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HOT: Day Out With Thomas, Puffing Billy, Gembrook

HOT: Day Out with Thomas, Puffing Billy, Gembrook

The Puffing Billy steam train in the Dandenong Ranges is one of Melbourne’s major tourist attractions – but did you know that on certain Spring and Autumn weekends you can enjoy Day Out with Thomas?

Thomas the tank engine puffing billy

A Day Out with Thomas is a special children’s event where the famous Thomas the Tank engine actually pulls the train through a part of the Puffing Billy track. Every little kid is so thrilled to see Thomas’ beaming face as the trains approach the platform!

Thomas the tank engine puffing billy

The train ride used to start and finish at Emerald but it now at Gembrook, the last stop on the regular Puffing Billy route. The trip takes about 35 minutes and you won’t travel the whole route to Belgrave.

Thomas the tank engine puffing billy

You get a chance of riding with Thomas, Percy or Diesel, depending on who’s pulling which train.

Thomas the tank engine puffing billy

Your ticket includes other family friendly activities, including jumping castle, Green Bulgy Bus Ride, Thomas art activities and animal farm.

Thomas the tank engine puffing billy

Day Out with Thomas at Puffing Billy is a great day out with your little Thomas fans. We stay for about 1.5 hours because we don’t fancy queueing up for some activities but you can easily stay longer. Organisers state you should allow 3-4 hours for your visit.

Best of all, our visit has inspired lots of Thomas singing, stories and artwork from our kids for a long time afterwards. Don’t forget to claim your free personalised Junior Engineer Certificate!

HOT Tips:

  • Book your tickets as soon as they become available for sale (check the The Puffing Billy website). A Day Out with Thomas always books out months in advance.
  • The terms of sale state that there are no refunds/exchanges. However, if you find you can’t make the booked date and let them know early enough you may be able to exchange to another date, as we were able to.
  • If you can, book for the earliest train so you have more time to enjoy the activities.
  • You will need to collect a wristband upon arrival which will include the booked time of train departure.
  • Arrive 45 minutes (or earlier) before your scheduled train departure.
  • For customers booked on the 2:00pm session, arrive 90 minutes prior to enjoy all the activities before your train ride – as the site closes at 3:30pm.
  • There are queues for the petting zoo and jumping castle but they move more quickly as they know to shuffle kids in and out to give everyone a turn;
  • BYO healthy food and drinks. The only food available on site is a $2 sausage sizzle, sweet snacks from a coffee van and a food truck with hot dogs, pies, hot chips etc;
  • There’s a gift shop selling Thomas the Tank Engine merchandise;
  • Onsite toilets and baby change area;
  • Wheelchair and pram friendly site;
  • Take sunscreen of course and another layer for cooler weather as the temperature is a couple of degrees lower up in the Dandenong Ranges compared to Melbourne; and
  • There is NO free parking available on-site at Gembrook and actually there is no onsite parking. You can park at the local Primary School and Community Centre for $5 per car.

Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned entrepreneur. She combines her love for kids, food, travel and bikes into several passion projects.

She owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au; develops and produces bike-related creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com; and writes another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne with (non-kid related) reviews about things to do and places to go in Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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