Altona Miniature Railway is a charming location to enjoy some cheap, old-fashioned fun with your pre-schoolers.
The miniature railway is a hobby club that is staffed by volunteers, mostly old train geeks. Every third Sunday of the month the Altona Miniature Railway is opened to members of the public and members take kids and adults on rides on the steam and diesel engines.
For $2.50 a ticket or $25 for 11 tickets (babies under 12 months ride free) you can clickity-clack atop one of the miniature carriages as it trundles around a 1.2km curving track in and around tiny hills and through a dark tunnel.
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It’s an activity that’s just right for kids 3-5 years old – young enough to be excited and enthralled by the chug-chugging, old enough to sit independently and following instructions not to stick hands out of the carriage or stand up. When we first took Baby 2.0 around 18 months he was a bit nonplussed by the whole experience and towards the end was getting quite wriggly – and it’s not like you can just get off.
There’s not too much waiting in line as there are numerous trains running around the track and each can take around 10-15 passengers. At the station there are a few shaded tables and chairs so you can BYO picnic or birthday party catering and enjoy a day out there. The kiosk is very small and serves lollies and such, so it’s not suitable for buying lunch. They also take bookings for parties where you can book a diesel locomotive plus 3 carriages for 2-3 hours.
Altona Miniature Railway is a fun stop off if you’re in Altona to enjoy the beach (one of only two swimming beaches in Melbourne’s west) or to visit the Altona Homestead, one of the oldest residences in Melbourne and now a museum.
Click here for my reviews of Moorabbin Miniature Railway, Bulla Hill Railway, Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway and Diamond Valley Railway.
Click here for the best train experiences in Melbourne for kids
- arrive early i.e. 11am so you can enjoy a couple of rides before lunch;
- tickets are cash only, babies under 12 years ride free;
- free parking on site;
- BYO food, small kiosk and no cafes nearby (driving distance only);
- picnic tables and chairs;
- organised birthday parties available; and
- short drive to Altona Beach.