Victoria’s culturally rich cities and towns, but also its unique natural beauty, iconic gold-rush history, and character-filled railways.

Melbourne Highlights

The Q Train

All aboard The Q Train, an award-winning moving restaurant that travels on the historic Bellarine Railway between Drysdale and Queenscliff. This travelling restaurant is a unique experience, providing visitors with delicious fine dining in refurbished dining cars whilst enjoying unique views of Swan Bay and The Bellarine.

Victorian Goldfields Railway

Victorian Goldfields Railway is an authentic volunteer run steam railway linking historic gold mining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon in Central Victoria.

Sovereign Hill + AURA

Sovereign Hill is a living museum presenting the story of Ballarat as a gold rush boomtown. Gold was discovered here in 1851, triggering the greatest alluvial gold rush the world has ever known. The Outdoor Museum enjoys international renown as a living museum featuring rare trades, working machinery, exhibits, and costumed interpreters.

AURA is an immersive, multi-sensory theatre experience using 3D technology that follows gold from its creation through to its discovery, right up until the current day.

Puffing Billy Railway

Step back in time at Australia’s oldest and best-preserved heritage steam railway, Puffing Billy, situated in the picturesque Dandenong Ranges. With lush fern gullies brushing past the open side carriages and Mountain Ash trees towering overhead, Puffing Billy Railway makes for a wonderful opportunity to relax and breathe in the fresh air whilst the train makes its way through the temperate rainforest.

Mornington Railway 

The Mornington Tourist Railway is a delightful experience that transports you to a bygone era of old-world charm and scenic beauty. As you step aboard the lovingly restored heritage carriages, the rhythmic chugging and nostalgic whistle fill the air, evoking a sense of anticipation and wonder.  The train meanders through the picturesque countryside, winding its way through verdant pastures, rolling hills, and charming small towns.

Travel Itinerary

Arrive Melbourne

This morning we arrive in Melbourne. Those travelling from our Australian Rail Safari: Tasmania should take flight JQ702 from Hobart at 9am(or any earlier flight) arriving by 11am. 

After our group has gathered at Melbourne's International Airport we will commence our trip in to Mornington, via Melbourne, to visit the Mornington Railway. After our visit we will return to Frankston for our 2 night stay. Dinner tonight is at your leisure. 

Tour Inclusions*
  • Group Coach travel from Airport.
  • Admission to the Mornington Railway.

Walhalla Goldfields Railway

Today, we head in to Gippsland, in Victoria's southeast. Departing Frankston, we make a few scenic stops en-route before arriving at Walhalla to ride the Walhalla Goldfields Railway through the spectacular Stringers Creek Gorge.  After you leave the engine and carriage sheds behind, the first section is almost entirely built over six large trestle bridges that crisscross Stringers Creek Gorge to find anchorage for each bridge abutment.  As the train winds it's way down hill it passes through Happy Creek then on to the historic and spectacular Thomson River Bridge to arrive at Thomson Station where you will have time to explore the area before returning to Walhalla.

Upon returning to Walhalla we have lunch at the station precinct before being joined by a local guide who will talk us through some the area's history and take us for a tour of the Long Tunnel Mine. We depart Walhalla arriving in Frankston early evening. 

Tour Inclusions*
  • Group Coach to/from Walhalla.
  • Exclusive charter of the Walhalla Railway, Lunch and guided tour of the Long Tunnel Mine.

Frankston - Melbourne - Bendigo 

This morning we take the short walk with our luggage to the Frankston Train Station where we board a metro train and travel up the scenic Mornington Peninsula, arriving in to Southern Cross Station. We have a short time here for you to grab a bite to eat before we board a V/Line service to Bendigo. 

Arriving in Bendigo we are transferred to our accommodation before we set off on an adventure of Bendigo's famous tramway! Our Talking Tram Tour will provide us great insight in to the history of the local area, making stops along the way. We hop off at the Central Deborah Gold Mine for a look in to the deep mining history of the region - including a 61m deep underground mine tour!

Tour Inclusions*
  • Travel on PT Metro and V/Line trains.
  • Entry and Tour of the Central Deborah Gold Mine. 
  • Admission on the a Bendigo Talking Tram Tour.

Victorian Goldfields Railway

This morning we will take a stroll through town to the Bendigo Railway Station to take a connecting train from Bendigo to Castlemaine. At Castlemaine we cross the platform and embark on a steam-hauled tour on the Victorian Goldfields Railway along the old branch line.

