This article is for any train buff, rail fan, or anyone who thinks trains are magnificent machines on seemingly never-ending steel highways. 

We’ve ranked our top train experiences only a stone’s throw away from Melbourne.

Discover famous steam engines, from Puffing Billy and the Victorian Goldfields Railway to the splendidly revamped railmotor in Victoria’s Central Highlands. These iconic train experiences are just the ticket for a memorable family outing, romantic getaway, or special gift for that milestone event or anniversary. 

So join us for an incredible rail adventure that will have you cheering as the steam whooshes and the whistle blows. Just look at the enthusiasm Francis Bourgeois (of Instagram fame) brings to trainspotting, and you’ll be swept along with the excitement, too. 

Daylesford Spa Country Railway 

There’s nothing like the sights and sounds of vintage trains chugging along the countryside. 

Our adventure began with a short hour-long journey North-West from Melbourne, and as we arrived, we were immediately enchanted by the Daylesford Spa Country Railway. The beautifully restored railmotor tram and the bustling Daylesford Railway Station Sunday Market created a charming atmosphere that was hard to resist. 

With over 90 stalls, the market offers everything from artisanal crafts to fresh produce and friendly locals, giving it a welcoming and thriving atmosphere. It’s no wonder it is one of Regional Victoria’s finest shopping destinations.

After buying some incredibly delicious pastries and chatting with friendly locals, we hopped on a vintage railway car for a breathtaking journey through the countryside to Bullarto Railway Station, which happens to be the highest railway station in Victoria.

The impressive journey took us through lush forests, fern gullies, and gold rush-era villages. Any train enthusiast would love this unique experience.

This day trip is an absolute must-try for train enthusiasts and market-goers alike. The combination of scenic train rides and the bustling local market makes for an incredible experience that is hard to beat. It’s no wonder why this adventure has earned a spot in our top train experiences in Victoria.

Victorian Goldfields Railway

Next on our list of must-do train experiences an hour out of Melbourne is the Victorian Goldfields Railway in central Victoria, which has links to the gold rush towns of Castlemaine and Maldon.

We couldn’t go past the ‘Ales on Rails’ experience during our visit, a journey we’ll never forget with the fondest memories. 

From the moment we climbed aboard the 1920s club and parlour carriage, we were in our version of heaven. The carriage was elegant, the selection of craft beers was unique, and the food was simply superb.

Then, there was the beautiful Goldfield countryside scenery, which offered a nostalgic glimpse of a bygone era. The ambience, good company, unique dining experience, stylish carriages and idyllic countryside made this a truly ‘first-class’ experience.

Whether you’re a history buff, a train enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique adventure, this journey through central Victoria is a must. For us, having this experience in our top train experiences one hour out of Melbourne is a clear choice.

Puffing Billy Railway Train of Lights

We’re sure it’s no surprise that the Puffing Billy Railway is mentioned in this article. But for us, the Puffing Billy Train of Lights truly delivers an epic experience for the whole family! 

We were mesmerised from the get-go as the train’s magical lights lit up the countryside at night. 

The chilly air nipping at our ears didn’t dull our excitement as we chugged along the tracks through the lush Dandenong Ranges. It was a spectacular evening, riding the famous heritage train and watching the forest as the light show illuminated the trees. 

On the way to Gembrook and back, the colours and shapes jumped around the carriages and bushland as the whole family cheered with wonder and excitement. We all didn’t want it to end. 

After the trip, we all got to sit around the fire, meet the Puffing Billy Railway crew and listen to live music, making the night truly magical, one that I’m sure we’ll remember for years.

It’s no wonder why the Puffing Billy Railway is one of the top train experiences in Victoria, and we highly recommend the Train of Light experience to anyone who wants to witness the enchanting beauty of the Dandenong Ranges lit up in a colourful array at night.

Mornington Peninsula Tourist Railway

If you’re after stunning views of coastline vistas aboard a heritage steam train, you can’t go past the Mornington Peninsula Tourist Railway.

Explore the station, and you’ll no doubt see the hard work and love the team of amazing volunteers puts into the maintenance and upkeep of these marvellous machines. 

We could not pass up the opportunity to participate in the Platinum Driver Experience program, where we lived out our childhood dreams of driving a steam train along the iconic railway. For any train buff, this is a must-do experience!

As the train chugged along the scenic railway, we waved at the animals we passed by and took in the landscape. The views were spectacular as we travelled past rolling hills and the quaint towns dotted along the Mornington Peninsula.

This rare gem offered a combination of natural beauty, rich history, and hands-on experience. These factors make the Mornington Peninsula Tourist Railway one of our top train experiences in Victoria.

The Blues Train

Last but certainly not least is the iconic Blues Train on the Bellarine Peninsula

Nowhere else in Australia can you experience a mini blues festival on a moving train—feeling the rhythm of the rails as you shake, rattle, and roll to the tunes of four live acts.

For many, this journey along the rail is a bucket list experience, and we have to agree. A night out on The Blues Train gave us memories that will last a lifetime. 

We had an absolute blast with our group of friends and made a train carriage full of new ones as we journeyed through the carriages with them. We swayed, shimmied, danced and laughed to the different blues and roots music styles in each carriage. 

As an all-inclusive experience, this was a night of soulful tunes and unforgettable moments that can’t be surpassed and has to be ranked as one of the top adult train experiences in Victoria. 

Tickets go on sale regularly throughout the year, so make sure you sign up to become a VIP Member to be notified as soon as tickets become available—they’re hot property!


Whether you’re a seasoned railfan, ferroequinologist (yes, that’s an actual word!) or longing for a unique train adventure, our top Victorian heritage train experiences will captivate your imagination and leave you with lasting memories.

Grab your friends and a camera and get ready to capture the thrills of Victoria’s iconic railways. It’s more than a journey; it’s a collection of experiences waiting to be had. 

What are you waiting for?! Hop on board and discover the magic of train travel in Victoria.