3.5 star rating: Worth doing 8 Reviews

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  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Duration:7 hours (approx.)

Melbourne Shore Excursion: Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy Steam Train

When your cruise ship docks in Melbourne, you’ll be picked up at the port and taken inland to check out the Healesville Sanctuary and the Puffing Billy Stream Train. At the wildlife sanctuary, you’ll meet Australia’s native animals including koalas, kangaroos, monitor lizards and dingos. Then head to the Puffing Billy Stream Train for a ride through the rainforest on the century-old steam train. Small-group tour limited to 24 people ensures a more personalized experience.


  • Tour to Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy Stream Train from Port Melbourne
  • Get close to Australian wildlife including kangaroos, koalas and emus at Healesville Sanctuary
  • Enjoy a typical Australian barbecue lunch on this small-group tour limited to 24 people
  • Ride the century old steam train, the Puffing Billy, through the heart of the rainforest
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

What You Can Expect

Melbourne Shore Excursion: Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy Steam Train

Puffing Billy

You’ll be met by your guide at Port Melbourne and driven by comfortable air-conditioned coach about one hour through the Dandenong Ranges, known for cool-climate rainforest and extensive Eucalyptus forests.

First you’ll visit the Healesville Sanctuary, one of the best places in Victoria to see and interact with native Australian wildlife. You’ll walk with your guide through a stunning bushland setting where you can see wombats, birds of prey, platypus, wallabies and other amazing animals that are native to Australia. Hear about the Sanctuary’s efforts to fight wildlife extinction and commitment to treating more than 2,000 sick and injured native animals each year.

After seeing the animals, take a break for a typical Aussie barbecue lunch of locally sourced sausages served with a variety of toppings. Once you have enjoyed the food and hospitality, you’ll reboard your coach and head to the Puffing Billy Steam Train in Belgrave.

Climb aboard the century-old steam train, maintained in mint condition by dedicated volunteers. The Puffing Billy still runs on its own mountain track between Belgrave and Gembrook, through the heart of the rainforest. Travel back in time as you chug through the gorgeous Sherbrooke Forest waving at friendly bystanders as you go.

In the late afternoon you’ll be returned to your ship in Melbourne to end your tour.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return to the Melbourne port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Steve Andrew is a first class tour guide. He went out of his way to ensure that we saw as much as possible.
Puffing Billy Steam Train is fun and the scenery is beautiful.
But nothing can compare with the Sanctuary . Fantastic.
We have already commented that the only thing we were disappointed with is that you advised us to wait for our guide at 0830. So we were down at the port waiting from 0815 and he only arrived at 0930. That was after we spent almost $20 on phone calls (we have an overseas phone line) trying to locate someone in your company to determine what was happening. We almost gave up and went on another tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Lovely day in the Dandenongs. Puffing Billy train was a fun trip. Healesville had a great variety of animals

United States of America

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Great tour and fabulous animal sanctuary! Not to be missed if you want to see all of Australia's wonderful wildlife in a pristine park with natural settings. Viator did a wonderful job making all of our tours great and worry free.

4 star rating: Recommended February 2014

Long drive to sanctuary but enjoyed that very much. Claire gave us a great tour around since she had worked there before. Steam train was nice as well.

4 star rating: Recommended February 2014

had problem with communications as where the pickup point was located. Tour and guide were great and we would do it again. Jim and Karen

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better March 2014

There were only four of us on this tour. Being new there was a little confusion as to pick up and drop off times. I was somewhat stressed that we get back to the ship before sailing time. Healesville is a 90 minute drive from the dock and the steam train about 45 minutes from there. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly and he did barbecue a lunch for us. The Featherdale sanctuary near Sydney was a much better experience for me than Healesville. The train ride was brief, historical, scenic but not terribly memorable.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this March 2014

Very disappointing. The sanctuary is a regular zoo.
The guide was very irresponsible left the group to watch a show and it took us more then 20 min to find her.
I wouldn't recommend this part of the trip.
We really enjoyed the train.

1 star rating: I do not recommend this March 2014

This was probably the worst excursion we have taken. Claire, our driver, was irritated that she had been waiting an hour at the ship when we all appeared exactly when our vouchers said to meet. The 12 passenger BASIC van was not comfortable for 11 of us. It was a very uncomfortable ride as the van had no springs/shocks. Several of us were stiff and sore the next day. The van radio was on and Claire talked to the windshield so it was very difficult to hear in the back. She did not have a microphone. When someone asked her to turn down the radio so we could hear her she said, " but, I'm not talking now." and the radio stayed on all day. Healesville was fine although we wandered around as a group trying to find Claire at a BBQ spot where she was cooking. Lunch was basic - good sausages, loaf of bread, 2 small salads and, "if you want something to drink, walk back to the cafe." It would have been nice to know that as we passed the cafe. Time was short so we picked up the Puffing Billy Steam Train at the half way point, missing the famous trestle. Maybe less time at Healesville? The best thing I can say about Claire and this excursion was that she got us back to the ship before it sailed. There has got to have been a better vehicle with a microphone system and a guide that engaged with her people.

From USD $ 128.32

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Tour code: 5325PRTMELHSPB


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