At the other end of the line there is time for lunch at your leisure and to explore Maldon, an iconic gold rush town awarded the ‘most intact townscape’ by the National Trust, before heading back to Castlemaine in the mid-afternoon. Your first-class ticket allows you to ride in the wonderful parlour carriages with access the open balcony and the bar for some refreshments along the way - if you so desire.

Tour Inclusions*
  • Travel on V/Line train to Castlemaine & return.
  • First Class tickets on the Victorian Goldfields Railway.

Bendigo - Maryborough - Ballarat

Leaving Bendigo this morning our coach takes us to the city of Maryborough where we take a break and explore the old railway station, one of Australia’s grandest regional Victorian era buildings. Here, after a break, we board a local V/Line train for the short cross-country run to Ballarat, our base for the next 2 nights. 

Arriving in Ballarat we have time to acquaint ourselves before heading to Sovereign Hill's AURA experience for Dinner and a show. Under the Ballarat night sky, explore space, delve into the Dreamtime, and relive one of Australia’s most important rebellions. Over 64 acres, AURA combines 3D cinema, hundreds of stunning world-class projections and takes guests on an adventure as they witness the creation and discovery of the world’s most precious metal, gold.

Feel the vibrations as stars explode in front of your eyes, watch as the land is transformed by the gold rush, and dive into the chaos of the Eureka Rebellion as you witness the creation and discovery of the world’s most precious metal.

Tour Inclusions*
  • Coach travel to Maryborough.
  • V/Line Travel from Maryborough to Ballarat. 
  • Dinner and admission to AURA

Daylesford Spa Country Railway

This morning we depart Ballarat by coach for the short journey to Daylesford. Here we board our elegant DERM railcar for an exclusive charter of the Daylesford Spa Country Railway. 

Our train ride is straight out of the good old days, when life was simpler and train services were an essential part of rural life. The restored rail motors take us through the beautiful scenic countryside and forest of the Central Highlands, to the highest operating railway station in Victoria.

We return to Ballarat and to Sovereign Hill where you can explore the site, have lunch at your leisure and experience the many tours and experiences on offer. Sovereign Hill enjoys international renown as a living museum featuring rare trades, working machinery, exhibits, and costumed interpreters.

Tour Inclusions*
  • Coach travel and exclusive charter of Daylesford Spa Country Railway. 
  • Admission to Sovereign Hill. 

Ballarat - Q Train - Melbourne

A leisurely start this morning before we coach from Ballarat down through rural west Melbourne before arriving in to the opposite side of Port Phillip to where we started 7 days ago - the Bellarine Peninsula. 

At Queenscliff we join The Q Train - an award winning restaurant operating along the historic Bellarine Railway. Aboard our exclusively chartered carriage we are served local produce on the journey. Upon arrival, be greeted with a drink before taking a seat in the Q Class Dining Car our exclusively chartered carriage. You will be served a lavish seasonal degustation, and have the opportunity to order beer, wine and cider from the finest local breweries and wineries. As you wine and dine, it will be hard to tear your eyes away from the beautiful vistas of bushland, farmland and Swan Bay as the train moves along the railway. This is the perfect way to enjoy regional Victoria in style!

Following our fine dining lunch, we are transported back to Geelong where we take a V/Line train to Southern Cross Station for the short walk to our hotel for the next 4 nights.

Tour Inclusions*
  • Coach transfers from Ballarat to Geelong, via The Q Train.
  • Exclusively chartered carriage and fine dining on the Q Train. 
  • Train travel from Geelong to Melbourne. 

Diamond Valley Railway and Yarra Valley Railway

Today we depart central Melbourne and head to the northern suburbs of Eltham where get to visit one of Australasia's finest miniature railways. Over 2 Km of miniature railway snakes its way through the bushland on this fully signalled railway. The railway features 2 signal boxes, one of which features a 80 lever miniature "interlocked" frame. 

Departing the Diamond Valley we travel the short distance for some free time for lunch at your leisure. We then travel on to Healesville to the Yarra Valley Railway. The Yarra Valley Railway operates from Healesville to Yarra Glen using a 22RM Rail Motor. After our trip on the railway we return to Melbourne for an evening at your leisure. 

Tour Inclusions*
  • Admission to the Diamond Valley Railway 
  • Admission to Yarra Valley Railway

Puffing Billy Railway

This morning we jump on board a Metro train to Belgrave where we make the short walk to Puffing Billy Railway. 

With lush fern gullies brushing past the open side carriages and Mountain Ash trees towering overhead, Puffing Billy Railway makes for a wonderful opportunity to relax and breathe in the fresh air whilst the train makes its way through the temperate rainforest.

Discover wonderful wildlife and spectacular landscapes made for adventure while sitting on the carriage sill of Puffing Billy’s open-side carriages; a truly iconic experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Located adjacent to Lakeside station sits Puffing Billy’s new state-of-the-art Lakeside Visitor Centre. Featuring a modern café with the best produce on offer in the region, a dedicated gift shop featuring locally designed treasures and a gallery of steam artifacts in the Lakeside Hall, the Visitor Centre offers guests a cultural hub with world-class facilities. You have time here for lunch before our train returns to Belgrave and we return to Melbourne. We have the afternoon free.

Tour Inclusions*
  • Travel on PT Metro trains. 
  • Admission on Puffing Billy Railway from Belgrave to Lakeside and return. 

Melbourne Metro and Tramway

Today we have a leisurely day exploring the Melbourne Tram and Metro network. We will visit along the way the Melbourne Tramway Museum and iconic St Kilda, making the most of our last full day in Melbourne before we depart 'The West Island' for New Zealand. We will also make a visit by tram to other iconic sites such as the Queen Vic Markets, Parliament Building and Flinders Street Station. You are also welcome to make this a day of leisure and explore the city at your own freedom with your Myki Card. 

Tour Inclusions*
  • Travel on PT Metro and Trams. 

Depart Melbourne

This morning we are transferred from our hotel to Melbourne's International Airport for our onwards travel to New Zealand. 

Recommended return flights is Melbourne to Auckland on NZ0124. Departs: 12.10pm. Arrives: 5.40pm

Tour Map

Our Accommodation

Frankston | 24-26 Sept

Quest Frankston on the Bay

2 Nights

Located in the heart of the Frankston restaurant precinct and is just 200 metres from the beach. Quest Frankston on the Bay is 750 metres from Frankston Railway Station. 

Bendigo | 26-28 Sept

City Centre Motel

2 Nights

Located 150 metres from the heart of Bendigo, the City Centre Motel offers 33 spacious and affordable units including 2 and 3 bedroom family units, deluxe rooms, spa suites and assessable units. In easy walking distance to Restaurants, Theatre, Art Gallery, Shopping and Sporting venues.

Ballarat | 28-30 Sept

Mercure Ballarat

2 Nights

Set amongst three hectares of beautifully manicured gardens and complete with its own ornamental lake. Mercure Ballarat is situated opposite the multi-award winning Sovereign Hill, with close proximity to the historic centre of Ballarat.

Melbourne | 30-4 Sept/Oct

Movenpick Southern Cross

4 Nights

Located from levels one to six of Melbourne's iconic Premier Tower, every guestroom is intuitively designed. Interiors are an ode to Melbourne's vibrant arts scene, featuring dynamic wall art from Melbourne photographer, Steve Scalone. A great night's sleep is guaranteed with premium linens & blackout curtains, while modern bathrooms focus on wellbeing with rainwater shower & natural bath & body amenities.

From 4.30pm to 5.30pm daily, hotel guests can indulge ‘Chocolate Hour’ - a complimentary tasting experience with house-made chocolate treats.



Per Person, Twin Share


Single Supplement

- 10 Nights' Accommodation in premium, unique stays - pre-booked on a twin share basis.- Activities, coach transfers and relocations as stated in the inclusions and/or as detailed on this website or in the brochure.
- Shuttle/bus transfers to/from accommodation as detailed, as required.
- 10 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 2 dinners.

- Airfares, connecting travel or other expenses prior to joining or after leaving the rail tour.
- All meals and refreshments other than those detailed in the brochure.
- All personal expenditures, refreshments, taxis, other travel and transfers, accommodation or related charges not specifically referred to in the itineraries as being included.
- Travel Insurance, which is recommended for all passengers.

Join us on this epic adventure as we return to travelling the globe, exploring the world of railways. 
A full brochure, pricing and detailed itinerary is available on request.


To book:

Fill in the Booking Form (Click Here) and return it to by email.

Email: [email protected] 

Phone 020 GVR Book | 020 487 2665

^ Itinerary - is subject to change. The GVR, operators of Australian Rail Safari:Melbourne, reserve the right to change the content, location and activities of this tour at any time. 

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